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OR - Vasque Kota boots - Ray Estrella

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  • rayestrella1
    Hi gang, Here is an OR for you red pens. HTML may be found here; http://tinyurl.com/5lpon5 Thanks, Ray Vasque Kota Mid boots By Raymond Estrella OWNER REVIEW
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 29, 2008
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      Hi gang,

      Here is an OR for you red pens. HTML may be found here;

      http://tinyurl.com/5lpon5

      Thanks,

      Ray

      Vasque Kota Mid boots
      By Raymond Estrella
      OWNER REVIEW
      November 29, 2008
      TESTER INFORMATION
      NAME: Raymond Estrella
      EMAIL: rayestrellaAThotmailDOTcom
      AGE: 48
      LOCATION: Orange County, California, USA
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
      WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)
      I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in
      many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and
      average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to
      lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike
      hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a
      freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I
      am usually with my wife Jenn or brother-in-law Dave.
      The Product
      Manufacturer: Vasque
      Web site: www.vasque.com
      Product: Kota Mid
      Year manufactured/received: 2008
      MSRP: US $130.00
      Size: Men's 11 (US)
      Weight listed: N/A
      Actual weight of reviewed boots: 2 lb 8.8 oz (1.16 kg)
      Color reviewed: Graphite/Green

      Product Description
      The Vasque Kota Mid boots (hereafter reffered to as the Kotas or the
      boots) are boots that Vasque describes as, "Multisport shoe meet's day
      hiker". While they position them for use between a trail runner and up
      to day hiking, as you will see I use them for multi-day backpacking as
      well.

      As the name implies the Kotas are mid height hiking boots. They stand
      5.5 in (14 cm) high. The uppers are made of 1.8mm waterproof Nubuck
      and pig suede leather. It is very soft and has remained so during the
      course of my use.


      The ankle cuff has excellent padding. What is different is that the
      padding extends down into the boot further than I would think by
      looking at the green fabric covering the cuff. The cuff runs at an
      angle down towards the back of the boot, but it swoops up right over
      the heel where it has a very shallow divot at the back center to allow
      some relief for the Achilles tendon. It has an excellent pull loop at
      the back that I have no problem getting my beat-up fingers through.

      The padded tongue has a short wing of material to help keep debris
      out, but as the sides wrap around it quite well it was not a problem.
      It does not have a lace loop on it, but again as it was held so well
      by the sides it too was never missed.

      The round nylon laces run through four pairs of nylon loops, then
      through a pair of plastic D-rings that are attached to the small
      straps that make up the Keystone Control System. This is a nylon strap
      that runs in a V pattern from the bottom of the boots up to a spot
      just about where my ankle starts. As the laces are tightened it pulls
      the sides of the boot in closer to my foot to give added support and
      stability. Above this D-ring the laces run through two pairs of
      regular metal ringed eyes.

      The Kotas come with some very thin insoles that are ridged to give
      added cushioning.


      The outsole system is what Vasque calls Racer X. They say that the,
      "Cleat-inspired lugs provide exceptional off-road traction. Stealth
      rubber version offers superior friction."

      "Compression molded EVA midsole is reinforced in the heel with the
      ExoTec fabric & TPU wrap. TPU plate delivers underfoot protection and
      enhanced rearfoot support."

      My Kota Mids do not have the Stealth rubber version.

      Field Data

      I wore them for the first time on a two-day 11 mi (18 km) trip to the
      top of Mt San Jacinto by way of the Marion Mountain Trail. I spent the
      night in Little Round Valley. This little break-in hike gained over
      4400 ft (1340 m) in 5.5 miles (8.9 km) over rough trails in temps
      reached 81 F (27 C) carrying a pack that topped 37 lb (16.8 kg).
      Welcome to Ray's world Kotas…

      The next weekend I took Jenn to the same place, but we made a three-
      day trip out of it, stopping the first day at Little Round Valley
      where we made a base camp. Temps ranged from 54 to 81 F (12 to 27
      C).Total miles for the weekend was around 14, or 22 km for my metric
      friends.

      Next was two days in Yosemite National Park for a very hot and hard 44
      miles (71 km) in temps up to 84 F (29 C) with 7790 ft (2374 m) of gain
      carrying a 36 lb (16.3 kg) pack.

      I wore them on a 23.2 mile (37.4 km) hike in San Gorgonio Wilderness
      to Mt San Gorgonio via the Dollar Lake trail. This hike starts at 6680
      ft (2040 m) and goes to the summit at 11500 ft (3505 m) elevation. It
      is a very rough trail with a lot of loose rock and scree in places.
      The trail had a lot of ice in it above 10000 ft (3050 m). The
      temperatures only went from 45 to 31 F (7 to -1 C). The picture above
      is at the highest rock on the peak. Getting' high…

      Next Jenn and I went to the Ortega Candy Store trailhead and did the
      Bear Canyon/Bear Ridge loop in the San Mateo Wilderness. 6.8 miles (11
      km) in temps to about 80 F (27 C) on up and down trails that were
      either sandy or rocky. We had 1100 ft (335 m) of elevation gain and
      loss. Below is a picture from this trip, I am on a rock pretending
      that I am high…

      Lastly Dave and I went 27 miles (43 km) on the PCT from Green Valley
      to Vasquez Rocks This hike saw 5000 ft (1525 m) of gain as we went
      over three passes in temperatures that hit 70 F (21 C). The terrain
      was either dirt, scree or rock.

