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Check Out These Boots!

Posted by Eli Boschetto at Jan 13, 2012 03:55 PM |

hiking boot reviews by the washington trails gear team. includes lowa, la sportiva, the north face, montrail, keen, scarpa, ahnu, salomon, vasque, and garmont.

In the latest issue of Washington Trails (Jan+Feb 2012), I introduced the gear review column by describing a pair of hiking boots that were on their last leg. These were my own pair of Lowa Zepher boots that I had been using for the previous three years. I loved these boots, having put almost 1,000 trail miles on them, including a 3-week, 130-mile section of the JMT in 2010.

I was dreading needing to replace these boots, as they had been the most comfortable hiking boots I’d ever had—and had been with me thru some of the toughest and most amazing hiking I’ve ever done. But late in the summer of last year, the Washington Trails gear team (myself included) was tasked with testing some of the latest and greatest hiking boot options. As I reluctantly faced the retirement of my beloved Zephers, I was presented with Lowa’s Renegade boots—and it was practically love at first wear. Here’s my review.

“Like a fine leather glove, the tried-and-true European-crafted Lowa Renegade GTX Mid continues to impress. The full-leather nubuck upper combined with Lowa’s patented polyurethane Monowrap midsole offered ample support and durability in a surprisingly lightweight pair of boots. Mile after mile—from day hikes in the Columbia Gorge to thru-hikes in the Sierra Nevada—the Renegades cradled my feet with a climate control footbed, while allowing just the right amount of flexibility thanks to Cordura ankle bands and shock-absorbing full-length shanks—all supported by a Vibram Evo outsole with a heavy-duty tread that sticks to anything. And don’t even think about getting any leakage in these things. The seamless Gore-Tex lining let me tromp straight through creeks and puddles—not to mention the rain—while the insides stayed dry and comfortable thanks to excellent breathability. This could be the perfect backpacking boot!”

The team tested boots from all the leading manufacturers, many of them receiving rave reviews. So if you’re in the market for a new pair of hiking boots for the coming season, click over to our gear page to check out more reviews from the Jan+Feb issue, in addition to a selection of other models that all made happy feet and are ready to hit the trail.