View Full Version : Does anyone know anything about Vasque?
I was wondering if anyone out there in cyberspace (or on the trail) knows anything about the hiking boot manufacturer Vasque? Particularly I am curious about how their boots hold up, warranty info, and is the company hiker friendly when it comes to dealing with them beyond the initial purchase. Thanks in advance, any information would be helpful.:)
Lots of people use their lightweight boots on the AT. Perhaps more common than trailrunners or trailshoes. One reason is that Campmor carries Vasque boots, sometimes with hefty discounts. Durability seems to be good. On the mountaineering side, I don't think anyone uses their boots for anything serious. If you do not want to make the jump to trailrunners, the lightweight Vasques might be the right thing for you.
Vasque has been making some of their boots in Asia recently. I've heard these Asian-made boots are a piece of crap compared to the standard Italian-made. Make sure to look inside the boot for the Made in Italy stamp before you buy.
I just went to campmor(retail store) yesturday and bought a pair of Vasque Ranger GTX boots. Yes, i would have prefered the Nimbus, but other factors pushed me to get the Ranger. I have owned 2 pairs of vasques in the past, an all around great company. The one thing i dont like is their shoelaces. They ALWAYS come either untied or very loose after about an hour of hiking. So either triple knot your shoes or get new laces (i chose the latter).
I have the Clarion GTX (and am about to retire them lol).
Great boots. All the leather is durable but soaks up water. Remember to double-knot :D...
I have noticed some issues with wet-rocks though. A little too-much tread, the pattern could definetly use some more contact points. Superb in mud.
I also have a pair of Clarion GTX that fit my feet beautifully. They seem to be wearing well, although I probably only have about 300 miles on them so far. I agree that you will need to double-knot the shoelaces.
I used a pair of Clarion for 1000 miles when I thru-hiked in 99. They fit my feet well, and I never had a problem with them at all. If I had not gone to Trail Runners, I would probably still be buying and using the Clarion or another model Vasque since I had such service from that pair. However, since I have switched to trail runners, I now only use the Montrail Vitesse, which are much lighter and great for me.
Just my 2 cents....
I bought a pair of Vasque Rangers for my thru hike last year. In Gatlinburg, I noticed the toe becoming unglued. The outfitter in Gatlinburg called Vasque for a replacement. They asked "where do you want them sent?" Bottom line is I got a new pair and they didnt want the old ones back. I glued the toe on the old pair. They made it to Harpers Ferry and then I put on the warranted pair and they went to Katahdin. All in all,I had very good luck with Vasque.
Vasque is a pretty good company to deal with...although years ago they stopped hooking up thru-hikers due to many people giving them bull**** claims, but from my experience they are a good company towards long distance hikers.
I personally haven't had much luck with their boots however, I had a pair of Clarions years ago and the heelcup blew out halfway through the Long Trail...the stiching was shot and I had to replace them. At the time the boots were about a year old.
Regarding the Italian issue...not too many boots are still made there, always check the label!
Use flat shoelaces to avoid your laces for unknoting.
Vasque Sundowners are the only boots Seiko (30,000+ AT miles) will wear.
My car has 155,000 miles on it. I only put Bridgestone tires on my car. Don't be daft and put Goodyears on yours.
Shoes are a tricky thing. I like the goodyear/Bridgestone reference, and I guess I am just going to spell it out in painful detail, rather than a smart quib.
Footwear is specific to YOUR feet. Each manufacture (for better or worse) tends to make a shoe for only ONE type of foot. All the differenly models tend to be built on one last (foot shape). So all Montrails will fit your feet essentially the same. If you have a wide forefoot and a narrow heel, no Montrail will fit your foot right, no matter how many different models you try on. There may be a few exceptions to this, but I don't know any.
However, New Balance is very popular, and the reason is that they come in widths. If you compare your feet to other people's feet, it's not all about width and length (KEEP YOUR MINDS OUT OF THE GUTTER!). There are very different shapes. So, if you want to find the ideal shoe, you have to find the one that is modeled on a last that looks most like your foot. And there are other things than just lasts that determined the fit, but the last seems to be the largest one...
The questions is, how do you do this? It seems like the running world has figured this out pretty well, and so if you go into a really reputable running store, they will take one look at your feet and say, "your a *BRAND NAME*" foot. Unforunately outfitters haven't seemed to figure this out yet. They know how to fit the length but they have little idea what width will fit, and very few will suggest a particular manufacturer for your foot shape.
