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This ‘Renegade’ loyal to women’s outdoor pursuits

Boots have always been the bane of my existence. I inherited my dad’s feet with a wide toe box and my mom’s high arches and narrow heels. I have worn through many pairs of boots that weren’t necessarily bad. They just didn’t fit right.

Just when I think I’ve found a pair, they turn on me. They blister me when they start to wear out. They blister me before they start to wear out. They start to sag out and stretch and slip and blister. Did I say they blister me a lot? Even when I wear good socks and perfect insoles? I’ve had more blisters on my feet than a 100-foot-long piece of bubble wrap has those little air blisters, aka pockets.

And, I’ve been to boot specialists in hiking stores who have worked with me on fit and function. So, when I received an invitation from Ingrid Niehaus to stop by the LOWA booth at SHOT Show last year, I figured I owed it to her. She’s a great businesswoman and person and really cares about the products she represents. Besides that, she put me in a kayak with an NFL player a few years ago, and I still owed her payback for that interview. Even though it was a double paddle kayak and he made me peddle. Upstream.

And … the Guru Huntress reviewed a pair and liked them, too. That’s a great recommendation, right there.

Not only was Ingrid at the boot booth, so was Tudor Dragomir, a boot designer with LOWA from north of Munich. Yes, the Germany Munich, not the one in North Dakota.

Ingrid Neihaus and Tudor Dragomir at SHOT Show. Photo courtesy of Barbara Baird

And we talked boots and Tudor explained how LOWA likes women’s feet. It believes in designing from the foot out – not from taking a man’s boot and attempting to break it down to fit a woman’s fit. Tudor said, “From the outside a LOWA boot looks similar, but it is completely different than a men’s boot. It’s a different last, it’s a different thickness of the mid-sole to make it more flexible, because women are not as heavy as men.”

In fact, LOWA hires a woman boot designer who works at their headquarters in Munich.

I hike and I hunt.

Most of the time, I do both – at the same time. So, Ingrid and Tudor decided to send me a pair of Renegade GTX Mid WS, the top-selling boot. And when I write “top-selling,” I’m talking about half-a-million pairs per year worldwide. And the only reason I can think of that it works as a “renegade” in the women’s boot market, is because it betrays the notion that a woman’s boot cannot be lightweight, yet tough.

The Renegade features a Monowrap® Evo comfort construction. This means it offers a lightweight, sleek profile, but still comes with a supportive stabilizer. I especially like the stiff nylon shank that worked really well in these Ozark hills during turkey season – where I hunted for 19 days in these boots, averaging at least 5 miles a day on rocky terrain, and weathering everything from freezing morning temps to scorching late-season temps.

Here’s how LOWA describes its Renegade:

  • UPPER: Nubuk leather.
  • MIDSOLE: PU Monowrap® Frame, a new, patented construction technique that allows us to reduce overall boot weight while retaining important lateral stability.
  • LINING: Seamless, waterproof GORE-TEX® lining reduces hot spots. A LOWA patented design.
  • OUTSOLE: Vibram® Evo.
  • SHANK: Full length nylon.
  • FOOTBED: Climate control footbed with comfort perforations to improve breathability.
  • DERBY STYLE LACING: Ensures great, customized fit.
  • Handcrafted in Slovakia: Bordered by Austria, a member of the European Union, and one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. LOWA employs a large group of highly skilled boot makers in this delightful country.

Here I am on day #19 of this past spring turkey season. Wearing my Renegades wrapped up in BugOut gaiters, to keep ticks and chiggers off my lower limbs. Photo courtesy of Marti Davis

From Day #1, I wore these boots comfortably for hours. They support my feet marvelously and when it seems my ankle is going to turn — you know that feeling — it’s  like it magically pops back into place!

I wear these boots all the time now. For shooting on the range. For hiking. For coyote and squirrel hunting. For pig hunting. For going to the grocery store to buy arugula to pair with venison tenderloin and pasta. For pushing my grandbaby in her stroller on a trail.

There I am, in the left corner, talking to Natalie Foster of Girls Guide to Guns and Gabby M. from Armed Candy, at a recent Girls Gun Getaway, while wearing my Renegade LOWA boots. Photo courtesy of Gracie McKee, Packing Pretty

I would even buy my own pair at full price – that’s $220. And, I’m looking at doing so, because no outdoorswoman should own a single pair of great boots.

I wore these boots recently in Alabama on a pig hunt. I’m the third from the right in this photo. And believe me, they stayed sweat-free, dry and worked with me in swampy terrain. Photo courtesy of Terry Garrett

You always need back up.

Five stars. All As. High Five. Get these boots!



  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at https://www.ozarkian.com.


The Conversation

  • Marti Davis says: July 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Ordered me a pair yesterday!

  • Brenda Valentine says: July 4, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Barb, I thought I was the only person in the world with high arches and WIDE toes. My mom had feet like this and she said it was from going barefoot so much. My husband says my track in mud looks like a bears track. Just glad to know there are others out there with good strong feet like this to carry us many more miles.

    • Barbara Baird says: July 4, 2012 at 9:21 am

      Nope. That makes two of us, Brenda. Er, three, because Holly Heyser weighed in earlier and said she had the same problem and also, that she LOVES LOWA boots! My dad always said it made for a “good understanding,” to have the type of feet I have! Happy Fourth of July. Marti and I are going to shoot some clays — getting ready for dove season!

  • Holly Heyser says: July 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I bought a pair of Lowas back in 2006 when I had just started hunting, and I love them. They are tattered now – the stitching has finally started coming undone on the outside of the toe box, but I will wear them until they fall off. They have never been uncomfortable, and I have feet just like yours: narrow heel, high arches, broad at the ball of my feet.

  • Alyssa Haukom says: July 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I’m curious how the overall size and fit was for you? True to size, or did they run a tad large like some of the reviewers have stated on the Altrec site? I’m interested in purchasing a pair for early season bowhunts, spring turkey hunts and all-around hiking and running around in the woods, but am wondering if i should size down 1/2 size? Thanks!

  • Jeff Ray says: July 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Really Barb, really! I am just now hearing about these? And I thought you were my friend!!