When it comes to hiking boots, choose wisely. You're sure to come across a massive array of brands and prices, but not all are equal. A pair of Vasque hiking boots will be vastly different than a pair of Hi-Tecs. After all, you don't want a cheap pair of boots that will soak your foot with the first puddle you step in. Or even worse, whose treads are slippery and dangerous to use on a wet trail.
You need to get a few things out of your hiking boots. Are they waterproof? A waterproof hiking boot is a must for any serious hiker or camper. Second, are they safe? That is, do the treads grab on to terrain, and are they non-slip? Third, are they durable and rugged? There's no point spending money on a boot if it's going to fall apart after one use. And finally, do they offer the same boots for both men and women? Everyone should be able to enjoy the same hiking experience. If your hiking boots don't offer all of these things, you could be wasting your money, or even putting your safety at risk!
What Are Vasque Hiking Boots?
Vasque Breeze III GTX Men's Boot
Women's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Boot
Before we looked at the actual boots Vasque produces, we checked out the company itself. Did you know that Vasque hiking boots have been helping people enjoy the outdoors since 1964? That's when William Sweasy started the company after spending some time in Europe, where mountaineering is all the rage. He saw the quality of French, Swiss, and Austrian hiking boots and wanted to bring that same quality home to America. During the early '60s, the outdoor lifestyle hadn't reached North America yet. Sweasy helped change that with Vasque hiking boots. The company gets its name from Sweasy's favorite town in the US: Fort Vasquez, Colorado.
Today, Vasque creates several lines of quality boots for all things outdoor. Of course, Red Wing Shoes now owns the brand. However, Vasque still operates as a semi-autonomous company, and you can see that in the craftsmanship of their hiking boots.
What sets them apart?
Image from Pixabay
What sets Vasque hiking boots apart from the others is their tradition of recreating the handmade mountain boots of the Alps. There's a certain vintage appeal to Vasque hiking boots that you don't see in many other brands. They don't try to look modern. For instance, you won't find any Gore-Tex in a Vasque hiking boot, but you will find genuine leather and rugged assembly. Also, just because Vasque harks back to a different time doesn't mean they don't embrace modern technology. Vasque hiking boots use modern materials and machines to make waterproof, rugged boots. So what really sets Vasque hiking boots apart is their heritage.
How We Reviewed
When we set out to review Vasque hiking boots, we wanted to make sure we were able to give you enough information to make an informed buying decision. So we delved into as much information about Vasque as we could. We learned the company history, and we checked out several of their most popular lines of hiking boots. Then, we read through customer reviews on Amazon to get an idea of how these boots hold up in the real world.
Finally, we compared Vasque hiking boots to a few of the biggest hiking boot brands you're sure to come across. These include Columbia and Timberland hiking boots.
The Vasque Hiking Boots Line
Because Vasque produces several lines of hiking boots, we reviewed a few of their most popular. One thing we love about Vasque hiking boots is that the same lines are available for both men and women.
4.2 out of 5 stars
The first Vasque hiking boots we checked out were the Breeze 2 and Breeze III line. The Breeze hiking boots are immensely popular. Although they are assembled in America, the materials are imported. This includes the leather. The Vasque Breeze boots feature breathable mesh panels held together by a sturdy leather frame. These boots are great for arid climates. Also, the Breeze boots come with patented "Vibram" mega-grip, so your foot can always get a good hold on the surface. Both the women's boots and the men's boots cost between $100 and $150.
Amazon customers gave the Breeze line 4.2 out of 5.0 stars. Almost everyone raved about the amazing treads on these boots, with one man calling them "like glue." The only complaints were from men, who found the shoes a little too snug.
4.4 out of 5 stars
Where the Breeze boots were breathable, if you want waterproof boots the Talus line is what you want. Vasque calls them "Ultradry." These boots feature thick cushioning for extreme comfort, wrapped in a leather and synthetic boot. They have a Vibram outsole for superior grip. These are smaller boots and end just above the ankle. This makes them feel more like you're wearing a comfortable pair of jogging shoes and not big, clunky hiking boots. Thanks to this design, you're more easily able to spring along the terrain while being close to mother nature. The men's boots and the women's boots will cost you between $80 and $200.
On Amazon, customers gave them 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. Almost everyone praised the great ankle support the Talus boots offer. One woman said that she spent 6 hours hiking in the snow and mud, and her feet stayed dry. Once again, many men complained that the boots were too small and that the sizing is innaccurate.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Although the Talus line of hiking boots do a good job keeping your feet waterproof, they're ultimately not designed for serious winter hiking. Those who hike in colder climates, whether that be Minnesota, Maine, Canada, or even Alaska, will want a set of Vasque hiking boots like the Snowblime. These snow boots feature a tall shaft which is 6 inches above the arch, so no snow is getting down there. A thick rubber sole locks out all the water. Also, the entire interior is kept warm by 3M "thinsulate." Women and men can expect to pay between $110 and $150 for these Vasque hiking boots.
Customers gave them 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Everyone said that the boots keep their feet very warm, with one guy writing that even at -4F, his feet stayed cozy and dry. Again, like all the other Vasque hiking boots, many men found that the boots were too small for their feet.
