BackpackGearTest
  Home Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Footwear > Boots > Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Boots > Test Report by jerry adams

LOWA RENEGADE GTX MID BOOTS
TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - August 01, 2010
FIELD REPORT - October 26, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - December 30, 2010

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Jerry Adams
EMAIL: jerryaadamsatyahoodotcom
AGE: 56
LOCATION: Portland, Oregon, USA
GENDER: m
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 190 lb (86.20 kg)

I started hiking about 45 years ago. My first backpack was 40 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay around Mount Hood, Columbia Gorge, Mount Adams, Goat Rocks, and the Olympic Peninsula. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 15 lb (7 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, synthetic bag, simple bag style pack.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Lowa
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.lowaboots.com/
MSRP: US$200
Listed Weight: 2.4 lbs (1.1 kg) (men's 9)
Measured Weight: 3.1 lbs oz (1.42 kg) (men's 12)
Height of boot, inside, to top at heel: 4.5 inches (11.4 cm)
Height of boot, inside, to highest point at ankle: 6 inches (15 cm)

Other details:

The Renegade GTX Mid is Lowa's most popular boot.

The boots are fairly lightweight, yet fairly rugged. They are intended for "day hiking and short-haul, weekend backpacking" and have "enhanced performance for hikers who tackle more rugged terrain" (from Lowa website).

The uppers are made from 13 pieces of Nubuk leathers and a little bit of nylon fabric at the top of the tongue and boot:
IMAGE 1
Inside and outside


I have the brown (sepia). They also have grey/navy and black.

The soles are black Vibram Evo. The inside is Goretex with some sort of fabric:
IMAGE 2
bottom and top


The laces are brown, round, braided, and stretchy. There are 4 pairs of closed lacing hooks at the bottom. There's a loop through the tongue for the laces so the tongue doesn't go sideways. There are 3 pairs of open lacing hooks at the top. I'll probably use just 2 pairs of these open lacing hooks. As on all shoes and boots I've ever used, the laces are way too long. At some point I'll cut some of the excess off.

There's a loop at the heel to help get the boots on.

The soles are fairly stiff, like other mid height boots I've used, but stiffer than low height boots (shoes) I've used.

Inside, the bottom is a little soft. At the arch, and especially at the heel, there is a depression at the middle and it goes up at the sides and rear. This should keep my foot centered in the boot, avoiding going side to side. It appears to be a synthetic webbing material at the top, with a thin foam layer below that.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

I don't see any defects in the construction. Two rows of stitching between all the leather pieces. No bits of glue where the sole is glued to the uppers.

I tried the boots on and wore them around the house and they feel comfortable. The laces stay tied. So far so good.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

There's a small instruction booklet on the shoes that says to air dry between uses.

The booklet also says that no treatment is needed before the first outing, "however it's advisable to "refresh" the impregnation". Below it says to "regularly rub in or polish on (brush) a wax cream or emulsion to your shoes, particularly if these have been subject to a lot of water". This seems just a little unclear to me, like it was written by an English as a second language person. My interpretation is that initially, and occasionally thereafter, especially if they get real wet, I'll apply a wax cream to the outside of the boots.

Summary

The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid boots seem to be a nice pair of boots.

I am looking forward to testing them on several day hikes and backpack trips, about 100 miles (160 km) in each of the field report and long term report periods.

These boots appear well suited to my style of hiking - day hiking, backpacking, some cross country over rough terrain, and a little snow hiking. During the field report period I'll do more hikes in hot weather. During the long term report period I'll do more hikes in cold/wet weather.

Look forward to my field report in about two months.

Thanks to Lowa and backpackgeartest.org for letting me test these.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I used the boots for a total of 16 nights of backpacking, 18 nights of car camping, and 198 mi (319 km).

August 6 - 10, 2010: 4 night backpacking trip on Yocum Ridge on Mount Hood in North central Oregon. 31 mi (50 km). 7000 feet (2100 m) elevation gain. 40 to 80 F (4 to 27 C). 13 mi (21 km) was off-trail, without a backpack, steep, boulders, snow. No blisters. Socks got damp with sweat but not wet even though boots were soaked from snow. Snow slopes up to 45 degrees, kicking steps.

Walking on the snow at Yocum Ridge:
Walking on the snow at Yocum Ridge
Hiking in the snow


Resting next to Ramona Creek. Drying off after walking in the snow:
Resting next to Ramona Creek.  Drying of
Taking a rest


August 20 - 25, 2010: 5 night car camp on Olympic Peninsula in Northwest Washington, 50 to 80 F (10 to 27 C). 38 mi (61 km) of day hiking, 2000 feet (600 m) elevation gain, including beach and mountain trail walking. My socks got damp from sweat.

September 6 - 12, 2010: 4 night backpacking trip and 2 night car camp around Mount Hood in North central Oregon. 41 mi (66 km), 10,000 feet (3000 m) elevation gain. Mostly well-graded trail with some walking on boulders. One toenail was red from downhill walking, no big deal:
One toenail was red from downhill walkin
Middle toe


There was lots of walking on rocks on the Mount Hood trip. The fairly stiff sole of the Lowas helps spread the load across my foot:
There was lots of walking on rocks on th
Walking on rocks


September 12 - 17, 2010: 5 night car camp on the central Oregon coast. 25 mi (40 km) of day hiking with no elevation gain on paved trails and sand. Some rain. 50 to 70 F (10 to 21 C). Socks slightly damp from sweat, otherwise dry.

October 1 - 7, 2010: 4 night backpacking trip and 2 night car camp around The Three Sisters in central Oregon. 38 mi (61 km), 6000 feet (1800 m) elevation gain, 22 to 70 F (-6 to 21 C), dry, mostly well-graded trail with some bouldering. My socks were a little wet from sweat. My one toenail was more red than the last time, but no discomfort. My feet were a little cold when it got down to 22 F (-6 C).

