Vasque Snow Junkie Ultradry Boots ReviewMarch 15, 2013
- Very comfortable, with a roomy toe box
- Protective and waterproof
- Very streamlined for an insulated boot
- Not quite supportive enough for heavy-duty off-trail adventures
- Warm enough for active use in cold weather, but not for idle time when its frigid.
Built like a running shoe with mid-height uppers, the Snow Junkie Ultradry works well when you’re moving on snow, but it gets a little cold when things slow down.
Quality and Construction
The Snow Junkie is built along the lines of Vasque’s popular Mindbender trail running shoe, using basically the same midsole and outsole, but adding height and insulation to the upper and a waterproof/breathable membrane.
The EVA midsole made for a fairly cushy ride. There are protective strips along the heel, the toe, and around the sides. The boot uses 200-gram Thinsulate insulation and Vasque’s UltraDry waterproof membrane, and there’s a gaiter hook and a pull loop at the back. The fit was mid-volume.
I took the Snow Junkie out for hikes in snow and cold weather, and even for a couple of runs on packed snow. They are very light and were warm and comfortable moving fast with light loads—quite the opposite of clunky winter boots.
When the weather got really cold, they stayed warm as long as I kept moving and stayed on packed trails, but my feet got cold standing around in unpacked snow when it was frigid. The sole provided good traction on dirt and packed snow.
Support and Stability
Though the Snow Junkie was good for moving fast over packed snow, rugged, rocky terrain wasn’t their strong suit. There wasn’t enough lateral stability to feel stable in on off-kilter foot plants, especially with a heavy load, and the soft EVA midsole didn’t help much in that regard. But that’s a tradeoff that’s to be expected with the light and fast running shoe construction. I tried them with snowshoes and they worked well.