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Lowa Renegade GTX Mid User Review

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  • mikeatlarge@yahoo.com
    Product: Lowa Regegade GTX (GoreTex) Mid Hiking Boots 2001 $165 Comparison Products: Have had a pair of Vasque Clarion GTX lightweight backpacking boots since
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 27, 2001
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      Product: Lowa Regegade GTX (GoreTex) Mid Hiking Boots 2001 $165

      Comparison Products: Have had a pair of Vasque Clarion GTX
      lightweight backpacking boots since 1996. The soles are worn and
      they have poor traction on many surfaces. I recently tried various
      boots by Merrell, REI, and Tecnica in the stores.

      Personal Data: I'm a male, age 35, 6' 2" tall and about 170
      pounds. I'm an avid day hiker, and occasional lightweight 1 - 3
      night backpacker with most of the hikes being in the Pacific
      Northwest. I also enjoy hiking in the Arizona/Southern Utah area.

      Weight: My men's 10.5's weigh in at 1lb 4oz each (2lb 8oz for the
      pair) on my scale. That's substantially lighter than my 3lb 8oz pair
      of Vasque Clarion GTX boots of similar fabric/leather/GoreTex design.

      First Impressions: Of all the boots I tried on, the Renegades were
      some of the lightest and most comfortable right out of the box. The
      sole has more flex than I'd expect (and perhaps want?) in a
      backpacking boot, but they seem to be very stable. The soles are
      proprietary to Lowa but the rubber seems to be far stickier than the
      Vasque soles I'm used to. My Vasque boots had to break in
      (mostly break my feet in I think) while the Lowas are amazingly
      comfortable from the first steps you take in them.

      The soles remind me more of more of an aggressive trail shoe than a
      true hiking boot. The boots are lined with a very soft smooth
      lining, and unlike many boots, there's no rough seam at the back of
      the heel. The lace points are all some sort of tough plastic. This
      likely saves weight but I've been a bit gentle lacing them as I
      wonder what it takes to break one? A broken hook wouldn't disable
      the boots, however, and hopefully Lowa would repair them if they were
      reasonably new?

      My feet run a bit wide/bulky in the "toe box" area. Many boots feel
      too tight here for my tastes (especially at the flex point over the
      ball of the foot). The Renegades feel just right. If your feet run
      small in this area, you may be better off with a different boot. Too
      much room will mean too much movement which can add up to blisters.
      The heel also fits like a glove. I've used the supplied
      insoles/footbeds so far but may try the Superfeet Hiker II (green)
      footbeds from my Vasque boots.

      Hiking Review: So far, these boots have been amazing. They feel
      more like a very supportive athletic shoe than a hiking boot.
      They're *really* comfortable! You can feel the soles flex a bit more
      when stepping on large sharp rocks but it's a small price to pay for
      the vastly increased comfort you get from the more flexible soles (at
      least for the kind of hiking I do).

      The boots have proven to be very waterproof crossing streams and the
      like (as I'd expect from a boot with the GoreTex logo). They also
      seem to breathe at least as well as my GoreTex Vasque boots. They
      seem to offer plenty of support for hiking with a lightweight
      overnight pack but some may feel more secure in a heavier boot.
      They're certainly up to any sort of day hiking challenge as long as
      you're on some kind of trail. I'm willing to trade off some sole
      stiffness, weight and possible support for a lighter more comfortable
      boot but your mileage may vary.

      Summary: When you figure I'm lifting a pound less weight with every
      two steps compared to my relatively lightweight Vasque boots, that
      adds up to 660 pounds less weight lifted for every mile of hiking!
      Add in the greatly increased comfort, and Lowa seems to have a winner
      here. They're too new to tell how they'll hold up but they seem well

      Strengths: These boots are extremely comfortable, light weight,
      waterproof and don't require any break in. These are all very
      valuable assets!

      Weaknesses: The soles are more flexible than some would like in a
      serious hiking boot. The lace points are all plastic which might be
      a durability issue. The boots may have less ankle support than
      heavier boots but that's of questionable value anyway. GoreTex boots
      tend to be warmer (and hence you sweat more) in warm weather. The
      soles are not as sharp edged ("square") as say serious Vibram soles
      offering less traction in certain conditions (on the other hand
      they're likely to be easier on trails). Finally, at around $165,
      they're a bit expensive. Most GoreTex boots start at around $100
      with many choices for around $130 - $140.
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