October 18 - 24, 2010: 4 night backpacking trip and 2 night car camp on Mount Hood in North central Oregon. 25 mi (40 km), 6000 feet (1800 m) elevation gain, 36 to 60 F (2 to 16 C). Some well-graded trails, some off-trail bouldering. Socks damp from sweat. Very comfortable - no hot spots or blisters.

For all my hiking I wore medium weight Merino wool socks.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

These boots have been great.

I haven't once got a hint of a blister. This is better than most boots and shoes I have used.

I did several trips with high mileage (for me), lots of elevation gain, and a range of trail conditions from standard dirt trails, to sand, to cross-country over boulders, to snow slopes. The Lowas were comfortable for the entire test.

The soles were rigid enough to be comfortable walking on rocks. I find that a rigid sole spreads out the load across my foot, which is more comfortable.

The boots were rigid enough to do some step kicking in firm snow. These boots aren't primarily designed for this but for what I did they were good.

The lug soles were aggressive enough to provide traction in slippery mud and snow.

In warm weather, my socks got damp from sweat. I have this problem with all boots, especially GORE-TEX boots which aren't as breathable as some materials.

I did some waterproofness testing in wet melting snow and mild rain periods. My socks never got wet at all (except from being damp from sweat). I will do better waterproofness testing during the long term test period, which is in the rainy weather season here in the Pacific Northwest.

The Lowas are not designed for cold weather, but my feet stayed warm, even when it got down to 22 F (-6 C). I'll do more cold weather testing in the Long Term Test period.

A little thing I appreciated about the Lowas is the loop at the heel to help get the boots on. Typical loops on boots are closed flat and I have to pry them open with my fingers. I have always considered those loops a waste. The loops on the Lowas stay open so they're easy to hold on to when I put on my boots.

One negative about these boots is that they're a little heavy. I have had other mid-height boots that were a few ounces (tens of grams) lighter. I have read that extra weight on my feet feels like 5 times as much weight on my back, so boot weight is very important. Some boots are a lot heavier so it could be worse.

SUMMARY

The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid boots are very comfortable over a wide range of conditions; better than I expected.

I used the boots for a total of 16 nights of backpacking, 18 nights of car camping, and 198 mi (319 km).

They kept me dry, except a little dampness from sweat which I expected.

The soles had good traction.

The boots were stiff enough to walk on rough boulders and do some step kicking in snow.

The only negative is that the Lowas are a little bit heavier than the lightest weight mid-height GORE-TEX boots, but probably not enough to be a big deal.

I will continue to test these boots during the long term test period. Especially, I'll get some more wet weather testing.

Look forward to my long term test report in about two months.

Thanks to Lowa and backpackgeartest.org for letting me test these.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

November 12 to 17 - 3 night backpack and 2 night car camp on the Deschutes River - 33 miles (53 km), 500 feet (150 m) elevation gain, 32 to 60 F (0 to 16 C), mostly dry.

Boots got just a little damp on the Deschutes trip, next to deer hair:
IMAGE 2
Deer fur


December 2 to 8 - 4 night backpack and 2 night car camp on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon - 24 miles (39 km), 2000 feet (600 m) elevation gain, 39 to 53 F (4 to 11 C), occasional rain.

Boots were wet the whole time on the Rogue trip, next to bear prints:
IMAGE 1
Bear prints


December 11 - day hike in Portland Oregon, 4.5 miles (7 km), 45 F (7 C), steady rain, socks stayed dry.

December 28 - day hike in Portland Oregon, 4.5 miles (7 km) , 47 F (8 C), heavy rain, socks stayed dry.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I didn't do all that much more testing in the Long Term test period, I must be slacking off, or the weather conspired against more mileage and more trips.

During the Long Term test period I did two more backpack trips and two day hikes.

Total mileage for Field Report test period and Long Term test period - 264 miles (425 km), 29 nights total.

The main characteristic that I verified in the Long Term test period was waterproofness. On one of the backpack trips it was raining on and off the entire trip and my socks stayed dry, except for a little dampness due to sweat. I did two day hikes in heavy rain and the socks stayed dry. I think these boots are very waterproof.

I still have the same conclusions from the Field Report test period:

No hint of a blister - this is better than just about any other boot or shoe I have used.

My feet got a little damp from sweat as I would expect with GORE-TEX boots.

The soles are stiff enough for off trail use.

The lug soles are aggressive enough for good traction in mud and snow.

On one trip during the Field Report test period a toenail got red from blood. That problem never re-occurred during the Long Term test period. I must have just run my foot into something.

Even though this test is too short for evaluating the lifetime of a pair of boots, I did a careful inspection of the boots for wear but didn't see anything. The lug soles were barely worn. The first thing to wear out on boots that I have owned is the side of the boot that bends when my toes flex (red arrow below). The stitches rip out. I didn't see this happening yet:

IMAGE 3
Side of shoe where seam rips

SUMMARY

The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Boots are very comfortable. There was never a hint of a blister. The Renegade's are better than just about any other boot or shoe I have used in the past.

The boots are very waterproof. The soles are stiff enough for off trail. The lugs are aggressive enough on slippery surfaces.

About the only negative is that they are a little heavy compared to other mid height boots I've worn.

Another possible negative is they aren't very breathable. My socks get damp from sweat. But, this is what I have experienced with other GORE-TEX boots.

I will continue to use these boots as my main hiking boots.

Thanks to Lowa and backpackgeartest.org for letting me test these.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Lowa gear
Read more gear reviews by jerry adams

Reviews > Footwear > Boots > Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Boots > Test Report by jerry adams



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


All material on this site is the exclusive property of BackpackGearTest.org.
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson