"good hiker, not so good for backpacking"
This was my first pair of Lowa boots. They were true to size and needed practically no break in period. To help understand the strains the boots took - I'm 5'8" 150 Ibs. I used them mostly off trail with a 30 Ib. pack for about 3-7 miles a day in a mountainous forest. I wore them for three summers of fieldwork before they gave out. Although the waterproofing is still good and they haven't delaminated (with the exception of a small spot on the monowrap), they became overly flexible. As a result, my knees would hurt after a few miles. A nylon shank would have helped extend the life. Instead, I added a SOLE brand insole to stiffen it up and lengthen the life of the boot. Also, the Vibram sole is good, but it is a softer and thinner compound, and I wore through the heal down to the EVA midsole.I recommend this boot as a light hiker, but it will break down quickly if you carry a heavy pack. Also, don't use it on concrete, as the Vibram sole will wear out quickly.
"So far the best boots I have aquired and used"
The day these finally arrived at my house I geared up and climbed a mountain using these. It was somewhere around 920 meters (3020ft for you Americans) and there was still about a foot of snow on the ground. By the time I made it to the top, my feet were dry and comfortable. Speaking of comfortable, the ultimate combination is Smartwool socks and these boots. That's what I use and it feels like putting your feet inside a silk bag filled with puppies.
For being on the least expensive end of Lowa's boots I am ver impressed with their quality. I have had two other pairs of more expensive Lowa boots and know how great of a product that they make. I have used these boots for a little over 9 months now and they are holding up great. Very little wear even shows on them. They were comfortable out of the box and even more so now that I have hundreds of miles on them. Some people my be turned off by their price but the better your feet feel the better your trip will be.
These the first pair of boots that needed no break in period. They were comfortable right out of the box. I've done a few hikes longer hikes on some pretty gnarly terrain without any complaints. My previous several boots I've change the insoles to give a better arch support but don't feel the need for that with these.
You absolutely should not skimp when it comes to boots for hiking and backpacking. A good, well-made pair of boots is going to cost a little more than bargain priced boots, but it's an investment that is well worth it. In my video gear review (see below), we take a look at Lowa's #1 selling hiking boot, the Renegade GTX. This is a great boot for hiking and lighter backpacking and is a good choice if it's your first "real" hiking boot. This boot is made for comfort and flexibility, but still has many high-end features. It's also one of Lowa's least expensive boots. For more details on the Renegade GTX from Lowa Boots, watch our brief video gear review. Your feet will thank you.