Vasque Clarion GTX
Price Paid: $150
I owned these for two years and on day one of a three-day hike in the sSerras the sole delaminated from the boot. It was miserable.
I found out on the net that this is a problem with Vasque boots. They are now made in China.
Buy anything but these and if you're serious you should invest in a good pair of Italian made hiking boots.
Price Paid: $135
I just had to chime in on this boot. Let me say that my first Vasque purchase, the old Clarion Impact II's were a fantastic boot! But of course, Vasque discontinued them in lieu of these boots here. What a mistake. I cannot express how disappointed I was in these boots.
They had a harsh, extensive break-in period, a poor fit and leaked water at the upper and sole joints within six months of purchase! The combo of using the Cordura inserts with the nubuck leather is a huge blunder in design. This material not only fails to hold its original shape but also causes uneven stress on certain areas of the boot which contributes to its poor fit, uneven wear and general discomfort.
Additionally, the ankle collar on these boots is downright pathetic. I never had so much trail debris enter my boots as with this model. Sure, not a big issue if you're going to wear gaiters. But if you choose not to, you can count on every rock of every size you kick up landing within! Plus you lose the support of a good ankle collar design. I can't tell you how many times on casual power walks around the country roads I would be forced to stop and clear rocks out out these boots.
And speaking of support, this boot gets a zero rating. It took me six years of hard use to wear out my Clarion Impact II's. I replaced these dogs within the first year of ownership.
Now... to show you that I'm not just picking on Vasque, I have since purchased both a pair of the original Sundowners and have recently replaced them with the Vasque Sundowner II (the Italian made single piece upper). I can't tell you how much I enjoyed owning and wearing the Sundowner II. And yes... there is a difference in quality between an Italian-made pair of boots and a pair made in China! Again... do your feet a favor and stay away from the Clarion GTX's. Your feet will thank me later.
Materials: leather w/ nylon and gore-tex
Use: light hiking, occasional backpacking, winter hiking
Break-in Period: none
Weight: 155 lbs
Price Paid: $135
Got these boots at Campmor, because everyone I knew and their mother was using Vasque and I'd outgrown my Asolos which I loved. The Asolos were Globalines, almost light mountaineering boots, and I put them through everything and they still had killer tread left and showed almost no wear. I loved them so much I wore them until they were a full size too small!
Maybe I have poor footwork or something when I backpack, but after way less, lighter duty use, the Vasques were really chewed up in the toe and started leaking. We are talking about very different kinds of boots, here, but in the same price range, and so I'd say the Asolos were way more durable and supportive for less money. The Vasques just felt squirrelier on rough NY terrain. On the plus side, there was almost zero break-in, and they were very comfortable.
In the end the Vasques were a disappointment. They weren't worth the money when really high quality all-leather heavy backpacking boots can be had for a few dollars more.
Materials: Nubuck with GoreTex lining
Break-in Period: none
Weight: few pounds
Price Paid: $145
These felt great out of the box. No break-in period necessary for me. I would have given them more stars, but they wear rather quickly. The Nubuck leather is really chewed up. Minor scrapes on rocks leave deep gouges, especially on the toes. At first I thought is was me, but realized that the leather on my 15-year-old worn out suede boots are in better shape.
The rubber soles are really sticky in wet conditions, way better than my Vibram soled boots. But the soft rubber has worn out quick too. I would expect them to last longer for the cost.
Price Paid: $139
I purchased these boots about four years ago. I have used them for several backpacking trips and some cold weather casual use. They are very comfortable and water tight.
I do not have a great deal of time in them, but it appears that both soles are separating from the upper part and the interior cushion part has turned in to a black power. It would appear to be dry rotted or a poor quality of rubber sole.
Very comfortable. These fit my feet perfectly, and didn't take long at all to break in. They have provided excellent protection from wet weather, and they allowed my feet to breath.
The main downfall is how quickly the tread is wearing down, as well as the toes. I have several gashes on each toe which is causing the fabric to wear faster than normal. I'll likely only get a couple more years out of these before the traction isn't sufficient enough.
Use: Backpacking & longer day hikes
Break-in Period: superfast
Weight: a little heavy for sprints
Price Paid: $155
For a light backpacking boot the Clarion GTX's are awesome. I have had mine for three years and taken them on numerous backpacking trips as well as long day hikes. For the shorter backpacking trips they provide plenty of support and are comfortable for the long haul (with superfeet insoles). On the day hikes they are light enough to not stress the knees or hips but provide a little extra support for confidence. I just did Half Dome in them about a month ago and they held up beautifully. It is time for me to re-sole them but the soles held up to some serious punishment. Despite having a nice pair of Merrell Day Hikers I always go to these. Great boot!
I agree this is not as well constructed or as comfortable as the original Vasque boot of this type. The original of this type five years ago was one of the best boots you can buy, not anymore. I was dissapointed that it does not fit as nice and feels stiffer. Still a decent boot but does not meet the typical Vasque standards, like most boots now a days, this one is just okay.
Worst blisters I have ever had on my heels - almost down to the bone after a 15 mile hike. Shame because they are comfortable otherwise. Noticed there was a seam in the back - that's what did it - poor construction.
Price Paid: $139
These boots are great! I wore them on a 5-day Grand Canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim hike, and did not get one blister. In our group of 8 hikers, I was one of the few with no blisters at all.
Use: rough trail w/ heavy pack lots of mud and snow
Break-in Period: 3 weeks
Price Paid: $200
All Clarion GTX versions
In addition to the 11 men's reviews above, there are 24 reviews for other versions of the Clarion GTX.