It debuted in the 1980s and became one of the most loved and recognizable hiking boots of the past 30 years. Indeed, several of my earliest hiking buddies tromped through many an adventure with a pair on their feet. Now it’s back.
The benefits of this classic fabric-leather design are many. A waterproof Gore-tex liner keeps your feet dry. The rugged and long-lasting sole is the “Vasque Pyrenees” version, which is styled after the boot’s original incarnation. The lightweight upper (a mix of 2.4mm leather and heavy-duty nylon fabric) helps reduce break-in time and shaves off the ounces (a pair weighs an average of 3 pounds, 5 ounces). And the price ($200) is quite reasonable compared to the many models out there.
The fabric-leather combination does have some drawbacks. It won’t mold to your feet over time the way an all-leather upper does, nor will it be as durable given the various stitch points between fabric and leather. Nonetheless, the return of this iconic boot has been lauded by both Backpacker Magazine (Editors’ Choice Spring 2016) and National Geographic (Gear of the Year 2016).
In terms of fit, the boot runs a bit on the narrower side and is built for low- to medium-volume feet. It’s actually built on the same mold as the Vasque Sundowner Classic, which has been my go-to boot for years.
In the world of outdoor gear—where new-fangled styles and technologies constantly come and go—it’s refreshing to see that some things truly do stand the test of time.
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