By Mary Webb
LOWA’s Renegade series performance boots make traversing dry creeks and jumping rocks a blast! When you’re free spirited, fun mood signals a day hike, the Renegade boots will accommodate an outdoor excursion to the rim rock of Moab or an impromptu jaunt to Sedona. There are many technologies working behind the scenes of these stylish boots. From the outside to the inside, these Renegades are hard at work.
We took a serendipitous hiking trek to Santa Barbara, California. These LOWA Renegade hikers use a full-length stiff nylon shank to provide proper support for the feet. And that stiff shank in the Renegades helped in the challenging boulder scramble we hiked towards the Seven Falls trail.
The advantage of nylon over steel shank is the weight; day hikers such as the Renegade don’t necessitate dealing with a heavy load such as a backpack kitted out for a multi-day trip. A hydropack of water, camera and wheat thins are all we needed to refresh and lounge at the Seven Falls in Santa Barbara. For a price point of $210.00, the Renegade LL Mid WS hiking boots will be a welcome addition to your spur of the moment adventures.
Like a hand in glove, our feet fit properly in the leather lining. While other models in LOWA’s Renegade series offer a Gore-Tex lining, such as the men’s Renegade GTX Mid we reviewed earlier this year Renegade GTX mid hiking boot, this leather lined version does not. Stylish and performance driven, the leather lining breathes with you and also deters blisters. Another feature of the new Renegades I enjoyed on this hiking trip was the perforated footbed of the boot. The perforated footbed offers additional breathability for the feet and work with the leather lining.
The leather awoke me to a natural feel of the boot, and the cream white color of the lining was a nice contrast to the exterior coffee-color ways of brown we experienced. Handcrafted in Europe, the Renegade LL Mid WS is a welcome addition to any hiking pant or pair of brand jeans. My feet were wet when I reached the Seven Falls; it wasn’t because of perspiration in the boots, it was from taking off the Renegades to dip my feet into the running water off the cool Santa Barbara rocks.
Midsoles are constructed of a PU Monowrap frame for a reduction in the weight of the boot as well as stabilization. This sure footed design was felt as I made my way on uneven creek bed terrain. Assisting in my sure footedness was the Vibram Evo outsoles. Thick rubber and plenty of traction helped me gain a grip on the crevices of larger rocks, getting me up and over to the next foot hold.
The Vibram Evo outsoles did equally as well on the smaller rocks, sprinkled along the Seven Falls trail. I noticed the difference between my travel partner and I, as I was not slipping as much on the wetter stones.
LOWA’s Renegade boots are wrapped up in Nubuck leather on the exterior. The Nubuck leather is as soft to the touch as the leather lined interior, only a different texture. Nubuck is similar to suede; however, suede is made from the interior leather of the hide and the Nubuck comes from the outside. We encountered quite a bit of water near the falls as one would imagine, Nubuck is water resistant and while the water marks are apparent on this leather, they disappear completely when they become dry.
I like the leather lined tongue on the Renegade boots. There are two strategic pieces of fabric sewn in on the sides of the tongue which allow you easily slip your foot in and out. I felt extra protection along the base of my shin as I made my descent down the steep slope of the falls due the padding of the tongue. Actually, I can give a good report to not only the tongue, but the whole boot! A good thickness of comfort is at your fingertips with LOWA’s Renegade.
Any cowboy renegade knows when to grab a rope and hit the trail; these Renegade boots come with a custom-designed, derby-style lacing system with rope-like nylon laces. Tightening up these laces reminds me of putting on a pair of ski boots, three hooks on either side of the boot allow you to criss-cross your way to the top, keeping your feet snug and secure.
If brown is not the color choice of your outdoor attire, try the stone color that is offered in this fine boot.
Natural elements of contrasting leathers in and out, along with modern day synthetic technologies will liken your experience in LOWA’s Renegade to a wolf on skates; durable and soft, yet able to glide up and down steep terrain. Right out of the box, you will be racing out the gate to experience a northern forest hike or a muddy trail along the eastern coast. And your feet are laced into a solid pair of boots that ranks high in comfort, traction, and durability on many more hikes before and after the Seven Falls trail.
US available sizes: 5.5 – 11
Weight Per Pair (Women’s 6.5): 1.90 lbs
Color Ways: brown and stone