Air permeable heel and toe vents help with some breathability
Waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex liner
Vasque history of design and quality
Great balance of burl and weight for all types of hiking
Interesting and dynamic outsole
Not the best runner of the bunch
Gore-Tex booty may be too hot, especially in dry climates
Fairly traditional construction and lacing system, nothing fancy
The Vasque Inhaler Low GTX earned its place as one of my favorites of the test group due to its fit and durability. The EVA midsole and lightweight of the shoe allow you to run a bit in them, despite the slightly boxy construction. They really only fall short in the fact that it’s a very traditional shoe, nothing flashy.
In my opinion, Vasque really stepped up its game in the light hiker category with the introduction of the Inhaler Low GTX, while still remaining true to its roots. It’s really one of my favorites of the test group due to its fit and durability. The traction is Vibram and features what I call a dual-density outsole (Vasque calls it “Vibram Pneumatic with Megagrip rubber”), which provided above average grip on all surfaces.
The version we tested featured a Gore-Tex lining for waterproofness. The EVA midsole and lightweight of the shoe allow you to run a bit in them, despite the slightly boxy construction.
Stability The specialized Vibram Pneumatic soles of the Vasque Inhaler Low GTX really do provide added traction and stability, which in turn give the shoe more performance. It’s something like a mountain bike tire, with the Megagrip rubber knobbies embedded into a softer rubber layer, bonded below the molded EVA midsole.
Protection One thing about Inhaler Low is they give you that “bomber” feeling like you can go and do anything in them, and that’s my definition of protection. A fairly traditional construction provides good trail protection.
Comfort Pretty standard trail shoe, not plush, not completely rigid. I would call this a low to medium arch support. Generous sizing leaves room for swelling and long down hills.
Construction As mentioned under stability, the Inhalers are definitely meant to travel far. You’ve got construction here you can count on, although all materials are pretty much “off the shelf.” Utilizing the branded Gore-Tex and Vibram products is always a plus in my book, and a leather banded tightly woven synthetic upper inspires confidence and had no issues whatsoever.
Performance The Inhaler is billed as a performance hiker and is pretty much exactly that. Although there are more performance oriented, more expensive shoes in the bunch, I would not quibble if handed this shoe to hike for days in. Again, you’ve got some quality in the bank with Vasque’s background in hiking. It feels light and stable underfoot with great grip, and that’s performance in my book.