There’s nothing like rainy season in Northern California. Despite the drought that’s hovered over us for the last several years, El Niño has come this winter with a vengeance, and with it has come rain. Now the hills and trails that were formerly brown and dry are muddy and, best of all, green and teeming with life.
When the rain broke long enough for me to get out in the Berkeley Hills, I took the Lowa Renegade hiking boots for a spin. I was impressed with a number of features on the boots—most of all the waterproofing system, which consists of breathable but waterproof Gore-Tex® liners inside water-repellent nubuck leather uppers. Even as I splashed along through deep, squishy mud my feet stayed warm and dry. The nubuck leather is also visually appealing compared to a synthetic fabric or lower-grade leather—it adds a touch of class to the boots that makes them easy to wear casually around town with a pair of jeans.
While hiking the Berkeley trails, the boots felt supportive and comfortable while remaining lightweight. The average weight for a pair of the women’s boots is just 2 lbs. 2 oz., which makes them only about half a pound to a pound heavier than some pairs of trail running shoes on the market.
Another plus of these boots is the level of foot support they provide. Rising to mid-height around the ankle, they are tall enough to help prevent ankle sprains on the trail (and help keep out grit and water). Out of the box, the full-shank polyurethane soles feel both sturdy and comfortable, with a minimal break-in period. And the gusseted tongues make it easy to tighten the laces comfortably around different foot volumes.
All in all, the Lowa Renegade is a great one-quiver boot: it’s lightweight, provides strong ankle support, and has a solid waterproofing system. If you’re looking for just one boot to do it all, consider the Renegade.