Review of the Vasque Talus XT GTX Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boot in Brown/Gray
I was looking forward to my short trip to Arizona for so many reasons, one of which was that I would be wearing my new hiking boots: the Talus XT GTX Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boot. It had been a while since I had the chance to get out for a hike, with work and kids keeping me busy, so the fact that the boots arrived at about the same time as this quick visit to Arizona took place was a good sign.
First off, the Vasque Talus XT GTX hiking boots are striking to look at in a predominantly orange shade of brown, reminiscent of the rocks and soil you see in parts of the southwest. They are definitely boots, and while I have tended to lean towards hiking shoes in the past, the ankle support of the Vasque Talus XT GTX hiking boots gave me the confidence to hike for miles on uneven ground, unstable gravel, and awkward rocks. The laces cinch up with a tug and stay put with three sets of hooks at the ankle. This allowed me to be flexible in the tightening of the boot on my foot. The footbed itself felt comfortably roomy, while at the same time I could tighten up the ankle support with those hooks. Neither the tongue nor the laces shifted in the miles of hiking I put in, nor did the laces untie or loosen.
While hiking, this is what I noticed: comfort and durability. The Vasque boots are comfortable. My foot size ranges from women’s 9 to 9.5. I went with the 9.5 and was happy I did. My toes were never cramped; they had plenty of room to wiggle and at no time did my toes get shoved into the tip of the toe box. The two stage laces, which I know are standard on hiking boots, worked perfectly. I pulled the laces snug but not tight around my foot, and cinched the laces a bit more snugly on the ankle hooks to give me maximum ankle support. The laces did not slide or loosen at all. I could move my ankle while at the same time I could feel the support of the boot on my ankle. There were no pressure points on any location on either foot. I wore light wool socks and I did not feel any rub, nor did I develop any blisters.
Oddly enough, it rained two of the four days I was in Arizona. The waterproof GORE-TEX with performance comfort technology certainly kept the wet out. I walked in light rain and stepped in numerous puddles, and my socks and feet remained dry. The Vasque-exclusive Vibram Mego Nuasi with Megagrip Compound outsoles performed as you would imagine in a quality outsole. Never did I slip on wet or dry surfaces.
On the sunnier days, I wondered how much heat I would trap within the boots. Thankfully, the breathable nature of the leather and the over 9 billions pores per square inch of the GORE-TEX membrane allows the inside moisture of my feet to evaporate. At the end of the day’s hike, I wasn’t dying to get my feet out of the boots. They are that comfortable.
Of all the technical specs that you can read up on at their website, www.vasque.com, one important number stands out: the weight. The Talus XT GTX weigh 2 lb 5 oz, which is a lighter weight than traditional leather hikers. I found these boots to lighter even than some hiking shoes. They do not feel “clunky.” The Talus boots feel equally comfortable on a hiking trail as they do on the sidewalk in the city. They support yet move with you.
I would have to say that the Talus XT GTX Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boots by Vasque are just about everything you want in a quality hiking boot: the fit is personally adjustable and comfortable, the boots keep your feet dry with a waterproof yet breathable membrane, and they look great. When random strangers ask about your boots at the same time you feel like you are wearing your favorite, most comfortable shoe, you know you’ve got a good thing going.
All Photos Courtesy of Eliza Moss