Lowa Renegade GTX LO Review

The Lowa Renegade GTX Lo feature minimalistic styling and have a reputation for comfort. However, the design is a little on the plain side and they are relatively heavy to boot. 

Lowa Mens Renegade GTX Lo Nubuck Leather Black Graphite Shoes 10.5 US

Pros / Reasons to Buy

  • Short break-in period
  • Grippy sole

Cons / Reasons to Avoid

  • Limited choice in colors
  • May be some durability concerns


Lowa are a well-known and well-respected company when it comes to outdoor footwear. Their Renegade GTX LO is a modern take on a traditional hiking shoe, making extensive use of nubuck leather in the upper.

This is paired with an extra-grippy Vibram sole and a Gore-Tex membrane to keep the moisture out whilst maintaining breathability. What’s more, the shoes are very comfortable. However, these are heavy shoes, and the design might leave you feeling a little uninspired.

Compare to Similar Products

Analysis and Test Results

Lowa have a good reputation for making solid hiking boots and shoes. The company has been established for over one hundred years and The Renegade GTX LO shoes lean into this heritage by taking their design cues from more traditional hiking footwear.

Despite their traditionally inspired looks, these shoes pack a lot of modern material technology including a grippy Vibram sole and a Gore-Tex membrane. These shoes are also very comfortable, however, they are also heavy, getting into the same weight range as some of the mid-high boots we have assessed.

Performance Comparison


The Lowa Renegade GTX LO shoes are fitted with a grippy Vibram sole featuring a deep and aggressive thread pattern. The sole is made from slightly softer rubber to help improve grip on hard wet surfaces such as rocks after rain. Whilst the soles offer excellent traction, it’s worth noting that no shoe offers perfect traction, and mud, wet foliage and ice do thwart the grip on these soles, as you could expect with most hiking shoes.


The Lowa Renegade GTX LO shoes feature a largely unventilated leather upper. There are a few small mesh areas around the ankle cuff and on the tongue. However, whilst these shoes can get uncomfortable in exceptionally warm conditions, for the most part – and certainly in more temperate environments – their outward lack of ventilation isn’t a problem, and the lining does a good job of wicking moisture away from your foot. Proper hiking socks made from a material like Merino Wool can help further with wicking sweat away from your skin and make a big difference to the wearer’s comfort.

Ankle Support

As shoes, the Lowa Renegade GTX LO do not offer any specific ankle support. However, whether this is an issue to you is really down to personal choice and some hikers will certainly prefer the greater freedom of foot mobility offered by hiking shoes over boots and will happily trade ankle support for this.

Arch Support

Out of the box, the Lowa Renegade GTX LO provide fairly minimal ankle support. This neutral solution is in-line with the other products we’ve assessed in our round-up.

However, it’s easy to add extra arch support if you need it simply by swapping out the insoles for an aftermarket option with a more heavily contoured shape. This adjustment is not expensive and can really improve the comfort of footwear for some hikers.


The Lowa Renegade GTX LO is available in sizes from US7.5/UK 6.5/EU40 to US 16/UK 15/ EU 51 and is suitable for wearers with normal to slightly wide feet.

It’s great to see Lowa offering these shoes in very large sizes. Getting bigger sizes in hiking shoes has bene really problematic for one of our reviewers in the past and it’s great to see more manufacturers offering a wider spread of sizing. They fit really well and generally very true to size.


Whilst many hiking shoes and boots now utilize a fully synthetic construction, the Lowa Renegade GTX LO makes use of oiled nubuck leather in its upper. Many hikers – especially those who favor more traditionally styled equipment – will appreciate this material choice, which also has a good reputation for longevity. The boots also feature a synthetic lining and full rubber Vibram soles.


The Lowa Renegade GTX LO boots take their design inspiration from more traditional hiking footwear. If you’re not a fan of the sports shoe inspired design that’s appearing on more and more hiking shoes and boots, then you might find the Styling of these Lowa’s more to your taste.

The minimal design is appealing, but we think Lowa could have pushed things a bit further here – maybe with some more vibrant colorways or contrasting material colors (the shoes are offered in two very ‘earthy’ colorways).

To be clear, we don’t think these shoes look bad, and the oiled Nubuck leather uppers will certainly appeal to some, but we do think they could be a bit more exciting.


Outwardly, the Lowa Renegade GTX LO boots seem very well made and durable and the nubuck leather they are largely made form has a reputation for longevity.

There is some chatter online that the long-term durability of these boots is not as good as it could be, but nothing we have seen or experienced with these shoes in our tests can back this up.


Weighing in at 950g/2lb 1.5oz, the Lowa Renegade GTX LO are amongst the heaviest hiking shoes we’ve assessed and even outweigh some of the boots we’ve looked at.

The extensive use of Nubuck leather in the upper sections certainly accounts for some of this. However, we should view this weight in context. Certainly, there are far lighter shoes in our round up, but when compared to many hiking boots on the market, these Lowa shoes are not so bad at all, and we think there are plenty out there who might be use dot more traditional (and heavy!) hiking boots who will find these to be positively featherlight by comparison.


The Lowa Renegade GTX LO shoes come with fairly generic insoles. These are removable as you would expect. We think that these insoles will be fine for most buyers, but, if you want to fine-tune the fit or comfort of your shoes, then swapping out the insoles is a great way to do this.

Whether you want to add extra arch support, cushioning to the foot bed or fine tune the fit if you are between sizes, an inexpensive aftermarket insole is a great way to achieve this.

Break-in Period

No footwear is completely without a breaking-in period, but these Lowa Renegade GTX LO shoes are a world away from traditional hiking boots in this respect.

We’d always recommend a few shorter ‘warm-up’ walks before taking new shoes or boots out on a long hike. The breaking-in period needed for a pair of shoes will vary from person to person, but, if you do experience problems like rubbing, a good fitting pair of thick or padded hiking socks can be really helpful, especially if made from either a technical fabric or Merino Wool.

These shoes were very comfortable within a few short walks and we had no questions about wearing them out on longer trails very soon into having them.

Lacing System

The Lowa Renegade GTX LO boots use regular laces. Outwardly, there isn’t much special about laces, but they are actually a great system for fine-tuning the fit and therefore comfort of your shoes.

You can adjust the lace tension at each eyelet pair to control the fit of the shoe in different regions of the foot and it’s also possible to completely change the lacing pattern you use for even greater control – be sure to check out our guide for more info on this subject.

Toe Protection

The Lowa Renegade GTX LO shoes feature a reinforced area around the toes that will certainly offer some protection on the trial and could save stubbed toes and broken nails if you trip over or inadvertently kick into something solid.

Whilst this is not the same level of protection you would find on more sturdy mountaineering boots, it’s still good in the context of the products in our round up.

Hiking Shoes v Hiking Boots

The choice of hiking shoes versus boots is very subjective. It really comes down to your personal taste. Some will certainly prefer the extra ankle support offered by boots, but the lighter weight and better ankle mobility offered by shoes also have their appeal and we know that many hikers genuinely prefer this option.


The Lowa Renegade GTX LO are a robust pair of hiking shoes from a well-respected brand with deep heritage in the industry. They might not be the most exciting to look at, and there are certainly lighter options out there too, but we think the retro-inspired design, traditional materials and reputation for comfort associated with these boots will make them a very attractive option for a lot of hikers.

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