Vasque Venturist ReviewFebruary 20, 2014
Vasque’s Venturist is a cleanly designed lightweight hiker/trail runner hybrid with a medium-low volume fit.
- Light weight for a hiker
- You can hike in them, you can run in them
- It’s nice looking
- Heavy for a trail runner
- They don’t excel at either running or hiking
Though they have a nice clean design, by trying to be either a hiker that you can run in and/or a runner you can hike in the Vasque Venturist shoes seem to fall a little short of the top in either category. That probably won’t bother people that want to cover both bases with one pair of shoes.
Support and Stability
The support of the Venturist is biased toward a running shoe—there isn’t a lot of lateral support, though the heel counter holds snugly. A flexible forefoot toes off pretty well for running but requires extra strength to hold on in uneven terrain. Though they’re fine over straightforward trails these shoes are challenged in burly terrain. One of my pet peeves with outdoor footwear is the flimsy footbeds that most manufacturers provide and the ones that come with the Venturist are no exception, and the arch support suffers.
Protection & Comfort
For a running shoe, the protection is really good, for a hiker, it’s only fair. The midsole is EVA foam which provides cushioning, but there isn’t a TPU plate to provide protection from rocks and stones. They’re light for hiking shoes, but heavy for trail running shoes.
Other than for undemanding running or light hiking on relatively smooth trails, I found the performance to be mediocre, either running or hiking. I just wasn’t inspired by the soft lateral support when I was hiking, or the weight while I was running.
The Venturist held up reasonably well during the tests, and I’d expect them to last a reasonably long time for running shoes. The EVA midsole will likely take a beating if these are used as a hiker in really rough stuff.