In a head to head comparison of leather waterproof hiking shoes, the Vasque Talus Trek Low Ultradry hiking shoe offered excellent traction and waterproofing, but fell a short on stability. They provided quality protection and cushioned comfort over a variety of trails.
Traction and Stability The Vasque Talus Trek Low Ultradry’s, dual density Vibrum Nuasi outsoles with 4mm lugs provided excellent traction across a variety of trail surfaces. Thermoplastic urethane shanks added stiffness that minimized twisting, but forced some up and down heel movement during strides. The thick 1.8mm nubuck leather uppers required break-in, starting off stiff, and inhibiting bending, during initial use.
Protection The thick Vibram Nuasi outsoles, curved rubber toe shield and double layered nubuck leather toe and side panels offered excellent foot protection against trail impact and abrasion across a variety of surfaces. The gusseted tongue kept debris out.
Support and Comfort The dual density EVA footbeds, molded EVA athletic midsoles and amply padded heel bed and tongue provided a comfortable, cushioned fit. With its low ankle construction and stiff thermoplastic shanks, the heel hold was a bit loose, allowing some up and down movement during strides. A pull tab on the heel helped with on off ease.
Waterproofing The waterproof nubuck leather outers, breathable mesh panels and UltraDry liners stayed dry in both damp and wet situations. The ventilated side panels allowed perspiration to escape for added comfort and performance.
Durability The shoes wore well, and held up to trail impact, with no immediate signs of wear. The nubuck leather sides did not shred.
*Your purchase helps to support the work of Gear Institute.
HOW WE TESTED
To accurately assess the performance of a women’s hiking shoe, a number of testers put each product through rigorous hiking, on over 20 miles of varied terrain. During these hikes the testers pay close attention to the level of product performance across six factors most affecting a hiker’s foot comfort and risk of foot or ankle injury on the trail.