Lowa’s Renegade GTX walking boot review.
Being a heavy footed creature finding comfortable, but hard wearing footwear is a constant mission.
Whenever I find something that fits the bill I’m often tempted to buy several pairs. After struggling for several months with my last pair of boots, I decided to try out the Lowa Renegades. Rather than breaking in my boots on a 15 mile hike, I decided to try them out on a Saturday afternoon stroll in Leicestershire, from Kilby Bridge to Wistow and back. Its a great short walk if you want something flat and pleasant, and Wistow Rural Centre is a good place to stop for a coffee and loose the wife shopping for half an hour.
Did they need wearing in?
I found the boots immediately comfortable. I had worn them around the house a bit before going out and I have to say, they were a delight! After the six miles in Leicestershire I took off the boots and my feet felt right as rain. No soreness or fatigue.
The fifteen mile hike through Derbyshire a week or so later on the Limestone way was no problem either. There really was little need for the boot to be broken in, which was wonderful since my previous boots had nearly broken my feet. They never really felt broken in even after several 15 mile plus mountain treks.
Comfortable and breathable
These boots really did seem to have been made for my feet. The comfort afforded by them was exceptional, from the first moment I slipped my feet into them they felt at home. Having said that, I must admit that after 13 or so miles my feet were getting a bit hot and sweaty. That may have something to do with the fact, that I carried my flagging 12 year old nephew on my shoulders for about a mile. Around that point we also started to do some climbs.
I think I’d really like to test the boots on some more challenging terrain, before I give them a super great rating for comfort. They certainly seemed to be a league above my previous pair of heavy duty all season boots, for comfort and breathability.
Light or heavy to wear?
Despite their toughness one of the most impressive aspects of this boot was their lightness. It’s like wearing a pair of training shoes, and the lightness certainly helps to keep your feet and legs fresher for longer.
The grip of the sole?
The trek through Derbyshire did not really provide too much of a test for the grip of the sole. However I found that as we made the steep descent into Lathkill Dale, and then made our way up the other side of the Dale, my footing was steady and I had complete confidence in the boots. I think on the whole fifteen mile walk, there was only one time when I was side stepping on an incline, that I felt any slippage. Again I would like to test the boots on some more varied and rough terrain before I give them a ten out of ten, but they were more than up to the landscape of the Peak District.
How flexible the sole?
I find my feet appreciate a relatively flexible sole, and that may well be why this boot has been a dream for me. Lowa seem to have got the balance of strength and flexibility in the sole of this boot – just about perfect. The sole is flexible enough to let your own feet feel at home, whilst remaining robust enough to offer a real strength and support. Never did I feel that the sole in anyway lacked in either direction.
Good ankle support
I spend most of my time wearing steel toe capped boots on a building site. I think we have all had bad experiences of boots that choke or chaff your ankles, making walking a chore. Again whilst on the few inclines we encountered I found that the ankle support to be excellent. Giving substantial support whilst not choking the life out of my feet.
I always think the real test of how waterproof a boot is, is to walk through a field of sodden grass and mud. That will have to wait for another day. But you have to try the boots out so I decided to walk a little way across a damn, on the river Bradford near Youlgreave. I was amazed! I have honestly never seen any footwear respond to water quite like this! The water simply ran off the boots as though they were duck’s plumage. I was most impressed in fact so impressed, that I made a short video that you really should check out. As soon as I lifted my feet out of the water it was as though they had never been in there!
I have enjoyed wearing the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid/Regular boot, and look forward to putting them through some tougher walks this summer.
Check them out at e-outdoor – Lowa Renegade GTX Mid/Regular Fit
Lowa also do a wider width Renegade – Lowa Renegade GTX Mid/Wide Fit