Vasque hiking shoes and boots have a reputation for being high quality yet affordable. Since proper fitting boots are arguably the most important item that any hiker needs, it is very important that you invest in a good pair that fit your feet well.
All of us have different feet… some are wide, some are narrow, some have high arches, others have low. Therefore, the best thing you can do is figure out what brand works best for you and then stick with it! For those of you with lower volume, narrow feet (like me), Vasque is at the top of my list. Another brand for those with narrow feet is Asolo.
I first got hooked on the Vasque brand when I picked up a pair of Vasque Blur trail shoes a few years ago. The narrow last provided a very good fit for my slim feet and small heel. I also own a pair of Vasque Kota low top hiking shoes, and Vasque has been generous enough to send me a pair of their St Elias GTX boots to try!
Pros of the Vasque St. Elias GTX Women’s boot:
- Heavy duty boots with a stiff shank. A good backpacking boot provides lots of support, and these fit the bill. A hiking boot’s shank is what provides support just below the insole. Less expensive boots and light hiking shoes and trail shoes generally do not have a stiff shank in order to keep them light weight. Boots for backpacking and mountaineering need stiffer shanks to provide stability. As demonstrated in the image below, the Vasque St. Elias GTX did not see any flex of the sole when I put my full body weight on my toes. Clearly these boots have one stiff shank! On a long backpacking trip when carrying heavy weight, your feet will be happier at the end of the journey if your boots have a stiff shank.
- Comes in widths. Vasque is known for shoes and boots that run narrow, and this time around we tried the Narrow width boot. It definitely made a difference! Also keep in mind that these boots do come in Wide, if you’re willing to special order them. For those of you with wider feet, check out some of the Hiking Lady Reviews of Keen and Wolverine boots.
- Top notch Vibram traction. As with almost all high quality boots, the outsole uses Vibram traction technology. Walking downhill is the best way to test the grip, and the St. Elias provided a lot of stability even with my full backpack on!
- Weight. While these boots aren’t overly heavy, due to their stiff shank and full leather, each boot weighs 1 pound 5 ounces. For a lighter weight alternative (but a bit less supportive), the Vasque Taku are a good option. Each boot weighs less than a pound.
- Price: $189.99 at Zappos (Free shipping and free return shipping! Keep that in mind when buying hiking boots online)
- Weight: 1 pound 5 ounces (one boot)/ 2 pounds 10 ounces for a pair.
- Heel height: 1 3/4 inches
The verdict? If you’re looking for a lightweight yet very hardcore hiking boot, the Vasque St. Elias GTX are a good choice, especially if you have a special width (not many other boots can be ordered in Narrow or Wide! Remember to check out Hiking Lady’s 10 Tips for Hiking Boot Shopping, including why you should generally order 1/2 size larger than your street shoes.