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"OWNER REVIEW" for Vasque Switchback GTX Hiking Boots

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  • Nolan Bybee
    Vasque Switchback GTX Hiking Boots BY NOLAN BYBEE October 27, 2008 TESTER INFORMATION NAME: Nolan Bybee EMAIL: y_u_succeed@ yahoo.com AGE: 33 LOCATION:
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 31, 2008
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      Vasque Switchback GTX Hiking Boots

      October 27, 2008


      NAME: Nolan Bybee
      EMAIL: y_u_succeed@ yahoo.com
      AGE: 33
      LOCATION: Rexburg, Idaho
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
      WEIGHT: 140 lb (63.50 kg)

      I got interested in backpacking fifteen years ago, when I was a Boy Scout.
      Ten years ago I became a lot more proactive once I was able to start buy
      gear of my own. I live in South Eastern Idaho, which is a high desert with
      near by mountain areas, although I have hiked in most of the Western
      States. I generally go on day and overnight hikes as often as time permits
      and I will try to do one longer week long trip each year.


      Manufacturer: Vasque
      Year of Manufacture: 2007
      Manufacturer' s Website: http://www.vasque com
      MSRP: US$ 160
      Listed Weight: 2.5 lb (1049 g)
      Measured Weight: 2.7 oz (1106 g)
      Test Size: 8 US Men's

      Other details:
      Color: Chocolate/Cinder
      Upper: 2.0mm Waterproof Nubuck Leather
      Upper: Airmesh Nylon Fabric
      Midsole: Molded EVA
      Plate: TPU Plate
      Outsole: Vibram Contact
      Lining: 3-Bar Knit Nylon
      Footbed: Dual Density EVA
      Other: Strobel Construction


      Any avid backpacker would probably agree the the single most important
      backpacking investment would be the boots that you buy.

      I purchased these boots in summer of 2007, due to my Salomon's wearing
      out. I was reluctant at first to buy them, due to the fact that the laces
      were laced through fabric eyelets and I wasn't quite sure how durable this
      would be. My younger brother and backpacking partner had purchased a pair
      earlier in the year and highly recommended them to me, so upon his
      recommendation I made the purchase. I have used these boots for hiking in
      rock, gravel, grass, marshy and sandy areas. (I do not recommend using for
      sandy areas, because the sand gets into the layers of the boots through the
      mesh in the tongue and the top of the ankle support. It was quite a pain
      trying to get the sand out.)

      Braking these boots in was a breeze. I wore them off and on for two weeks
      before I took them out on any trails and I was quite pleased with how well
      they formed to my feet during that time. One thing I like to do is where a
      good pair of merino wool hiking socks with some thin nylon liners.

      These boots have made it to the top of Mt. Whitney, CA; Boundry Peak, NV;
      and Table Mountain, WY and several shorter and not as well known hikes.

      Mt. Whitney tested their endurance. This hike is about 22 miles round trip
      with an elevation gain of over 6,100 feet of pure rock. I was carrying
      around 55 lbs in my pack for part of the trip, due to my brother twisting
      his knee so we shifted some of the things in his pack into mine. I was
      amazed that with all the rock we stepped on that not once did my feet start
      to ache. In the past I couldn't wait to get to camp to take my boots off,
      but this was one of the first times I actually just left them on as I
      wondered around camp. Even the extra wait of my pack didn't create any
      extra pressure or wear on my feet. The tips of the toes are quite hard so
      when I would do my occasional stumble because I didn't pick up my feet as I
      would kick a rock I didn't really even notice it. I was worried about the
      tips of the boots coming loose where the soul meets the leather, but it held
      up just fine. In the past this has been one of the first things I had
      to repair. The tips are made of leather which was able to withstand the
      granite as it scraped along the tips. There were a couple of times we went
      down to the lakes and streams to get water when my boots got wet, but they
      repelled the water very effectively and kept my feet dry.

      Boundry Peak is a little different type of hiking. Much of it is in slick
      shell and dirt. As we passed through the sage brush and into the shell I
      became concerned that I wouldn't be able to keep my traction or little
      pieces of rocks and dirt would get into my boots, but neither were a
      problem. The ankle support fits so snuggly that nothing of any consequence
      ever got inside of my boots. The soles gripped the dirt and rock such that
      I had very few times that I felt that I was sliding around. The trail (if
      you can call it that) basically just heads straight up the hill, so coming
      down has created problems for me in the past due to my feet sliding to the
      front of my boot were my toes are smashed against the front of my boots.
      This didn't happen this time. The laces remained firm and the ankle support
      kept my foot positioned just right to prevent any problems from happening.
      The last mile or so of this hike is pretty flat, so my brother and
      I decided to run this part. Usually, when trying to run in boots I have
      found that it is more difficult then running is shoes, but due to the
      lightness of these boots I didn't notice much difference from running in
      them and running in my running shoes. These boots provide an great amount
      of ankle support (even when running down steep trails).

