Verdict from 2 experts and 8 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Level of comfort: Experts agree that the Lowa Explorer GTX Mid is mighty plush right from the get-go.
  • Weight: Based on numerous reviews, this trekking boot is satisfyingly lightweight.
  • Sticking prowess: Its surface adherence is quite amazing, according to several owners.
  • Stability: A professional tester swears by the Explorer GTX Mid’s ability to provide surefootedness on particularly rugged terrain.
  • Lastingness: Its durability is incredible, about a handful of backpackers claim.
  • Moisture repellency: This Lowa boot is waterproof through and through, says a critic.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Ventilation: This backpacking boot could be more breathable, based on a report.
  • Toe room (women’s version): An experienced female hiker finds the Explorer GTX Mid’s toe box too restrictive.

Bottom line

It can be said that day-one comfort is a rarity in backpacking boots. That said, the super-lightweight Lowa Explorer GTX Mid is among the exception. Besides that, the shoe in question also delivers excellent footing security, both on and off the trail. While wearing one might require some compromise, the Explorer GTX Mid is stellar in terms of user-friendliness alone.

Tip: see the best hiking boots.

Essential stuff about the Lowa Explorer GTX Mid

The need-to-knows

  • The boot’s Gore-Tex membrane and over-the-ankle collar will allow you to wade through creeks and stay in a moderate downpour without getting your feet drenched.
  • Engineered with a more flexible midfoot zone, the Explorer GTX Mid allows for easier, comfier transitions, particularly on flatter surfaces.
  • It has an extra sole element around the heel called DynaPU+ that helps the midsole absorb shock, resulting in safer landings.
  • The lug-less construction of its outsole at the forefoot (reminiscent of approach shoes) provides extra bite on smooth boulders.

The caveats

  • Its ribbon-like eyelets (around the instep) might not be confidence-inspiring for durability purists.
  • The pull loop at its heel might be too small for folks with stouter toes.

Lowa Explorer GTX Mid vs. Renegade GTX Mid

With the popularity of hiking boots on a record high, comparisons are inevitable. With that, we will humor you with a head-to-head between the Explorer GTX Mid and the Renegade GTX Mid. Their differences are in the following areas:

Use. The Explorer GTX Mid is a burly-yet-lightweight boot built for multi-day backpacking. Its rival, on the other hand, is designed specifically for everyday trail hikes.

Price. The Renegade GTX Mid is cheaper than the Explorer GTX Mid by about $10.

Weight. In this regard, the competition takes the crown by being lighter than the Lowa Explorer GTX Mid by approximately 40 g.

Takeaway: Your intended adventure is the deciding factor here. Opt for the Explorer GTX Mid if your next trip is an arduous trek spanning several days. Otherwise, mow the trails with the Renegade GTX Mid.


How Lowa Explorer GTX Mid ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 37% hiking boots
All hiking boots
Bottom 26% Lowa hiking boots
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Bottom 36% backpacking hiking boots
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The current trend of Lowa Explorer GTX Mid.
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Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.