User Review: Vasque Catalyst Mid GTX XCR
Materials: Leather, nylon and Gore-tex uppers; Stealth rubber soles.
Use: Day hikes, light backpacking, climbing approaches, some alpine rock climbs(?).
Break-in Period: Little to none.
Weight: About 2 pounds.
Price Paid: $104.35
The Vasque Catalyst Mid GTX XCR is the best pair of light boots I've ever owned. I've put in many miles of steep trails so far, and have not suffered even one blister.
The Stealth rubber soles are fabulous - they stick like glue to rocks (carrying a pack, I made a couple of 5.4 moves on a boulder with no problems at all. In fact, just for kicks, I took my Catalysts to a rock climbing gym and was able to climb some 5.7's, a few 5.8's and even one 5.9. The rubber is so sticky and the boots so un-clunky that I'll probably try them on a Sierra alpine rock climb next summer.)
The boots' nylon shanks are sturdy enough to insulate feet from rocks while carrying a light pack, and the foot box allows people with longer big toes to descend in comfort. Vasque boots have traditionally fit people with thin heels, and the Catalyst is no exception.
One thing I would recommend, however, when purchasing this boot is to order a pair of green "Superfeet" insoles, since the Vasque insoles are very flimsy and non-supportive. These make all the difference in the world.
Catalysts are very well-made, light weight, quality boots that I would recommend to anyone. At $104 (total - from Shoebuy.com), they are a real bargain.