Vasque Sundowner MX2
I ordered a new pair of 'Sundowners' last summer on the name only, didn't look at a picture or reviews because I've loved and worn out two pairs before over the last ~20 years (I still wear the old ones for chores, actually).
The new ones are not even fundamentally the same as the old ones - the collar is totally different, higher and wider; the way the lacing bib is constructed is different; the leather itself is different; the sole is thicker and more elaborate, for no obvious reason; the fit inside around the foot seems huge, while the old ones -same size- were practically form-fitting.
It feels sloppy, and, like another reviewer wrote, 'chunky'; and not the flexible, lightweight, stylish (not faddish), durable, true Sundowner of the past.
I kept them because I needed a new pair, however if this is the Sundowner of the future I'm going to start looking for a new boot.
Overall: they work, of course, but are disappointing.
Use: backpacking, various
Break-in Period: little to none
Weight: 3.0 lbs
Price Paid: $220 U.S.
I bought these at the last minute (due to a small but well-known cult boot outfit screwing up my order) for a 5-day high-altitude Sierra Nevada backpacking trip. To my discriminating eyes, they looked like a "real" hiking boot, they were made in Italy, and Vasque has a pretty good reputation. I wasn't real happy w/ buying a glue-on sole, but I had no choice other than to cancel the trip.
After five days of rocky, dusty trails carrying at least a 40lb pack, my companion and I were amazed that I didn't have any blisters or hot spots whatsoever. My feet were happy and dry, and the boots looked virtually new after a cleanup later. I'm still not convinced that Gore-Tex is such a great idea, but we didn't go through any water. The tongue tended to drift to the outside a bit too, but maybe I just need to play with the lacing. I also plan to replace the insole w/ something a bit beefier. I thought the rubber outsole of the MX2 seemed much more robust than the original Sundowner, which always seemed a bit thin to my taste. The three-pound weight was nice. There were several people out there hiking in running shoes, but I appreciated many times the good ankle support (and leather collar) of the MX2. I only hope it lasts more than a few years.
All in all, a very well-made leather boot in the new style. I plan to convince my wife to purchase a pair, and I think I'll keep mine. I still prefer an all-leather Norwegian welt boot, but such good service out of a brand new boot in demanding conditions deserves loyalty.
Materials: leather gore-tex
Use: on/off trail with light to medium pack
Break-in Period: little to none
Weight: 3 ilbs for size 8.5
Price Paid: $210 msrp
i got these for $83 through Vasque's employee purchase program (had to wait 3 months, but it was worth it) and i have been pleasantly suprised by the boot. the fit and feel is almost the same as the old sundowner, but with the altered lace hook (the second one down is set in more) anchors the heel better. the midsole is softer (pu instead of resillion rubber), so more cushion and foreward foot-flex. fortunately stability isnt compromised, but i'll have to wait to see it holds up the same. the sole is the same design, just a little different contour, so there isn't much of a change there. the style is updately nicely, but still very unique (i was worried they were going to copy the asolo 535 look, but its quite different) for those who find that a factor. break in is cake, and so far with aprox. 30 miles on/off trail in wet conditions with a moderate pack (25 ilbs) performance has been nice.
overall, nice update without changing the good things about the original (a little pricey at $210, but hey). oh, and btw for those who still want the original the msrp is now $175 (according to vasque's wholesale/retail price list), so don't let EMS rip you off for $190. g-day bruce!
whot? you're name ain't bruce, that'll cause some confusion won't it?
Materials: heavy duty leather, Gore-Tex, Vibram sole
Use: Day hikes, Backpacking, Walking
Break-in Period: 80 miles or so
Price Paid: $210
This will be my 4th pair of Vasques since 1988. My last boot was the original Sundowner which after a re-sole, I have used extensively for 12 years now! I recently bought the MX2. I have had them a few weeks and have put 80 miles or so on them.
They are clearly the best boot I have ever worn. My last few pairs were Sundownwers, but the new MX2 is pretty much the same except for a better sole and the leather is thicker and the boot is about 1" taller, so the ankle support is wonderful.
It takes a little break-in time, but if you have had Vasque's before you know it's worth the effort. Yes, $210.00 is a-lot for a boot but if they last like my old Vasque's I bought this pair now and I am 30, so I will probably buy my next pair when I am 40 or 42.
Can you say that much about your boots?
They also come in widths (one of the few companies who do this) So if you have a AA Narrow foot like mine. These shoes fit like a glove!
Materials: full grain leather with gore-tex liner
Use: rough trail-backpacking
Break-in Period: 50 miles?
Weight: 3 lbs
Price Paid: $210
I bought these after my Vasque Clarion GTX boots started wearing out (I love those boots and still use them for day hikes and light backpacks). I wanted to go to a full-leather boot and had heard great things about the original Sundowners. I've only used these boots on 2 backpacks and a few day hikes, so I can't put the final word in on them yet. The gtx liner does keep the water out 100%- I had a weekend backpack trip that did about 20 stream crossings and my feet stayed dry.
