Vasque Sundowner Classic
Materials: leather with gore-tex lining
Use: extended backing,trail and rough trail usage. day hikes. work.
Break-in Period: who knows?
Price Paid: $189
First let me say that I have had three pairs of this awesome boot (that's 16 years worth). My last pair I had resoled twice before deciding to break down and get a new pair. What a mistake that was.
The new Sundowners are made over in China (what isn't anymore). They look the same but that is where the similarity ends. The fit is not anywhere close to what it used to be.
I read one of the postings that said they were made in China on the same last, if that's correct then the fit should be somewhat similar, but that's just not the case here. The toe box is weird and the volume of the boot seems really large, almost out of proportion with the rest of the boot.
I have had my new boots now for almost 5 months and I still can't get them broken in no matter what I do. Anyway, I just don't want to where them anymore. Oh where, Oh where have my beloved boots gone?
Materials: Leather Gore-tex
Use: day hikes
Break-in Period: too long with this pair
Price Paid: $165
I have had more pairs of the Sundowner than I can recall over the past 15 years. I wish I still had one of my old pairs. The new ones, for me, are horrible. They raised the toe box up and did away with the narrow sizes. I just sent mine back.
The tight fit that has saved me from more than a few sprained ankles is gone. I suppose they need to save some money and make a shoe that is more in line with the largest possible demographic fit. What a drag.
I have met so many people over the years who love this shoe. The guys at the hiking store tell me that a lot of people are angry about the change.
Redwing, the parent company, says that they mad the changes "in response to customer feedback." Yeah right, the most popular shoe ever needed to be fixed.
Price Paid: $180
Do NOT buy the made in China Sundowners! I bought my first pair of Sundowners in 1997 and they are by far the best boot I had ever owned. I read the hype about the made in China ones, but I loved my made in Italy ones so much I had to go try a new pair on.
First off, the people at Red Wing didn't know a damn thing about their own boots, second they don't carry narrow sizes anymore and the standard size felt really weird, and third, you can take one look at the new boots and tell they are no where near the quality of the old ones.
I would never spend my money on such a cheap imitation of a legendary boot.
I went with the Asolo TPS 535 and they seem like a very comparable replacement to my old Sundowners.
Materials: Leather, Gore-Tex
Use: Heavy hiking, with and without ~20 lb pack.
Break-in Period: ~2 weeks
Weight: 185 lbs
Price Paid: $215
My Sundowners were made in Italy in 1996. I purchased them new in 1998. I then moved to an outdoor facility near Bucksnort, Tennessee, (yes, that's the real name) and lived for literally an entire year in them, all outdoors, all the time. In 1999 I moved back to Louisana and earned my Eagle Scout while wearing these boots (i.e. one weekend campout in varying states every month for four years). I put them away in 2003 after the area near the base of the tongue (where the laces begin and the shoe with each step) became cracked and leaky in wet environments.
I want to replace the Sundowners with another pair, but from what I've read the new ones are horrible in comparison. I believe I'll stay with Vasque, but shy away from any boot made in China.
Price Paid: $135
This boot is not the same Sundowner Classic made ten years ago. I have worn an older pair for over ten years, countless miles and climates, without any problems. This newer version is garbage. What happenned to my old boots? Now what do I do? Anyone have any suggestions for comparable boots?
Where to Buy
The Vasque Men's Sundowner Classic is not available from the stores we monitor.
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