Vasque Skywalk GTX ReviewDecember 7, 2016
- Durable & reliable
- Old school popular design
- Quick to lace up
- Long break in period
- Slippery sole
The Vasque Skywalk may have been very popular 30 years ago but it lacks many of the modern technologies that make new backpacking boots successful. Although the Skywalk is very durable and reliable, it never reached the same level of comfort compared to all the other boots tested and also had poor traction performance making it ill suited to long backpacking trips where you want dependable boots straight out of the box.
Support & Stability
The Skywalk has a polyurethane (PU) midsole and footbed, which provides good support underfoot. It also fully covers the ankle, which provides decent support, but at the cost of comfort since the boot doesn’t have a notched back like most of the other boots. Despite covering the ankle, the boots don’t lace up as tightly around the ankle, which results in a bit less support in comparison to many of the other boots in this category.
Protection is one category where this boot does just as well as the others tested. The Skywalk is made of a durable full leather that keeps rocks and debris from entering the boot. It also uses a Gore-Tex lining that is very useful for stream crossings. However the lacing system is old school and not as sophisticated as most of the other boots tested, though it is the quickest to lace up due the fact that it only uses two metal hooks on each side rather than three.
The Skywalk leaves much to be desired in the category of comfort. Since it is full leather the boot it is not very comfortable straight out of the box and has a long break in time. Even after multiple backpacking trips the boots were still quite uncomfortable around the ankle and calf due to the stiff leather. While the leather should eventually soften up, it isn’t worth it for most people to deal with a long break in period when there are comparable boots on the market with no break in time. The sizing also runs a little small so it felt tight without enough room in the toe box, compared to the other boots which were all true to size.
The traction on these boots was also sub par compared to the other boots that were tested. The Vasque Pyrenees sole seemed to slip more when crossing rocky areas in comparison to all the other boots tested. The sole does have an aggressive pattern but it is pretty open which clogged with mud.
The Skywalk weighs just under 20 ounces per boot which is pretty standard for a lightweight backpacking boot but they feel rather clunky. They are much more noticeable on your feet while hiking and testers never forgot they were wearing them throughout the day on long hikes.
Adrianne Bouchard is a triathlete, skier, backpacker and lover of all things outdoors based in the Tahoe area.