Stop me if you’ve heard this one…
Early on in May (I know, right?) I was contacted by the lovely people of Darby Communications to write a review for some Vasque footwear (which you may notice, I have not yet done either…I know, right?). I used some Jedi mind tricks to convince them to send me an ENO hammock too. Actually, I just mentioned that I noticed they represent Eagles Nest, and they threw the Doublenest in out of the goodness of their hearts. I love people like that; don’t you?
What?! You have?! Oh, right. For the ENO Doublenest Review. My bad.
Well, NOW is the time for the Vasque Velocity 2.0 GTX review. I don’t believe in wasting time (except for everything prior to this line) so let’s just jump into it, shall we?
One of the reasons it has taken so long to write this, besides laziness, is that I hadn’t really had a chance to put these shoes to the test throughout the summer. I mainly wore them for the 5-10 min. hikes to the crag or maybe some dewy mornings at my parents’ house, but that’s about it. Those are definitely not a rigorous enough test conditions.
Enter, Cloud Peak. (Dammit! I have to write about that trip too!)
These were the only shoes I wore for four straight days of some pretty good hiking. Granted, the trail leading to basecamp is pretty worn down and smooth, but there are still some muddy spots, a lot of rocky spots, a small creek crossing, and tall, wet grass. The shoes had no issues.
Have you ever really seen what it’s like to get up Cloud Peak? It’s nothing but an endless boulder field. Some people swear you need extra, super stiff shoes to handle hopping from one jagged boulder to the next, but if it were up to me, I’d train my feet to be able to handle it in Merrel Trail Gloves or Vibrams. The Velocity 2.0’s are somewhere in the middle, and again, I had no foot issues getting to the top. The soles were surprisingly stiff along the arches but flexible enough around my forefoot and toes.
I’m glad I didn’t bring any other heavier shoe or boot on that trip for me.
Things I Liked
- No blisters. I did get hotspots, but that would have happened to me in any shoe except Vibrams. I just don’t walk long distances like that so my feet weren’t exactly conditioned for it.
- Sticky Rubber. These aren’t exactly approach shoes, but I didn’t have any issues sticking to the slope of a boulder. I had a few slips when the bottoms got wet, but c’mon, they don’t have a Spiderman Guarantee on them.
- Waterproof. The Gore-Tex works. For testing purposes, I stood in a stream for about 2 minutes. In real life, I can’t imagine you’d ever do that with your shoes on, but it’s good to know they can at least handle that.
- Comfortable. As I mentioned, I had no blisters, and while I sometimes wished I had some flip-flops to change into at the end of the day, these weren’t the worst things I could imagine walking around in after cooling my feet off.
Things I didn’t Care for
- Mesh over Gore-Tex. During the legen-wait for it-dary Columbia Compounder test, I was also wearing these shoes. My feet got wet, but that’s only because my rain pants came up, above the ankle sometimes. That didn’t bother me. What bothered me is how long they took to dry out. Gore-Tex is great at keeping water out, but when the mesh over the top of the liner is saturated, the water that’s inside can’t get to the outside. This was the case after my 2 min. dunking as well. This was also noticed while walking through tall, wet grass, something a trail runner would definitely encounter. For whatever reason, it seems like it takes a lot longer time than it should to dry the mesh.
- Too wide. I’ve already taken into account that I have narrow feet, but these are just too wide for me. When I was in Junior High and didn’t quite grow into my feet yet, they were quite often referred to as skis. So, wide shoes don’t mix well with narrow feets.
- Too clunky to be a great trailrunner.I know I said that all I did was hike and walk in these Velocity 2.0’s, but that was kind of a lie. It’s like, 98% true. These shoes are designed to be a trailrunner. Admittedly, as previously stated, I am a minimalist shoe wearer. I also just mentioned that I have narrow feet. So maybe keep that in mind when you read what I’m about to say. I tried to take these shoes on a jog. I’m not much of a runner so this wasn’t going to be a very long run to begin with, but I had to cut it even shorter after deciding I just could not run in these shoes. I can run in other non-minimalist shoes like Nike Frees just fine, but these weren’t having it. Too wide. Too much cushion on the soles. And the Gore-Tex liner made it sound like my feet were wearing a diaper. Maybe you wouldn’t have those same issues as me.
Buying these shoes as a trailrunner may be a bit risky if you’re a real trailrunner. I’d encourage you to try them on and take them for a jog around the store. If you are looking for a waterproof hiking SHOE, I 100%, completely, fully endorse these shoes. I am really glad I have them.
They retail for about $140, which isn’t out of line for anything Gore-Tex, and that’s even cheaper than the Solomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 GTX that retails for $155. (P.S. I’ll have a side-by-side comparison of these exact same shoes some time in the future….hopefully it doesn’t take as long as this one. :-/ )
So, would I buy them? YES! Should you buy them? YES!
Don’t Miss Your Chance
I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.
Then I took control.
You can too, and it starts right here.