Vasque Mantra 2.0 GTX ReviewNovember 24, 2012
- Good protection from rocks and stones.
- Good arch support.
- Soft lateral flex and soft upper make for less confidence in rugged terrain.
- Doesn’t do well under heavier loads, due to soft flex.
- Toe rand seams are vulnerable to wear from rocks.
The Mantra 2.0 is a lightly armored vehicle for moderate terrain and light loads, with a fair bit of sidewall and ankle protection. Its best for comfort-minded hikers in cool and wet climes, but only short forays in the rough stuff: the soft-flexing construction doesn’t provide enough support when the going gets tough. Best for higher volume feet.
Vasque’s Mantra 2.0 GTX is a waterproof/breathable nubuck and mesh, medium-high volume shoe for light hikes.
Support and Stability
The softish leather upper and flexible sole make the Mantra 2.0 very comfortable, but those same qualities and a lack of reinforcement inhibit support in uneven terrain. My feet rolled around a bit in the shoes when the footing was rough (higher volume feet may find a more secure fit).
Protection & Comfort
The Mantra’s thick and somewhat wide sole and the mostly leather upper provide excellent protection against rocks and stones on the trail. There’s some padding around the ankle and on the gusseted tongue, and that combined with the somewhat soft leather in the upper makes for a very comfortable shoe.
Construction and Design
The soft leather and relatively soft flexing midsole make the Mantra comfortable but not very supportive. Leather is used for extra protection at the toe and heel, but scrambling around in scree and talus produced some abrasion on the stitching there.
The lacing system doesn’t extend far down toward the toes and the fit is medium-high volume, so people with narrower feet may find that their foot swims a little. The arch support is better than average, which enhances comfort and helps some to keep feet from sliding around inside.
The Mantra 2.0 was fine on moderate trail hikes and I enjoyed its comfort, but when I upped the game taking off-trail and onto rocks they let me down some—my feet didn’t stay firmly planted in the shoes, and the sole flex was too soft to support me going up rocky steps and ledges.
There were no problems with the Gore-Tex, the shoes remained waterproof in rain, during stream crossings, and during a ten-minute soak in a tub of water, but in hot, dry weather my feet felt a little warm, as is usually the case with Gore-Tex lined boots and shoes.