Photo: Jessica Hughes

I’m an Avid Backpacker. Here’s Why These Hiking Boots Are Coming on My Next Trip

Technology + Gear Hiking
by Jessica Lynn Hughes Mar 6, 2024

As an avid backpacker and hiker living in Colorado, I have explored many trails and traversed multiple mountains. I have spent countless days in hiking boots. But as I’ve gotten older, my backpacking trips have shrunk from five-to-six-day treks down to two-to-three-day treks. Despite cutting my trips in half, I still need a shoe with great comfort and plenty of ankle support. As well as something lightweight that won’t weigh me down while backpacking, but that is also sturdy and supportive enough to catch me when I take a wrong step. I recently tried the Women’s Lowa Renegade GTX Mid hiking boots, and I will be taking them with me on the trail this summer.

The Renegade is Lowa’s flagship mid-weight boot, and I can see why. With plenty of support, stability, and comfort, these boots are just what I need for covering long distances with my pack. When I took them out of the box, I instantly felt how substantial the boot was, and yet it was lightweight enough that it didn’t feel like they would weigh me down.

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Why the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid hiking boots are coming with me on my next backpacking trip

Photo: Jessica Hughes
Photo: Jessica Hughes

Hiking in Colorado isn’t always smooth sailing – they don’t call these peaks the Rocky Mountains for nothing. Trails are often rocky and rough with steep grades as you ascend and descend. So, for me, I must have a hiking boot that provides me with comfort but also moves with my feet and the ever-changing terrain.


I tested the Lowa Renegade boot while on a moderate five-mile hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. While not a long hike, I did attempt it in the middle of winter with snow and ice on the ground. And while these are not the winter Renegade boots with insulated lining, they did just fine. The icy, snowy trails did not impede my hike, all thanks to the solid grip of the super grippy Vibram® EVO outsole. Plus, the deep, intense lugs across the bottom of the boot reassured my trust in its ability to stop me from slipping and falling. I did eventually put my spikes on, which paired nicely with the boots.

Good fit

When I put the boots on, I immediately felt supported, almost like the boot was specifically designed for my foot. I could feel the hug around my ankles, the support underneath the arch of my foot, and the secure but comfortable fit across my toes. It was an instant winner as I slid my foot inside. This all makes sense, knowing Lowa uses woman-specific lasts on each of their women’s boots, ensuring a perfect fit.


The brand gives the Renegade boot a “moderately stiff” rating describing its varying degrees of flexibility. And I concur. While not uber stiff, like you might want for a super rugged backpacking boot, there was enough flexibility for comfort and yet they still felt sturdy. I would agree with the rating as I felt the boot flex enough with my movements, but still stiff enough to support my moves.

Photo: Jessica Hughes
Photo: Jessica Hughes

Support and stability

I’ve always said that ankle support is one of the most important features of any hiking boot. The Monowrap® PU frame structure helps with stability, plus the full-length stabilizer for underfoot support helps to stabilize your footing. The boot’s high cuff helped when I took a wrong step, preventing my ankle from rolling. Plus, the additional top eyelet offered extra stability, making my foot and ankle feel locked into place.


What surprised me the most after my first time wearing the Women’s Lowa Renegade GTX Mid hiking boots is that I wasn’t ready to take them off. I was nervous about breaking them in on a decently moderate hike in the snow. Typically, new hiking boots tend to rub the inside of my ankle bone. But I never once felt awkward rubbing or any redness during or after the hike. They still felt comfortable enough to wear to my next stop, which was lunch and a beer. As a bonus, they are stylish enough that I didn’t feel the need to switch shoes for my post-hike activities.

Rain or shine, these boots have you covered

woman in lowa renegage GTX mid hiking boot

Photo: Jessica Hughes

I’m a firm believer in waterproof hiking boots, especially for longer treks. Snow, rain, slosh, and muddy puddles don’t deter me when I know I have a Gore-tex membrane, just like the Lowa Renegade Mid boot does. They kept my feet dry as I traipsed through the snow, over sloshy mud puddles, and even when I took a wrong step into a knee-high crevice of snow.

When I wouldn’t use them

I wouldn’t use these boots for shorter hikes along well-maintained trails. These boots might be a bit of overkill for a casual hike on flat ground. Plus, they seemed to hold in heat a little bit, so I would not use them on a very hot summer day.

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