LOWA’s updated Renegade GTX LO W (Wide) Renegade Shoes proved to be all-day comfortable and up to a multitude of tasks, writes Mike Gormley.
For a recent trip away to Canada and Alaska I needed to save pack weight so required a single secondary type of footwear that covered the wide variety of activities we were going to do. I wanted robust, comfortable and grippy shoes that would look smart in smart places and also be good for walking and general travel as well being able to take on a variety of outdoor activities. In other words, be multifunctional. This included being able to grip on wet (ship) decks, on rocks and perhaps in snow and ice which, in my experience, can often be a Fail with many types of footwear.
The spec of these recently updated and upgraded Renegade shoes states they now have grippy new Vibram Evo Trac soles. Sounded good but do they perform? In a word. Yes. I had plenty of opportunities to try this, in fact all these, and very soon had confidence in these shoes for all situations. I need them to perform well; all-day comfort over long days was a must.
As some of you out there will now know I do like LOWA footwear. I have reviewed a number of their models now and continue to use them almost on a daily basis. Why? They are good and they are comfortable and easy to wear. The Renegade Shoes are right up there with my expectations of this brand. To accompany the Renegades on this trip I also took the LOWA Innox Pro, which is more of a boot and also grippy and importantly lightweight. As primary footwear these took on the muckier and more snowy jobs so to keep the Renegades clean for the smarter side of the trip; along with Reef Sandals these worked very well indeed and this worked out to be a perfect choice.
As ever with LOWA these Renegade Shoes are easy to put on and take off; seems basic and simple, but so many items of footwear are not. The uppers are made from a fine looking Nubuck leather with an added protected element for toe protection. Unlike with some other boots and shoes, this is not a rubber toecap so these shoes look a bit less ‘rugged’ and ‘outdoors’ when worn for smarter activities but, as mine now show, this is there to take the life knocks that this sort of universal footwear must cope with. This is backed up by a Gore-Tex membrane sock construction to keep the wet out.
The Renegade Shoe is reasonably stiff, which give you a secure feel when the going gets a bit rough. I have to say I did have to wear these a few times for them to ease into their working life, but now after a lot of use they still feel, and are, robust and secure as well as supporting the feet very well. They have the LOWA Monowrap support frame, which is not quite as aggressive as it might sound but is a colour-matched three-dimensional cradle in a PU material that offers a bit more support to the foot for when things get a bit more rugged.
Verdict: I think these will be going with me on a good few trips in the future.
[images © Jean or Mike Gormley]