So, if you want to find the right shoe, first, forget about brand names as far as how they treat people. Only think of them as a guide to how they will fit your feet. Go to a speciatly running store. Tell them you are trying to figure out what kind of shoe will fit your feet. Try on the shoes they suggest, and remember how they feel. Find the ones that feel good on your heels, have enough room in the toe box, and general feel right. Then try to apply that to the different boots/trail runners you try on. You might get lucky.
We gave up on trying to find boots that fit our feet. The running work has it all figured out, so we just go with running shoes. We don't even use trail runners, as they tend to lose all the cushioning that we find we need. Sure, the traction sucks on wet rocks and in the mud, but that's a compomise we are willing to live with so that our feet stay happy.
Well, that's my rant. Take it for what it is worth...
Chill, it was only a reference to the durabilty of the boot and the character of the company, whom are you calling daft anyways?
Gravityman is right on, almost. The most important thing is fit. Figure out what fits your foot, not what is popular to wear. And every manufacturer's boot fits differently.
However, having said that, I have gotten good mileage, like about 1/2 the trail, out of some boots, including Lowas, and very few miles (like less than a day) out of others, such as solomon. Now, I don't know if that was because I was rough on the shoe, or the shoe had a defect, or the trail was tough.
I've actually been wearing Teva Guide Wraptors as of late. Use Seal Skinz when it's cold, and a pair of Smart Wools when it's cool. Lighter than most trail-runners, feet stay dry, great in camp, great for stream crossings, great for rocky areas, they suck when hiking in dense undergrowth (such as trail diversions due to natures call...).
I'm using them on a 120mi hike later next week.
A couple of people have sworn that they have hiked the whole AT in one pair of Vasques. Others claim that they are too fragile and will break up after a few hundred miles. I personally can not fit into them securely.
Many hikers are very happy with the company's service and buy Vasques just for that.
Vasque boots are made by the RED WING Boot Co....so U know they arent going outta biz anytime soon.
My VASQUE MX-2 SUNDOWNERS are the best boots i've ever owned.
a bit heavy...but with almost 1000 trail miles on 'em...the tread is still "like new" & the upper leather has the usual scuffs & scars, but nothing "leather care" lotion & a bit of polishing wont take care of....
i hear the company is "hiker friendly" but, havent needed to call them to find out.
I also have a pair of these and I agree with everything Jaybird said.
It's been a great boot. I've had these for about 2 years and can only guess at the milage, 500 miles maybe?.
The tread hardly looks worn. They must use a harder compound or rubber in the soles than the Clarion, which I also had. The Clarion had more traction on wet rocks but wore faster. I guess sorta like car tires. The softer the rubber, the better the grip but the faster they wear.
Mine are Gortex and do seam to stay pretty dry,even when getting drinched going thru water they dry out pretty quick.
I have never cleaned them or oiled them or anything. Maybe put the garden hose on them every now and then. The leather looks likes crap but they handle and feel like the day I bought them.
Be sure you have them fitted right. Don't listen to the kid who just start working yesterday try to tell you that they fit. Make sure there's room to slide you finger behind your heel. I got maybe a size bigger and in narrow.
I'm not a shoe expert, but I think you would have a hard time finding someone who's owned a pair of these to give a bad report.
In the 3 seasons, I have been wearing Sundowners exclusively for years, and they are great.
I got some Vasque leather mountaineering boots so I could use my step-in crampons on winter day hikes when plastics were overkill. When the rubber-leather join started pulling apart after a couple of hikes and drying them (maybe too close) with the car heater, I posted an inquiry on a site like this, to the effect of "is this unusual, how should I fix it?". The next thing I knew I was being contacted by Vasque and brand new boots were on the way. The customer service response (particularly considering I hadn't even inquired yet) was beyond belief. Vasque rocks in my book.
I have also been very pleased with my Vasque MX-2 Sundowner boots. I thought the boots definitely required some break-in time. But, now that they are softened a little, I really enjoy them. I also wear them (with wool socks) as my winter boots here in Chicago.
I wouldn't wear sundowners now since my pack weight has dropped. But they lasted me 1100+ miles till Delaware Water Gap. After the PA rocks there was nothing left of the sole.
Vasque loves to take care of their customers...call their HelpLine & i'll bet you get boots in the mail for half price or next to nothing @ all (price wise)! they're a great company wether you're wearing MX-2 Sundowners (like i do) or the lite-weight Clarion models (tennis shoe weight)...they're GREAT!
My Vasque Sundowners are my favorite hiking boots. I use them on every hike in every condition. I might start the A.T. next april with them but who knows how long they'll hold because i bought them in a goodwill store for $4.00 a year ago. They fit me like a glove and i've taken them out on short hikes of 3-6 days over a dozen times already. I can't seem to wear them out or find anything wrong with them although I feel like something MUST be wrong with them...they're thrift store boots.