This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com
Produced in collaboration with SoleLabz.com, where James and colleagues review trail and tactical footwear.
A few words about LOWA (the company)
Being founded in the 1920s, Lowa Company is one of the oldest in the field. It all started in a village of Jetzendorf in Germany when Lorenz Wagner started producing its Brogue Oxford Shoes.
The manufacturing process stemming from Bavarian mountains paired with the quality offered in well-stitched Norwegian shoes turned out to be a winner. The expansion of its facilities was merited as soon as the late 20s and the company just built steam from that moment on.
Lowa is known for its high-quality man-made materials and its many innovations.
Just to name a few:
· They first introduced polyurethane into the business
· The first sole made of vulcanized rubber
· The first sole injected with air…
The company is still located in the village it was founded in, and they’ve celebrated both their 90th anniversary and being the largest rural employer in 2013.
I could go on for pages about Lowa alone, but let’s cut to the chase and see what makes these hiking boots tick.
Here are a few Renegade hiking boot specifications directly from the manufacturer – its fact sheet
The materials used are leather/synthetic combo. The uppers are made out of nubuck leather, which means you’ll pretty much get all the benefits of the full-grain leather with a shortened break-in period.
The shaft from the arch measures 5 inches, heel 1.75 inches and platform approximately 1 inch.
Lowa goes out of its way to stress the footbed that features a “climate control” function, and I’m really eager to see its performance during the testing. The midsole is PU (polyurethane foam) Monowrap Framed, making Lowa one of the rare manufacturers featuring products without EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate).
The shank is full nylon which adds (so they say) to the overall stability of the boot.
Vibram Evo outsole – which is just fancy expression for a patented pattern of the lugs aimed at optimal stability and grip.
Let’s put these on, start testing and see if climate control really works.
Lowa Renegade GTX – my review of the hiking boot
The first thing I noticed about the Lowa Men’s Renegade boots was the light weight. When I received the box, I was not sure if they were the boots that had arrived. The box seemed light. But when we opened it, sure enough these were the Lowas but they are just super lightweight. They are definitely lighter than other boots we’ve tested. The boots look well made.
The boots were tested by Apartment Prepper son. We hiked on a trail along a waterway. It had rained prior to the walk so the trail was muddy. We also walked along the street and pavement.
The boots fit well; the size that was recommended was 1/2 inch above the normal size. In this case, he wears a size 10 so size 10.5 was ideal. It turned out to be perfect with wool socks.
The shoe felt immediately comfortable for walking. As you know, we live in Texas where it gets hot and humid. Although it was fall at the time, the temperature was still in the low 80s. After hours of walking, the feet did not feel hot at all. That climate control really works!
The shoe had great traction with any surface, whether on cement, asphalt, soil, grass etc.
The shoes felt flexible, yet gave great foot support. They did not pinch the feet. We hiked for several hours and did not get blisters or chafing, even if the shoes were brand new.
The only time he felt slight discomfort was for driving. The scree collar (the higher back part of the boots, that protects your Achilles tendon and ankle from chafing) felt a bit stiff when positioning the foot on the accelerator and brakes. However, this could be the only part that needs some breaking in.
The boots got very muddy during the walk so we tested how hard is it to get the dirt out.
The boots are easy to clean: just wiped the shoe with a well paper towel and the boots were clean again. We took a photo of the clean boot and the dirty boot side by side.
We poured water on one of the shoes. The water immediately beads on the surface.
Priced around $230 for the pair, I consider them to be mid-priced, as I have also seen boots that are much higher priced. I am very budget conscious, but I feel they are worth it, as they are high quality boots. The Lowa Renegade is an excellent boot for hiking and other outdoor activities, and would also make good bug-out shoes in case you had to walk out of the city.
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