User Review: Vasque Alpine
Use: heavy backpacking/ light mountaineering
Break-in Period: 80 + miles to be safe
Weight: 5-6 lbs
Price Paid: $250
These replaced a pair of 23-year-old Pivettas that will one day be rebuilt. The Alpines are not for those who need a light hiking boot; rather they are very stiff and specifically designed for trekking. After putting on over 80 miles in less than a month they are now feeling like they are part of my body when blazing trails.
I have just returned from a solo, 23 mile trip to Death Valley where the terrain was the worst I've ever encountered. Due to the complete lack of water, I had to carry 3 gallons and my pack weighed in at just about 73 lbs. The boots performed flawlessly when traversing alluvial fans, and scrambling up ancient waterfalls. Stiff, secure and comfortable where the Alpines despite the fact that in 23 miles, not a trail was to be found.. Only cross-country orienteering.
Step-in crampons are the main reason I purchased the boots, which fit perfectly. Waterproofness is enhanced due to the full Gore-Tex lined booty. Streams just become another source of route taking.
One warning about the break-in period. If you don't take the time to stretch these puppies, your feet will resemble raw, ground, hamburger meat in no time flat. In fact, I sent my Vasques to Dave Page Cobblers in Seattle to have them professionally stretched prior to me attempting mile one! The procedure expedited the break-in period considerably.