User Review: Vasque Men's Alpine GTX
Materials: leather, gore-tex, 3/4 steel shank
Use: mountaineering, ?heavy packing
Break-in Period: LONG
Price Paid: $205
Not sure what to say about this boot. I've had a tough time with it. Love Vasque. Have a pair of Clarion IIs that are 12 years old and a 10-year-old pair of sundowners with more than 400 trail miles on them and going strong. Had high expectations for the alpine but had trouble with the fit right away. They're quite a stiff boot, and in my opinion, even Vasque wides run narrow. Bought TWO pairs, gave one away settled on 8 Wide. Just got back from Gila wilderness in NM, where I had bilateral heel blisters by mile 3 which progressed to hamburger feet covered with blisters for the rest of the 20-mile trip despite unlacing the top. Could barely walk by the end. Granted, may be due to failure to double-sock, or to slightly imperfect fit, but beware: this boot is VERY STIFF and unforgiving, and if you're just going to be backpacking, even with a heavy pack, you probably don't want this boot. Its stiffness and failure to flex puts lots of stress on the contact points of the heel and ball of the foot. That said, it is EXTREMELY WELL MADE as you would expect from vasque, and I'm sure that if I ever break it in and can make it work that I'll have it 10-15 years from now.