The Vasque Saga GTX are heavy weight contrasted with some design worries - particularly some very fine sewing at the juncture between side and sole. It is a heavy high-ankled backpacking boot for all-weather conditions.
Support & Stability
The Vasque Saga GTX have six closed grommets on the top of the foot, and two open grommets on the ankle, which limits the accessibility the foot has going into the boot. It’s the highest ankle of the test set, but it’s a soft ankle that doesn’t provide as much support as one would expect when looking at them. The Vibram Mega-Grip sole provides good on-trail traction though the basic edges can only handle mild scrambling.
Quality & Construction
These boots are synthetic with a tongue of about average thickness. The tongue is connected at the mid-ankle level, which is a bit high, given how many closed grommets there are, restricting how quickly you can open it all the way up. All grommets are riveted, which adds some weight but also adds confidence in the construction.
These boots have less-than-median breathability, which isn’t good for folks with sweaty feet because the height of the ankle can turn these boots into a sweat lodge. The size and shape of the toe box are about average. The interior is somewhat narrow, so the boots may not work well for people with wide feet or high arches.
The Vasque Saga GTX comes in at 2.9 pounds, well above the test set average of 2.5. They were the heaviest boots in our test set. It’s an okay weight considering how much weatherization and protection they provide.
These boots have decent protection. The sides are about as protective as can be expected, given how breathable they are. The ankle has some give, which is good for comfort, but not as good for support, protection, and weight. The ankle is high, but the top is pretty soft, leaving us to wonder what exactly the point of it is. There is good weatherization with waterproof but breathable uppers.
Scott Morris guides backpacking expeditions and hiking trips for Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. He is a writer, traveler, and runner. Scott tests backpacking equipment.