Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $175
I've had my Vasque Sundowners for 17 years. I just wore through the left sole. I only water proofed them once when I bought them and my feet have always stayed dry!
I've had my Vasque Sundowners for 17 years. These are the best boots you can buy, don't skimp trying to save a buck, dry feet and sturdy ankle support are worth it!!
Price Paid: $175
Great Boot - Just returned from an 11-day backcountry expedition along the Tennessee / North Carolina border. Carried 50+ pound pack through the often rough off trail terrain. Got no blisters of hot spots. The boots never leaked dispute often being up to the ankle collar in water.
The Vasque Sundowner is superb both on and off the trail.
Use: extended backpacking
Break-in Period: 1 week
Weight: 3.4 pounds
Price Paid: $170
I've been reading a lot of negative reviews of the Chinese Sundowners. I just bought a pair four days ago.
In a week I leave for a month-long backpacking trip through Greece. These boots that I plan on using for my trip were very stiff for the first 2 days. However, breaking them in quickly was easy. The best way to break in these boots quickly is to wet them completely with water then wear them during a run or workout until they dry.
Do this every day, and they will be broken in within a week. My Sundowners feel like different boots already. My complaint so far is that they have an obnoxious advertisement for GORE-TEX sewn into the seam near the lacing eyelets.
I would have liked to try the Italian made version; I hear they are pretty nice. However, for $170, I am happy with the Chinese Sundowners. I will be carrying about 60 pounds on my back during my upcoming trip. I will write a follow up when I return from Greece in July.
Update: December 17, 2007
I'm back from Greece, here is my report:
Backpacking over several mountains, very rough, rocky terrain, with thick brush, and extremely hot desert conditions, and urban environments with a 50 lbs. for 1 month continuously, The Sundowners (Made in China Model) performed decently, with a couple of key problems ---
Even with the Gore-tex lining, my feet never over-heated, and temps frequently exceeded 100 F (FYI I cut the obnoxious Gore-tex advertising off). I wore Smartwool trekking socks or standard rag wool with a coolmax liner and my feet stayed relatively cool.
The boots are very durable - I suffered no technical problems with the boots, no loose seams or soles, everything stayed intact even though they suffered extensive abuse. The boots go on easily and tie up nicely with that good solid "locked down" feeling. The original laces have not frayed. The leather uppers got scratched up a good bit, especially towards the bottom, however, this is to be expected if your using these over rocky terrain. The leather is definitely Chinese quality - looks and feels cheap.
Most important quality in a boot. These boots were somewhat comfortable at first, but after about a month they started to hurt my feet, legs, and lower back. The steel shenk is too long, and interferes too heavily with a normal walking gait to be functional. From reading some other Sundowner reviews, this is a reoccurring problem. To be fair, I was in these boots pretty much all day every day for a month through Greece, which is obviously more than what they were designed for, or the money I paid for them (a modest $170). The tongue was also a source of discomfort for me since it tends to pinch the anterior of the ankle. I've run in these boots for training and to break them in, about 5 miles, and it hurts like hell when you stop. Poor arch support.
Decide for yourself. I've worn them with dress pants and I think they look fine in the snow, at work, or at class. If you cut the stupid Gore-tex ad off then they actually look quite casual.
Don't buy this boot if your looking for something serious (unless you invest in a good pair or orthopedic quality insoles) There is much better value out there. The once Italian-now-Chinese-made Vasque Sundowner is more of a beginners boot, or a designer boot. Best suited to light hiking and general purpose field work. These boots are cheaply made and will frustrate you sometimes with leg, foot and back pains.
Materials: Vasque China made "JUNK"
Use: Throw them away!!!
Price Paid: $165
I have worn Italian Vasque Sundowners for over 15 years. At the start of the Sundowner they had heavy shoulder cut leather all the way to the top. Hard to beak in but once you did these boot gave firm tight ankle support great for advanced hiking and backpacking trips. These were the best boots ever.
Later they started putting a cushy collar on the Italian boots to make them break in sooner, this took away the ankle support and the leather is a thinner cut. They also started using different glue on the soul and the sole would start to come lose very early.
Now the (China) Sundowner is total junk. You may think they are ok..only because you never owned the true Italian boot. The China version is a thin leather, cushy top collar has no true ankle support and if you really use the boots in the woods the soul will come lose at the toe.. My .02 cents
Materials: leather Gore-tex
Use: all around
Break-in Period: 3-5 days
Weight: 200 lbs
Price Paid: $90
First off, I would like to say to the people who wrote the reviews about the “made in China” boot are clueless. I have been born and raised in the Rockies of Colorado and I have been hiking on these boots for about 20 years. I have never had the pleasure of having “Italian” Sundowners and I keep buying the same boot the Sundowner.
Second, to the people writing reviews about having hiking boots that need no break-in are delirious! These boots are the all around best boot for a day hike or a month long pack trip, no matter what you do, they NEED to be broke-in and yes they will hurt for a day or two until the leather is stressed to form to your own foot, so put them on and wear them around the house and to work and right away you will feel the comfort and difference in them. I mean really the only thing I never break in are a pair of sport shoes and they break in as well, but not made for the trail, right, and if you want to wear those on the trails go for it, but take the time give them a couple shots of nikwax and truck around in them before you hit the trail and you will love these boots, made in China and all!!!
I wore Sundowner for years before they got greedy and changed making them in Italy and now are being reproduced in China, Nowhere near the boot they once were. If anyone knows of a comparable Italian made Sundowner by Vasque I would really be grateful! I have been trying other Redwing boots with no satisfaction. They really messed up a good thing. The China Boots Are Not Even Close To The Same!
Price Paid: $180
Great boots so comfy and heavy duty, I wear them all the time... Just wondering if I should use some kind of conditioner or oil on them?
Price Paid: $82
A durable boot, but far too expensive.
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