Definitely get a good fit at the store. The middle lace eyelet is a bit of a pressure/sore spot, but I'm waiting to see if it's something that will break in or not. I wish they had a rubber toe rand that came way up over the front of the boot because the leather is going to get totally chewed to hell. With little break in I did a 20 mile weekend hike with only one hot spot- I think I may have to switch to a higher volume footbed. Great traction though.
Materials: leather, gore-tex
Use: hiking with 40+ pound pack
Break-in Period: long
Price Paid: $160
I bought these boots as a replacement for my old Sundowners. All in all I like these boots. I have outlined my thoughts on the boots below:
Long break in period (compared to Sundowners)
Minimal heal slippage unless I wear 2 pairs of socks
If the lace them tight, I will get a sore spot on the top of my foot
I did upgrade the insoles, first with a Spenco, and later with a green Superfeet insole. The addition of the Superfeet insole helped tremendously.
I should note that I have a wide forefoot and narrow heel, and opted for the EE in my size. Forefoot and toebox fit very well, but as previously noted, I do have to deal with a little heel slippage at times. I have experimented with different lacing techniques, but none seem to be much better than the others.
In summary, this is a very well made boot, and worth the money in my opinion. The fact that it comes in widths is also nice if you have fat or skinny feet.
Price Paid: $215
First off... they should not call this a Sundowner anything. It's not the same boot at all. It's much bigger and chunkier than the normal Sundowner. It's not really a bad boot, it just doesn't compare or come close to the orginal Sundowner. I found the fit to be a little off, it didn't really fit like my old Sundowners. I also had a little heal slippage in my left boot. I should add that I don't like big ass moon boots, so that's part of my problem. Some people might like those acme bricks on there feet, but I don't! It doesnt really matter now though, because Vasque has stopped production on these boots, so they're not gonna be around for much longer.
Over all... they're a better boot then the China China bull shit Sundowners they make now, but they still don't come close to the "old-school Italian Sundowner".
Materials: leather, gore-tex
Use: I bought them for backpacking/dayhiking
Break-in Period: moderate
Weight: 3ish lbs
Price Paid: I forget, probably ~$190
Haven't yet taken these on the trail, as I was trying to make sure they were broken in first. (Stiff leather + long trip = hurts, too often.) I got them to replace some worn-out, rather blah boots (Asolos?) and I'm very happy.
The break-in was taking forever until I bought round laces to replace the stock flat ones...instant success! These are now ultra-comfortable, a little too warm for me even in winter in New England, a bit on the heavy side but nice and sturdy because of it. And they look nice, too!
Just added some Superfeet for support more than for comfort, so it's nice to see I'm not the only one who needed to.
Materials: Leather & Gore-Tex
Use: Varying trails with heavy backpacks
Break-in Period: 2 weeks
Weight: 3.2 lbs (size 12)
Price Paid: $180
The boots have been great--my feet never get wet or uncomfortable. Using liners and wool socks, I have never had any blisters or hotspots. They have been used for weekend backpack trips with the family for the last two years, meaning lower mileage, but a heavy pack. (6-year-olds don't carry much...) After the two-week break in period, they fit like a deerskin glove.
I highly recommend these boots, especially if you hike in wet conditions, such as the Northeast where I live. (The only thing that should be improved is a better scuff guard on the toe. I have to pay particular attention to this area when cleaning and protecting the boots. If this area was better, the boots would get a "5".)
Just to let all you guys know, Vasque has not quit production on the old model sundowner. The MX2 is a totaly new boot and not, as some people have suggested, a different colored SuperHiker. The SuperHiker is stiffer and taller than the Mx2 and doesn't have a Gore-Tex liner. Good news for all of you who are bitching: the old Sundowner is now around $180 retail instead of $205, and the Mx2 is a better boot, performance-wise. A word of advice to all you bone-heads who were bitching about the new boot........quit assuming, and get the facts before you start bitching and criticizing.
vasque went and put the super hiker in a sundowner color and called it a new boot. half the reason i get sundowners are for performance, other half is for distinctive look. certainly won't be getting these boots for reason #2. vasque has really betrayed the sundowner legacy with these things. will have to read reviews off the charts to even consider these.
Use: everyday wear
Break-in Period: forever
Price Paid: $180
I owned a pair of Sundowner Classics for eight years and wore them nearly every day, They are a great boot. The MX2 on the other hand is a piece of garbage. They have begun to unravell after only nine months, and they are also uncomfortable and don't fit right. Stick to the Classic.
Best fit boots. But, they only lasted for six months. The Vibram soles parted from the midsoles after less than 60 km volcanos climb in Java island, Indonesia.
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