Following find my LTR for the Vasque boots. You will find the html
version in the test folder at the following link:
The text version of the LTR portion is below:
Long Term Report - September 1, 2009
I have had one extended opportunity to wear the boots since filing the
Field Report. This was a 3-day, 28 mile trip to Dolly Sods Wilderness
Area in West Virginia. This area is a breathtakingly beautiful, but
extremely rugged area of high meadows and hardwood forest. There were a
few steep sections but generally we were walking on relatively benign
grades. The difficulty comes however due to the rocky nature of the
This area is very rocky, making the footing tricky. Part of the trail
follows across rock outcroppings marked by cairns, and in other places
is a gravel path. Additionally, it is nearly always very wet and this
was aggravated by the fact that it had rained heavily for the entire
week before we arrived, and rained heavily for 6 straight hours on our
last morning there. This meant that trails that are normally rocky were
shallow streams, and trails that are normally soft dirt were
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 4" IMAGE CAPTION = "Rocky trail">>
Additionally, we negotiated several stream crossings by rock hopping,
but due to the rain, the rocks were under a few inches of water.
Thankfully, this time we were prepared with both rain pants and gaiters.
I have to say, the Vasque boots performed better than I expected. Even
though I was carrying a pack that weighed in at 24 lbs (11 kg) plus
water, the rocky footing did not particularly bother my feet. The
traction is excellent and I did not slip, even on rocky stream
crossings. The light weight and great traction was a very nice
combination in those areas in which we were navigating rocky
outcroppings. At the end of each day my feet were tired and slightly
more sore than I would have liked but certainly nothing excruciating.
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 5" IMAGE CAPTION = "Nice Stream,
Oh Wait, that's the trail">>
As for the waterproof properties of these boots I will say that they
are waterproof to a point. I was wearing gaiters constantly on this
trip. As long as we were just splashing through puddles or mudholes I
did not detect any water leakage in these boots. However, if we got
into an area where the lacing area of the boots was covered in water I
immediately felt leaks on the top of my foot. There are vents on either
side of the laces and I believe that the water is coming in at that
point. When I reached camp both nights, and the truck on the third day
I must say that my socks were wet. However, in terms of wet hiking
conditions these were truly extreme conditions.
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 9" IMAGE CAPTION = "Typical stream
After many miles of wear over 4 months time these boots look fine.
There is not the slightest hint of any stitching coming loose, soles
wearing out, or any other structural issues.
I have thoroughly enjoyed wearing the Vasque Breeze LT GTX boots. They
look and feel great with jeans as an active casual shoe. They are very
lightweight and comfortable when being used for dayhikes when wearing a
lightweight pack. They offer excellent traction and great ventilation.
They are also comfortable when carrying a full pack on wooded trails.
When they are truly tested by rocky and/or wet trails while carrying a
pack they are not, in my opinion, quite up to the task. When I end an 8
- 10 mile (13 - 16 km) day in these conditions I feel noticeable pain
and soreness in my feet. I also find that they are not adequately
waterproof in extremely wet conditions.
As stated previously, I believe that the claims made by the makers of
these boots are spot-on. They are an excellent compromise or crossover
product. If I were a trail runner they would probably be too heavy and
clunky for my taste. However, as a traditional backpacker they are
pleasingly comfortable but not quite up to the strenuous conditions I
sometimes hike in.
Here's what I like about them:
- They are extremely well ventilated
- They are light and comfortable
- They offer excellent traction in virtually any conditions
Here's what I don't like about them:
- They aren't thoroughly waterproof
- They don't offer as much protection in the soles as I prefer
I do want to say thanks to backpackgeartest and to Vasque for the
opportunity to test these boots.
This concludes my review. See you on the trail!
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