Pros and Cons of Vasque Hiking Boots
If Vasque hiking boots are the best boots for you, then we would certainly recommend them. Of course, no hiking boot is perfect. Despite all the great things about Vasque hiking boots, and all the glowing reviews, they have their share of problems.
How Do They Compare?
The last step in determining if these are the best hiking boots for you is to compare them against the competition. For this, we looked at Columbia, Timberland, and Hi-Tec, the three biggest boot-makers on the market. Are Vasque hiking boots better than any of these? We took a look.
4.4 out of 5 stars
The first hiking boots we compared Vasque hiking boots to were the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus. Like Vasque hiking boots, Columbia produces the same line of boots for both men and women. Columbia hails from Beaverton, Oregon. These guys know mountains and wet northwest Pacific trails. These particular boots are waterproof and consist of a leather-synthetic mix. They have a rubber sole compression-molded EVA foam in the interior. You can wear these boots in moderately-cold weather, although they won't keep you as warm as the Vasque Snowblime boots. Whether you're a man or a woman, expect to pay between $50 and $90.
On Amazon, customers gave the Newton Ridge Plus' 4.4 out of 5.0 stars, citing how dry they keep your feet. Almost every woman was in love with these boots, saying they are comfortable and grippy and waterproof. However, quite a few men had problems with the width of the boots, which they said were constricting and uncomfortable.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Next up is Timberland's most popular hiking boot, the Mount Maddsen. Timberland, from Boston, created the Mount Maddsen hiking boot two decades ago and the line is still going strong. This boot is rugged. Timberland made it for hiking the Appalachians, Rockies, and Cascades. A rubber sole keeps feet dry and the boot safe from slippage. Because they only come up to just above the ankle, you won't want to wear these in the snow. Also, they're not insulated so cold weather isn't an option. Both the men's boot and the women's boot costs between $70 and $120.
Meanwhile, customers on Amazon gave the Mount Maddsen 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. Customers reported that the Timberlands are waterproof and extremely rugged. One Scout leader wrote that for six days he would put them on at seven in the morning and take them off at midnight. His feet were dry and comfortable the entire time! On the other hand, people reported that the sizes are off and the boots are too tight.
4.4 out of 5 stars
Next is England's own sports supplier, Hi-Tec, and their Skamania line of waterproof hiking boots. These come in sizes for both men and women. Unlike other footwear manufacturers, Hi-Tec remains independently owned while almost all of their production happens in England. The Skamania line of hiking boots are mid-rise, so they'll come up to your ankles. These aren't meant for wet or snowy conditions. The shoe itself is a mix of mesh and suede, while the sole is rubberized. The mesh allows your feet to breathe while the inner lining keeps everything dry. The women's boot costs between $35 and $100, while the men's boot costs between $40 and $130.
Customers on Amazon gave the boots 3.9 out of 5.0 stars. Almost everyone praised the comfort these boots provide. People said they are effectively waterproof and the cushioning inside is soft to walk on. One woman wrote that her feet didn't slide around inside the boots because they were a perfect fit. A few customers complained that the shoelace rings started to rust and sometimes break off.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Lastly, we took a look at the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX hiking boots for both men and women. Salomon is a French company who began producing sports equipment shortly after World War II, in 1947. However, in 2005 Amer Sports, from Finland, bought the brand. Regardless of who owns the company, Salomon is known for outdoor equipment. The X Ultra line is one of their best hiking boots, and the "X Ultra 3 GTX" is the newest of the line. The boot is leather and synthetic, while the sole is rubber. Salomon designed a "sensifit" system so feet are held in place by soft foam cushioning all around. This makes it easier to go downhill. Finally, they used two different types of rubber to provide ultimate grip. Both the men's boots and the women's boots cost between $120 and $200.
On Amazon, customers gave the Salomons 4.3 out of 5.0 stars, with many praising the lightweight feel of these boots. One woman wrote that she loves her feet and wants to keep them cute, and the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX does that perfectly. Both men and women wrote that these hiking boots keep your feet cool, have a great grip, and fit comfortably. However, many people complained that the boots caused blistering around the ankles and that the ankle support is lacking.
Which Hiking Boots Are Best For You?
Because Vasque hiking boots have so much competition in a crowded market, they need to concentrate on quality. They do this exceptionally well, and in our research, we noticed that Vasque hiking boots consistently garnered higher customer ratings than the other brands. Also, Vasque hiking boots come in a variety of flavors for all different types of trails. So, whether you're hiking through the Sierra Nevada or camping in the snow of northern Alberta, Vasque has a pair of boots for you.
Which is why we can recommend a pair of Vasque hiking boots for you. We think these are the best boots for almost anyone, although Salomon runs a close second. The only problem we don't like about Vasque is the sizing issue. In fact, we found that all of the companies who outsourced their production to China had problems with proper sizing. On the other hand, the two European brands, Hi-Tec and Salomon, were praised for their perfect-fits. This may or may not be an issue for you. It seems that men experience size problems with boots being too small more than women do, so take that into consideration.
All in all, if you go with Vasque hiking boots, you won't be disappointed!