LOWA, my beloved hiking shoes!
I’ve been wearing Lowa Renegade Boots now for over ten years. I’m on my second pair. During the winter months, I wear them almost every day, all day. I put them on in the morning and take them off when I get home. During the summer whenever I go hiking they are on my feet. Perhaps you would be interested in why I’m so attached to them. They have many excellent features that make them so wearable.
Where do I start? Well, I guess in my case it’s because I do have issues with my feet. I find the stiff soles provided by the full-length, rigid nylon shank in combination with the stiff heel counter (that little cup that holds your heel) and the Nubuck leather upper helps to support the structure of my feet.
When hiking the outdoor-oriented outdoor sole gives me lots of traction on rocks and slippery surfaces. It accomplishes this because it is made of vulcanized rubber and has a relatively knobby texture. The “vulcanized rubber” is important because this material is flexible enough to grip on small imperfections in the surface your walking on while the larger knobs hang on to the larger bumps. It is molded directly to the boot in an inseparable bond. Also, it is a durable enough material to last the test of time.
The uppers are made with a waterproof Nubuck leather upper with a cushioned moisture-wicking lining. It has a padded tongue to protect the instep that provides comfort even when you do them up really tight. The laced closure extends well down to the toe of the boot which makes it really easy to get into.
Speaking of waterproofing within the lining materials they sew, not glue a waterproofing material called Gortex, with another feature, that I’ll talk about in a minute, makes the boot guaranteed as waterproof.
Goretex fascinating stuff. It does the double duty of waterproofing and temperature regulation while being extremely lightweight.
Goretex is a trade name for a material made out of a waterproof material that has little pores in it, and I mean little. These little holes are too small for water molecules to get in but water vapor molecules are much smaller and can pass through. In other words, it won’t let liquid in but will allow moisture out.
This is why during the winter months I can wear mine almost all the time. Although I don’t as a general rule have problems with sweaty feet (hyperhidrosis for the nerds out there), I have no problems wearing them all day.
The other feature I was going to mention was the bellowed tongue. Simply put the Tongue is connected to the upper along its sides to the upper of the shoe by a thin flexible bellow. This stops water, dirt, rocks, everything from scooting into the shoe around the space between.
Another plus is the padded insole or sock liner as they call it in the footwear business. It gives cushioning for the soles of your feet and can be removed to give you extra room in case like myself you need to wear a custom appliance more commonly known as an Orthotic.
So far, I’ve been talking about the low Renegade boot it is a mid-length boot that is over the ankle. They also male the low version which is more like a shoe but incorporates all of the same features of the boot.
Personally, for outdoor use, I prefer the taller model because as I have said I have foot issues and the extra support provided by the taller height seems to help. Also for hiking I worry about ankle injuries and figure the extra support around the ankle will save my friends from having to carry me home from an adventure.
If you’re interested in the Lowa company itself was founded in 1923 in Germany. It specializes in outdoor footwear. The groundwork for the renegade was laid in 1930 when they developed their lace ski boots and alpine boots for the mountain infantry. Today they make boots and shoes for all ages and even have a division dedicated to extreme sports enthusiasts and is now celebrating its 92 anniversary.