Monday, July 30, 2012

Gear Review - Vasque Ultradry Hiking Boots

Gear Review - Vasque Ultradry Boots

I was recently asked by the Vasque Company to gear test a pair of their new Talus Ultradry Hiking Boots.  I currently own a pair of Coleman boots and a pair of Ozark Trail boots, neither of which are waterproof.  The waterproof technology of the Vasque boots was going to be a huge plus for me.  I had recently been on a day long hike where we spent a great deal of time fording several streams and by the end of the day, my feet were a soaking wet, muddy, uncomfortable mess.  I was in serious need of some good waterproof boots.

From the Vasque website I am providing this information:

A heritage styled boot without the old-school weight.Underneath its classic shape, the Talus UD uses a polyurethane midsole with Vibram® outsole, and combines nubuck with mesh uppers for premium fit. Fully waterproof with an UltraDry™ membrane.  
  • Weight: 2lb. 2 oz. (974g)
  • Outsole: Vibram® Nuasi
  • Last: Perpetuum
  • Midsole: Molded PU

Straight out of the box I was impressed with how they looked - strong and sturdy, but yet lightweight.  Personally I prefer a high ankle on my boots and these have a nice high, padded collar.  A generous heel-pull afforded an easy grip while pulling them on.  Really a nice looking boot.  Plus they came with 2 pairs of laces - one set in brown and another in purple.  Of course I chose the purple ones!

The Vibram Nuasi outsole promised good traction on a wide variety of surfaces.  We'll see about that!

Since I was getting the boots without trying them on first, I was concerned about getting the proper fit.  I normally wear a size 6 shoe.  I also have a rather wide foot.  Figuring that I'd always have socks on with the boots and I dislike a tight fit, I opted for a size 6 1/2.  It turned out to be the wise choice.  The cushioned insole was comfortable and cushy.  The boots actually fit me like a glove!  You can't tell, but my toes are doing a happy dance!

When I told my sister that I was testing a pair of Vasque boots, this is the email I got from her in reply...  "When I worked at REI (in the 80's I think) I bought myself a pair of Vasque hiking boots that I have worn every year hiking. I still have them. I've since gotten a lighter weight pair of Vasques so I bring them both to Tennessee and switch off as my older pair come up higher around the ankle and sometimes you want that. I recently found another pair at a garage or rummage sale that happen to be my size so now I have 3 pair. I will not wear them out in my lifetime, Vasques are great shoes."  How's that for an unsolicited testimonial?  I couldn't wait to try them out!

We were getting ready to leave for vacation and I wanted to take the boots along.  Thinking that I should break them in a little before our trip, I wore them around town for several hours for a few days while I went shopping and ran errands.  I have to say, pretty comfortable and lightweight.  The only adjusting they needed was loosening and tightening the laces so the boots properly hugged my feet.  

I promised the folks at Vasque that I'd put the boots through the mill on a wide variety of activities.  Before we left on our trip we drove over to a nearby creek bed where I gingerly splashed around in the shallow water, testing the waterproofing.  So far so good....

The next test was on a hike that involved crossing a stream and then hiking up and down a trail and scrambling over some rocks and trees.....

So far I was really happy with the Vasque Boots and I was amazed that they didn't really seem to need that "breaking in" period.  They felt very comfortable and I never got a blister or had sore feet.

We left for our trip to Kentucky and I wore the boots every time we went outdoors.  I wore them horseback riding.....


Climbing on the bluffs.....


Testing them on a variety of terrain by the lake....

Walking on hard packed dirt.....

And of course....  hiking everywhere!

The day finally came to really put them to the test -the water test.  Ok, I'm ready....

Splashing around.....

Look how nicely the water beads up on the outside of the boots....

Look at how high the water level is here.  And guess what???  My feet were still completely dry!  

Then I had to get cocky, so I stepped further out into the water and just then a series of waves rolled up and over my ankles...  Well, just to keep it honest, I will tell you that then my feet got wet.  But you honestly cannot fault the boots for that.  No boot is going to keep water from running inside the top of the collar.  But I will show you this so you can see how the toes and bottom of my feet were still completely dry....

I feel that the waterproof boots performed beautifully.  The sock dampness you see is totally from the wave rolling over the top of the boots and I don't feel they can be faulted for that.  I think they delivered on the waterproofing as promised.  

Judging by the wide variety of activities, I also think the soles provided excellent traction.  The boots are comfortable, lightweight and durable.  And after 6 weeks of extensive testing and wear, I think they look great.  This photo was taken after I tried to drown them on the last day of testing....

Founded in 1965, Vasque takes its name in honor of Ft. Vasquez of Colorado.  Vasque has a long history of producing quality boots and shoes.  Whether your outdoor activity of choice is hiking, backpacking, or trail running I believe you’d be hard pressed to not find footwear to your liking in their product line.  They have an extensive variety of styles and colors for men, women and children.   If you’re even thinking of investing in a new pair of outdoor shoes or boots, I urge you to check out Vasque

In conclusion, I was very pleased with these boots.  I honestly don't know why I would ever wear another pair of boots again when I have these to slip on.  From a fashion viewpoint, I think they look great with hiking shorts or jeans.  They are crafted with the outdoors in mind and they are appropriate for a wide variety of activities.   These boots were made for walkin' baby!  See you on the trail!

I'd like to thank Vasque for giving me this opportunity to review the Ultradry boot.  These boots were given to me for free to review by Vasque.  I did not pay for the item, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information supplied from the company website, the opinions are my own.


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  1. Cue in the old Nancy Sinatra song -- "These boots are made for walkin'..."
    Sounds like you have a new fav pair!
    xo Cathy

  2. Glad you found a boot that works well for you. Finding the right boot can be quite the task. I wear Lowa boots for hiking (I'm on my third pair) and just love 'em. I also swear by Smartwool socks. I've worn them for hiking and skiing forever, and just recently discovered Smartwool socks for running.

    1. I need to check into some good hiking socks. Maybe I'll take a look at those. Thanks.

  3. You really put these boots through a test Kim! My son-in-law could use a pair for working in the rain.

    1. He should look at Vasque then. Lightweight, plus waterproof is a winning combination!

  4. It's possible salt water could have an adverse effect on the water-proofing. I would suggest they fly you to some where that you could give them a full range of water elements including SWFL salt water. Just sayin....

    1. :-) I couldn't agree more! Maybe like....Englewood while I'm looking for shark teeth and Cayo Costa while Capt. Brian is teaching me the finer points of looking for junonia's. Both would require extensive wading in salt water....

  5. Now that is some test....Is there anything that you did NOT do ? :) All those woods and water pictures are nice and cooling ....been a long hot summer! :)

    1. Well, I promised Vasque I'd test them thoroughly, so I hope I did a good job of that! Thanks for stopping by.


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