Vasque Talus UltraDry Review

July 21, 2012
Vasque Talus UltraDry
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Vasque Talus UltraDry 2-Vasque-Talus-UltraDry 3-Vasque-Talus-UltraDry 4-Vasque-Talus-Ultradry Field-testing-the-Vasque-Talus-on-Mt.-Sneffels-talus
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
90
Support & Stability
8
Quality & Construction
9
Comfort
10
Weight
8
Protection
6
Value
9

The Good

  • Super comfortable right out of the box
  • Durable leather upper resists abrasion well
  • Foot-hugging fit with no pinch points (fits a narrow foot)
  • Great stability on rocky terrain
  • Lightweight for how well protected it is

The Bad

  • Lack of a toe rand means the toe leather wears quickly
  • I struggled to find more flaws...and couldn't.
THE VERDICT

Combining light-hiker comfort with big boot stability and protection better than any other boot in our Spring 2012 women’s light hiker test, we felt this waterproof light hiker was simply the best new shoe in its class. The Talus effortlessly transitioned between easy day hikes and more difficult, technical treks—displaying the most versatility of the light hikers we tested, while providing chart-topping comfort in each terrain.

FULL REVIEW

Out of the eight boots included in the test, this one gets my pick for best overall women’s light hiker.

Support & Stability
This shoe it truly meant to hug a woman’s foot (the Talus uses a women’s specific last). It has a narrow heel cup and toe box to keep your foot firmly in place on unstable or steep terrain, and the laces are positioned in such a way that you can really lock down the mid-foot on steep downhills. The shank is stiff enough for longer, more adventurous outings (read scree fields and mild loads) but not stiff enough to be uncomfortable on easier walks. The polyurethane outsole (a bit stouter than squishy EVA foam) makes it appropriate for carrying some weight (recommended under 25 lbs.).

Comfort
The Talus was shockingly comfortable for being a medium-duty hiker. After four hours of hiking on unstable, steep, and rocky trails, there was enough ankle support to prevent foot and ankle fatigue. The factory insoles and dual density EVA footbed provided enough cushion to avert that “hard bottom” feeling you can get from some more aggressive boots. The proprietary UltraDry waterproofing membrane did not cause excessive heat buildup, despite the full-leather upper.

Quality
The high-quality nubuck leather upper is both functional (protects the boot from scratches and nicks), and attractive (my humble opinion? It was one of the best-looking boots in the test). The stitching and construction are super high quality, meaning it’s highly likely the Talus will outlast most other lower-quality leather or mesh-construction shoes.

Value
With all the over-priced, over-engineered boots out there, the Talus is a great buy at $150, especially given its ability to take you over most any terrain. Also, with proper care it should last you quite a while.

Durability
The all-leather construction makes this a very tough light hiker — though the lack of a rubber toe rand meant I noticed some prominent leather wear in the toe after a rough hike on a scree slope. The leather is so thick, this won’t affect performance, but a lot of 14er hiking would make these boots look a little ragged before their time.

 


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