Vasque Kota XCR Cross-Training Shoes

Women's Vasque Kota XCR Cross-Training ShoesMy Vasque Kota hiking shoes are my go-to hiking shoes for fitness hikes, winter walking, and any of my weekend ramblings that take me off a paved path!

On weeknights when I’m not sharing my hiking tips with the world on Hiking Lady, I round up some friends and go hiking around the local hills. I lace up my Vasque Kota XCR Cross-Training Shoes, put on a headlamp and my hydration waistpack, and off I go!

When I bought these shoes, I had never owned a pair of Vasque hiking boots or shoes before. I had heard that Vasque manufactures top quality footwear, but what attracted me to try them on was that Vasque shoes typically run narrow. Since I have a narrow heel, I wanted to give them a try.

The Good:

This model provides a sturdy rubber toe, which is helpful for preventing stubbed toes on my night hikes, a very good lugsole, and most importantly, a great fit. There are lots of other features, such as Gore-Tex lining, a well padded tongue, and quick drying material, all of which can be expected from Vasque.

My Vasque Kota Hiking Shoes
My Vasque Kota Hiking Shoes
The Not So Good:

The Kotas are slightly heavy for trail running. They’re great for hiking, but I prefer trail running or regular old running shoes if I’m going to be breaking into a sprint!

Overall, the Vasque Kotas are a good, all-around hiking shoe that continue to serve me well on a multitude of adventures! From short walks on rainy, fall days to full day hikes in the mountains, and more, my pair has exceeded expectations. They’ve even posed for the camera when I responded to Pat’s question about hiking boots for narrow feet!

Note: The Vasque Kotas are hard to find because they are an older style. Another pair I like are my Vasque Soleras. Like most Vasque shoes, they run narrow!

Treat Your Feet Right! Hiking Lady’s Tips:

Hiking Socks and Sock Liners
Liner socks – the best invention for hikers!
How to Prevent Blisters
How to Prevent Blisters
How to Lace Hiking Boots
How to Lace Hiking Boots
Hiking Lady's 10 Tips for Mastering Hiking Boot Shopping
Hiking Lady’s 10 Tips for Mastering Hiking Boot Shopping
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Hiking Lady’s Footwear Reviews!

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  1. Hiking Lady says:

    Good luck! Please let me know how the Vasque Scree Low Hiker works out for you. I’m disappointed to hear about the Patagonia shoe… they generally have very good quality apparel so that’s sad to hear that those shoes didn’t hold up!

  2. Linda says:

    Thanks, so much Carol. As you noted, Merrell’s Moabs aren’t the greatest at handling scree. Been there/tried that and had to return them. 🙁 Thanks, also, for the tips on lacing. Indeed, the ‘bunny-ear technique’ does help to anchor down much heel movement. Funny you should suggest Vasque’s Scree Low Hiker…I was just looking into them after I left my comment! Will do more research on them now. Unfortunately, I just can’t handle a higher top boot. Tried several, but no matter what configuration of lacing, socks…you name it…they either hinder my stride or are just plain painful around my ankle. Low-cuts are by far my best option.

    Patagonia Men’s AC GTX Drifter Hiking Boots would have caused me to sing its praises from a mountain top. Sturdiest shank I ever felt. Great width and narrow heel (for a men’s shoe). Great arch support. Truly waterproof. Rock solid feel. But…rubber toe bumpers separated from the shoe after only three wearings. Maybe mine were a fluke. Most importantly, despite tenacious-looking lugs, they handled scree miserably. Otherwise, great shoe. Again, thanks for your advice once again.

  3. Hiking Lady says:

    Great question, Linda! First off, I recommend watching this very short video about how to lace hiking boots/shoes that will help prevent your heel from riding up the back of the shoe. Here are pictures of how to lace low top hiking shoes to achieve similar results. That hopefully will help make these wider shoes that you own more comfortable…the shoes will accommodate your wider forefoot and the lacing technique will help keep your narrow heel down.
    As far as other options of hiking shoes, I would consider the Vasque Scree Low Hiking Shoes (perhaps get the men’s version since Vasque runs narrow). Merrell Moab’s may be an option for you, yet they will provide less protection in scree than the Vasque’s, and as you have already found, Merrell’s can run wide. If you would consider a higher top boot, try the Asolo Stynger.
    Hope that helps! Happy trails!

    Hope that helps and

  4. Linda says:

    I have a wide forefoot and a narrow heel. I take either a 8-1/2 of 9. Wide hiking shoes/boots are extremely difficult (if not near impossible) to find in women-specific sizing. I nearly live in my Merrell Siren Sports. They’re one of the few shoes in this category that come not only in wide, but Gore-tex & Vibram sole. Unfortunately, while they can handle a multitude of trail-related issues, scree isn’t one of them.

    I’m usually forced to default to a comparable men’s-size shoe. But, unfortunately, because they’re made on an overall wider last, the heels tend to run wide along w/the rest of the shoe. Right now, I alternate between NorthFace’s Hedgehogs in a men’s 7-1/2 (comparable to a women’s 9) and another NorthFace which is no longer being made. I’ve tried women’s Keens and while I love their Keen Hoodoo Boots, their hiking shoes aren’t that comfortable on me. New Balance does have wide, but their soles don’t handle scree well at all.

    Are there any women’s hiking shoes (shoes as opposed to boots) that you could suggest which fit the following criteria (even a men’s shoe that has a narrower heel would be fine as well):
    -waterproof (preferably Gore-Tex)
    -excellent multi-directional lugged bottoms

    Sorry for the long question. But I’m desperate and get more and more frustrated each time I order a pair of shoes only to have to return them because they disappoint when putting them through their paces. Thanks much. Glad to have this resource and your experience to tap in to. Linda

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