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Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo Review

Price:   $210 List | $156.93 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, full leather upper, good muddy traction, seamless GORE-TEX liner
Cons:  Heavy, not breathable
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Lowa
By Brandon Lampley ⋅ Review Editor
Monday

Our Verdict

The Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo is a fine hiking shoe, and the closest thing to a low cut traditional hiking boot that we tested in the hiking shoe review. This is a burly, heavy shoe that we rated the most supportive, water resistant and durable. It's a much more substantial shoe than the others and has the price tag to reflect it. Surprisingly, it's very comfortable from the first step, even for dayhiking.

While it performs well dayhiking and very well when carrying loads, the Keen Targhee 2 is more versatile and works better for fast hiking. The Renegade stands out as the best crossover casual work shoe. It looks great, keeps your feet comfy around town and adventuring, and will keep looking great for years. Our Editors' Choice winner hiking shoe, The North Face Ultra 109 GTX is a light, comfortable all around performer.


RELATED REVIEW: The Quest for the Best Men's Hiking Shoes of 2017

up to 5 products
Score Product Price Measured Weight of Pair, Size 12 Waterproof Lining Upper
85
The North Face Ultra 109 GTX $120
Editors' Choice Award
2.3 lbs. GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Mesh and PU-coated leather
83
Keen Targhee 2 $125
Best Buy Award
2.3 lbs. KEEN.DRY waterproof breathable membrane Nubuck and textile
83
Vasque Juxt $110
2.1 lbs. None Suede leather
78
La Sportiva FC ECO 2.0 $150
Top Pick Award
2.5 lbs. GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Footwear Nubuck Leather/ 100% recycled Nylon Mesh/ Uretech
78
The North Face Hedgehog Hike GTX $140
2.2 lbs. GORE-TEX Full-grain leather, textile mesh, synthetic overlays
76
Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo $210
2.7 lbs. Waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX Nubuck leather
75
Keen Marshall WP $130
2.3 lbs. KEEN.DRY waterproof breathable membrane Lightweight mesh, synthetic overlays
73
Salewa Wildfire GTX $169
2.2 lbs. GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Microfiber Forefoot, Ballistic Mesh, Exa Shell
69
Merrell Moab Ventilator $100
2.1 lbs. None Dura leather and mesh
68
Adidas Outdoor AX 2.0 GTX $120
2.15 lbs. GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Air mesh and synthetic upper

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo earned top scores in three metrics: support, water resistance and durability. It's a very attractive shoe…for those that aren't concerned about an extra quarter pound on each foot. Our biggest complaint is that it's quite heavy, but this translate to great support and durability.

Performance Comparison


This great looking shoe has excellent support. It's the closest thing to an actual low cut boot we tested  and is great for carrying a light or medium pack.
This great looking shoe has excellent support. It's the closest thing to an actual low cut boot we tested, and is great for carrying a light or medium pack.

Comfort


The Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo is comfortable and form-fitting out of the box. The supple suede uppers hug the foot, and the felt and foam insole feels nice under foot. For a stiff shoe, it strides quite well due to the substantial sole rocker at the forefoot. We found the La Sportiva FC ECO 2.0, our Top Pick for Backpacking, to be slightly more comfortable.

The Renegade's lacing system starts with one traditional eyelet down low, and three pulley-type eyelets on the midfoot. One quick lace hook finishes off the lacing. This lacing system makes getting into and out of the shoe quick, but provides little in the way of adjustability for the fit. Systems with more eyelets, especially more close to the ankle, let you fine tune fit better.

This is a warm shoe and doesn't breathe well. It's more suited to cool season hiking than summer. This shoe has a reputation for comfort after a break-in period, and with both wide and narrow sizes available, most should find a well-fitting pair.

On a short overnight trip along the Poudre River in Colorado. This shoe can handle everything from dayhiking and backpacking to an evening out in town.
On a short overnight trip along the Poudre River in Colorado. This shoe can handle everything from dayhiking and backpacking to an evening out in town.

Weight


This is the heaviest hiking shoe we tested, weighing 2.73 lbs. There's just more to it from top to bottom: a thicker sole, burly midsole and full shank, and full leather uppers.

Support


The Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo provides the most foot support of the shoes we tested. If you want more boot-like foot support without the boot ankle collar, this is the best choice of the bunch. The polyurethane Monowrap Frame midsole design, combined with the full-length nylon shank, creates superb torsional stability, and the forefoot is the stiffest we tested. This support makes this an excellent shoe for folks that want to carry relatively heavy packs with a low-cut shoe.
Here you can see the substantial rocker of the forefoot of this model. This creates a comfortable stride with the stiff midsole.
Here you can see the substantial rocker of the forefoot of this model. This creates a comfortable stride with the stiff midsole.

Traction


Overall, this product handles rough and smooth, wet and dry trails well. The agressively rockered front sole stuck to rock slabs well and it was great in mud and gravel. Things got a bit slippery though on wet granite slabs.

Versatility


Short of running, this product handled all our hiking adventures well, though its heavy weight is more suited to trips when its support is needed for carrying backpacks. With its attractive full leather upper, the Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo makes a really nice office or work shoe. It's also perfect for gardening, yard work, and inclement weather wear around town. The black color scheme makes a great work shoe for those that require black footwear.
I look good enough to wear just about anywhere  to the office  out to dinner  or on the trail.
I look good enough to wear just about anywhere, to the office, out to dinner, or on the trail.

Water Resistance


Lowa has patented the durable, comfortable seamless design of its GORE-TEX liner. Our feet always stayed dry in these shoes, though they didn't breathe well. With a full leather upper, this model easily took the top score for water resistance.

Durability


Easily the most durable shoe in the review, The Lowa Renegade Lo will keep you hiking for many years. A suede leather conditioner applied periodically to the upper will keep the leather supple and beading water. Take care of these shoes and one pair will last a lifetime. The Vibram Evo soles show no signs of wear after 100 miles.
The high quality full leather upper on the Renegade beads water well and will last a lifetime for most hikers.
The high quality full leather upper on the Renegade beads water well and will last a lifetime for most hikers.

Best Applications


Casual dayhikes and walks around town, backpacking trips with light and moderate loads, attractive shoe for work and town.

Value


The $210 price tag will cause sticker shock for most. More affordable shoes like the Keen Targhee 2 are have a much smaller up-front cost. But these shoes could easily outlast two pairs of most others, making them a good longterm investment.

Conclusion


A popular shoe with a dedicated following. Some folks really like the combination of foot support and a full leather upper. The Lowa Renegade II GTX Lo will serve most folks for years, keep your feet absolutely dry in bad weather, and you can wear them to work or out on the town with their low-key look.

Other Versions


Lowa Renegade GTX Mid - Women's
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid and Lowa Renegade GTX Mid - Women's
  • Editors' Choice Award Winner
  • Mid top version of this shoe
  • Light weight 1lbs 1oz. per shoe
  • Highly versatile
  • Wide variety of color options
  • Leather Uppers with gore-tex liner

Renegade III GTX or Renegade III GTX - Women's
  • Newest Version of this tried and true shoe in the low cut style
  • Increased shock absorption
  • 0.8lbs per shoe (1.9lbs per pair)
  • $200

Brandon Lampley
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