Jethro KiernanNorth Wales based adventure photographer, happy being in or on the sea, lakes, mountains and crags usually with a camera.
A comfortable, relatively light GORE-TEX hiking boot that’s great for non-technical mountain terrain followed by a trip to the pub.
585g per boot
Nubuck upper, Gore-Tex lining, Vibram Evo sole, 2 Zone lacing, dual-injection monowrap frame
Comfortable from the start
Versatile – can be worn off the hills too
Not as ‘all-terrain’ as some other boots
What I’m Looking For
I usually spend my mountain time either in technical mountain boots or approach shoes and at first I wasn’t really sure where a hiking boot would fit in.
These boots are now my go-to for landscape photography and have been out and about during various shoots in North Wales, unless I’m going into technical mountain terrain. They are great for keeping my feet dry and comfortable whilst moving through the hills, forests and beaches, standing in streams and wading through bogs.
At first trying on the boots felt a little odd to me. My regular mountain boots are more technical, rigid-soled boots that hold your foot pretty firmly in place, whereas the Renegade has a low-profile Vibram Evo sole, with a tread that encourages a more natural gait. Despite the initial odd feeling of a more supple sole, they were so comfortable I headed out for a coffee wearing them without really thinking about it.
The boot’s multi-panel Nubuck upper is designed to map to the shape of your foot straight out of the box, but the multiple stitch lines make me wonder how they’ll do on the durability front and how well the GORE-TEX liner will last. The Renegade comes in a few colour options, but the low-key brown was fine by me.
Taking a late-September gamble on good weather for a family trip to Skye (with a little photography thrown in) seemed like the perfect opportunity to test the Renegade GTXs out against my other boots. The trip would involve a foray onto the Cuillin ridge, but would predominantly be about coastal and lower-level mountain walks, as well as photographing waterfalls which seemed to fall into the scope of the boot’s abilities nicely.
Due to limited packing space, the plan was to wear the boots for the drive up and everything in between. Scotland as always gave us all the weathers, and the boots dealt with the mud, mountains, rocks and pubs of Skye and kept my feet dry and comfortable throughout.
Who are these boots for?
Obviously Lowa didn’t set out to make a photographer’s boot, they have set out to make a do-it-all hiking boot, branching out from their staid line of traditional-looking mountain, hunting and tactical boots and into the hiking market.
This boot will take you up the paths of Yr Wyddfa, Scafell and Ben Nevis in spring, summer and autumn (if they’re snow-free). If winter walking is your main activity, the Renegade GTX Mid is also (cleverly) available in a ‘warm’ version, which is is equipped with an insulated GORE-TEX Panda lining. If you’re looking for a reliable boot to take you on light scrambles to check out waterfalls, exploring coastal paths and wet autumn forest trails as well as non-technical mountaineering, then the standard Renegade GTX Mid could be the one for you.
This boot will take you up the paths of Yr Wyddfa, Scafell and Ben Nevis in spring, summer and autumn
What stands out?
Straight out of the box these boots are like an old friend. They require almost no breaking in and were comfortable from day one.
The light-feeling nature of the boot stands out straight away, making them a true all-day boot that you’ll barely notice.
The waterproofing on the Renegades has been bombproof so far, and they’ve been truly tested with a few long submersions whilst photographing waterfalls.
Low-key and relaxed
The aesthetics, relaxed feel and flexible fit of the Renegades makes them a great option for a post-walk pint too.
Value For Money
The Renegade GTX mid-rise are also available (as the name might suggest) in a low cut, approach shoe style, albeit with the same waterproofing and aforementioned technology. You can also choose from a standard, narrow or wide fit, so you can ensure they fit your feet perfectly which always ensures a bit more bang for your buck.
BASE Bottom Line
For a mid-priced boot from a brand with excellent credentials, the Renegades are a good option for covering a range of uses and activities with a versatile aesthetic and quality, GoreTex construction that has more than proven itself in the waterproof test.
Of course, there’s some stiff competition from other brands, but for all-day comfort on non-technical mountain terrain, the Renegades are well worth a try.
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