Confession: I was a shoe salesman’s worst nightmare. The routine went something like this: I’d decide on a particular boot brand and model by looking online and then drive my flat, wide feet to a local retailer to try on the sizes 9.5D, 9.5EE, 10D and 10EE.
After choosing the size that fit best (usually 10D), I’d politely ask the salesman to re-visit the stock room and retrieve four to six additional pairs of 10Ds in the same model. I’d then try on each pair of 10Ds, walking around the store to get a feel for the fit. Next, I’d mix and match the best-fitting “right” and “left” 10Ds from one box to another. I did this repackaging long after the salesman had given up on me.
I jumped through these hoops because I have tough-to-please feet. Specifically, I have trouble with certain brands/styles of non-insulated leather boots that collapse around the ankle area after a bit of use. These folds in the leather attack my feet with each step, causing nasty ankle blisters.
If you share my pain, I recommend checking out the hiking/hunting boots from LOWA. My everyday shoe is the company’s Renegade GTX Lo, a Gore-Tex-lined low-cut leather hiker I wear to the office, church, grocery store—even the turkey blind. When I need waterproof protection in a mid-height boot, I switch to the Renegade GTX Mid.
But don’t take my word for it: Click here to see how hundreds of Amazon customers feel about the Renegade GTX Mid. At the time I wrote this article, nearly 300 Amazon customers had taken the time to review these hikers, and the average score was 4.5 out of 5 stars!
My LOWA Renegades have stood up to a lot of abuse without succumbing to the dreaded ankle collapse of many other footwear brands, and their sizing is very consistent, too. Thankfully, my days of harassing the local shoe salesman are in the past.
P.S. I laid on the kitchen floor last night to get the smartphone photo below. Even though I knew I'd get covered in yellow Lab hair, I wanted you to see the tread design on the Renegades. On any surface the grip is outstanding.