The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid boot is the higher-cut companion to the Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo (*Est. $170), which was the best reviewed waterproof hiking shoe we found in our research. Like the Renegade II Lo, the Renegade Mid is popular with both genders. It also enjoys similar approval from users and experts alike for its waterproofing; one owner notes that "I never got my feet wet unless they were submerged." We did, however, find a few scattered complaints that the boots become water resistant instead of waterproof after wear. One user notes that in a rainstorm, the water constantly penetrates through the leather.
One particular point of praise from owners is the boot's lack of a break-in period; they fit comfortably right out of the box. However, some complain that the boots wear out too quickly, especially after heavy use; one frequent Appalachian Trail hiker estimates their life at around 600 miles, and another long-distance hiker attributes his boots' deterioration to long days of hiking through deep snow and extremely rocky terrain (and carrying an 85-90 pound pack). If you want a heavier-duty leather hiking boot, experts and users pick the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV (*Est. $290) as the best option.
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid performed well in strenuous testing conducted by Outside magazine. It also ranked well with the editors of Camping Life magazine. We found substantial numbers of user reviews at REI.com and Amazon.com, plus longer reviews from Fresh Air Junkie and Daily Hiker.
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is one of seven models that receive a recommendation after five months of testing, out of 70 models evaluated.
Review: Buyer's Guide, Summer 2010: Trail Shoes, Jason Stevenson
2. Camping Life Magazine
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Boots and the "Lo" shoe version are the only footwear to make this best-of-the-year list. The editors praise the Renegade Mid's "European-quality leather lining" and describe them as "quite simply some of the most comfortable boots we've ever worn."
Review: 2011 Editors' Choice: Our Favorite Gear of the Year, Editors of Camping Life, May 12, 2011
The men's version of the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid boot receives more than 75 reviews, and the women's garners more than 50 reviews, each receiving a 4.5-star average rating. Reviewers praise the boot for its comfort, support, traction, water resistance and lack of a break-in time. However, we also found concerns that it wears too easily, along with a few scattered complaints about the waterproofing.
Review: Lowa Renegade Mid, Contributors to REI.com
More than two dozen reviewers give the men's version of this boot a 4.5-star rating; the women's version receives a near-perfect rating. Reviewers praise the Lowa Renegade Mid GTX for being comfortable and sturdy, but one reports that the flexible toe box crimped downward and put pressure on his toes with every step.
The author of this lengthy review wore the Renegade GTX Mid for hiking and also for working around a muddy horse property. He praises their straight-out-of-the-box comfortable fit, with no hot spots or break-in time, and singles out the smooth, effective lacing system as a particular high point.
Review: LOWA Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot Review, Rick Shandley, Jan. 22, 2011
"Not all of us need boots that can handle a 50 pound pack and a 40 mile backpacking trip," the author writes, praising the Renegade GTX Mid for straddling the balance between hiking shoe and full backpacking boot. He likes the double stitching and firm padding, and notes that the GTX Mid offers more flex than he'd usually expect from a backpacking boot.
Review: Review: Lowa Renegade GTX Mid, Branden McIntyre