      Observations

      I have owned a couple pairs of Vasque boots in the past and had to
      stop using them as the last that they built their boots on was just
      too narrow at the front of the foot for me. While my foot is narrow at
      the back and middle (along with high arches) at the front my feet are
      wide and low. Think of a duck, give it a backpack and point it at a
      peak. Now you have Ray…

      I got a pair of Vasque trail runners that fit great. That made me
      decide it was time to try their boots again. The result is here with
      the Kota.

      While the boots fit better I do have to say that they are still
      tighter than I like. I bought the same size as my Velocity trail
      runners but they fit tight enough that I was forced to wear a mid
      weight sock with them. Almost all use was with Teko EcoMerino mid
      weight hikers, and as at first I only had one pair of them (I bought
      another pair in the middle of this review period) I also used REI
      Merino wool mid weight socks on a couple trips. Half the trips
      included Fox River X-Static liner socks under the wool socks.

      I only got to put 127 miles on the Vasque Kota Mids because I tested a
      pair of boots during the time I could use them, and I needed to take
      some full height boots on my longest trip of the year. But the
      distance I did put on them was very steep and rough with some big days
      and a lot of gnarly climbing. Like dog years are factored at 7 to 1, I
      think that my footwear should be factored in Ray miles…

      Here is what I think of the Kota MIds.

      The comfort out of the box was great. I did not give these any break-
      in time what so ever starting off with them on a short distance hike
      with killer altitude gain on a rough trail. And I was carrying a lot
      of weight for me. And I repeated it the next weekend with my wife
      carrying even more weight.

      Yet I had zero problems with the boots. I did not get any blisters.
      Nor did I for the rest of the trips but one.

      On a trip in Yosemite a changed trail led to some extra distance that
      I did not plan on. Then when I got to the river that I planned to stop
      at I found that it was dry. I was forced to put in a 30 mile (49 km)
      day to get to water. I started feeling a hot spot develop at about the
      24 mile (39 km) mark but waited a bit longer to do something about is
      as I am eternally optimistic…

      I stopped and changed into fresh socks and put some moleskin on the
      forming blister. By the time I got in to White Wolf I had a huge
      blister on the bottom of my foot, an area I do not normally get them.
      I do not fault the Kotas as I went much farther with more weight than
      they were ever made to be used for. I should have attended it sooner.

      While they are not touted as being waterproof I was impressed by how
      well they did. I had to make a conscious effort not to walk in creeks
      as I normally blast through. But on one crossing that I slipped off a
      very slick rock I caght my self on another that still was 4 in (10 cm)
      under water. Then as I hightailed it across I stepped in more as I
      figured what the heck, I am already going to be changing sock. My
      brother-in-law Dave who hikes in shoes and is very careful at crossing
      said, "Bummer". But when I got to the other side I did not have a bit
      of water inside that I could feel. After that I tried it a couple
      other times just to see and again I had no leaking. I did not stand in
      the water though.

      The boots breathe quite well, but not as good as models that employ
      more mesh. Yet they sure kept my feet cleaner than the high mesh
      content models. I never experienced the dreaded cheese foot effect. No
      smelly feet at all even on the longest, hottest days.

      While my boots do not have the Stealth Rubber with the Racer X soles
      they were still some of the best gripping boots I have used. And the
      wet traction has been excellent. (Slimy river rocks excluded…)

      The stability has been very good too. The Keystone Control System
      seems to do a good job of pulling the sides in tight to my feet. I had
      no sprained ankles while using the Kotas. Yeah!


      The quality of construction and durability has been very good. The
      uppers are still in good shape. But the good traction has a trade-off
      in sole longevity, at least on the terrain I frequent. They are
      wearing quite fast. As the picture here shows the lugs are wearing
      fast, especially at the front as all the climbing I do puts a lot of
      pressure on this area. Again, I doubt that Vasque had crazy guys like
      me in mind when they made this, yet it works well for what I do
      anyway.

      The insoles leave a lot to be desired. On long days or when I would
      get into scree fields my feet would feel every rock. The only reason I
      did not put an after market pair of insoles in was I did not have any
      thin enough to fit without wrecking the fit of the boots for me.

      One thing I would like to see different is the two boot lace eyes at
      the top. I would like to see these changed to hooks to make it easier
      to put them on and take them off. This was the only thing that I did
      not like about the Kotas. I can live with or fix anything else.

      Winter is here and it is time for the Kotas to go away. Maybe next
      year there will an improved version that will make this an even better
      light weight comfortable hiking boot. I leave with a pic of the Kotas
      taking me up the trail near the Marion Mountain/Deer Springs junction
      on the way to Mount San Jacinto.
    • 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 2 , Dec 8, 2008
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

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