      Table Mountain is located just to the West of the famous Grand Teton in
      Wyoming. This is about a 12 mile round trip hike with many side trails that
      will lead you into some of the prettiest country you will ever see. This
      hike brought a new test for these boots. Off to one side of Table Mountain
      is a glacier that many people will go and play on after they reach the
      summit. As I walk around on the glacier I found that these boots did quiet
      well and keeping traction in the snow and mud, but I didn't feel the gripped
      as well as they did in the rocks. They kept my feet warm for the most part,
      but I could tell that if we would have stayed much longer my feet would have
      gotten cold. The mud didn't get all caught up in the traction of the boots
      like some I have had. I once again tested the boots ability to support my
      ankles and feet by going down the face, which is a much steeper trail than
      the usual trail. Once again my feet did fine. I
      haven't ever had to use mole skin or even worry about hot spots occurring.


      I have had these boots for over a year and I have put many, many miles on
      them. Overall I have really enjoyed using these boots. They are durable
      and treat my feet just right. The sole is soft and absorbs a lot of the
      shock of stepping on rocks and sticks. I have never had to worry about
      needing to pull out the old mole skin, although I still carry it just in
      case. I have been quite please with these boots. I know I will need to
      continue to wear them to test there ability to hold up, but so far so good.


      1. Hard toe. I have kicked plenty rocks while scrambling up the rough
      2. Light weight.
      3. Once I lace them up I don't have to keep adjusting the laces.
      4. The traction is amazing. I have had boots in the past where I slide
      around a lot, but with these I haven't had any troubles in the year I have
      owned them.
      5. Gore-tex. This is one thing I always look for when I am buying boots.
      6. Comfort. With my last boots I had to buy extra sole inserts because I
      could feel the rocks through the boots, but these have an amazing sole. I
      don't have to worry about my feet hurting after a nice long hike. With
      other boots my little toe seems to always be rubbed raw, but with this I
      have never had to put any mole skin on or worry about that two getting
      7. They keep their form. I can stick them in my pack while I am traveling
      to my destination and when I get their I will take them out and they will
      8. The amount of ankle support that is provided.
      9. They look nice. I feel I can wear them hike and they are still nice
      enough to where at other informal gatherings without me feeling I am wearing
      hiking boots.


      1. I was quite worried when I bought these that they didn't have metal
      eyelets for the laces. They are cloth and I thought they would tear out,
      but I haven't had any problems with them. I still fear they will tear
      2. The tip of the toe where the soul meets the leather has never seemed to
      be attached very well. They haven't came apart, but I fear that they will.
      This seems to be a problem with every pair of boots I have worn.
      3. The tonge is partially made of mesh. While hiking in a somewhat sandy
      area I found that sand would get tonguethe mesh in the tonge and go
      throughout the boot. It took me quite some time to get most of the sand out
      of the layetongue the sides of the boot. If you will be hiking in sand or
      dusty areas I wouldn't recommend this boot.


      Nolan Bybee

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jamie D.
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 5, 2008
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        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner
        Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. If you
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      • Jamie D.
        AB - Nolan Bybee(M)(1) - Vasque Switchback GTX Hiking Boots - Posted Oct 31(msg#76707), Taken Nov 11, Edit Nov 11(76736), Follow up Dec 12, Hi Nolan, Following
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 12, 2008
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          AB - Nolan Bybee(M)(1) - Vasque Switchback GTX Hiking Boots - Posted
          Oct 31(msg#76707), Taken Nov 11, Edit Nov 11(76736), Follow up Dec

          Hi Nolan,
          Following a review of our Owner Review queue at BackpackGearTest.org
          I noticed you have not responded to the Edit notice given for the
          above Owner's Review, which was posted by Andrew back on November
          11. Please refer to message number 76736 at

          We are here to help so please don't hesitate to ask if there is
          something we can assist you with so you can complete your Owner

          Please let me know how you wish to proceed with this review so I can
          inform your editor and update the queue.

          Jamie DeBenedetto
          Edit Administration Manager
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