Vasque Sundowner



Rejoice everyone! Vasque has finally heard us! The…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $219.99


Rejoice everyone! Vasque has finally heard us! The Sundowner is BACK!


  • High quality US tanned Red Wing full grain leather uppers
  • Built on original Italian lasts provides the fit we know and love
  • Unsurpassed comfort and stability regardless of the terrain.


  • Pricey MSRP $219.99
  • The Red Wing leather is stiffer than the Italian leather of the originals
  • Vasque proprietary soles instead of Skywalk (although the mold was cast from the first generation Skywalk soles)

I have been wearing Vasque boots since I mowed grass all summer long to buy a pair of Montanas back in 1983. I bought my first Sundowners in 1992 and they lasted 15 glorious years.

My last pair of Sundowners was bought about 4 years ago and it was my first experience with the Chinese boot. I was very saddly dissapointed with the fit and feel of them. I didn't wear them long enough to experience any of the quality issues most complain about as they just weren't comfortable. I then got a pair of Clarion GTX's They were completely different from the Clarions I had in the '90as but have nonetheless been a good and comfortable boot.

When I found out about the Fall 2015 "Re-Boot" of the Sundowner I IMMEDIATELY bought a pair. After 6 weeks of everyday wear they are breaking in nicely! AAAAAHHHH!!! My old friends are back! Although they are constructed in Vietnam, the leather is good ole' American Red Wing, and it shows!

Thank you so much, Vasque! I am THRILLED with the new Sundowners! The leather on these seems thicker and sturdier than I remember in the Italian models, but as these are breaking in I think this is a good thing. The soles are the exact same pattern as my first pair (1992 models) with the grippy rolled heel that disappeared in the mid '90s but they seem a bit "luggier" than I remember but not heavier so this isn't a bad thing.

The color is different though. They were quite famous for the "cordovan red" leather hue, but the new ones are called "Red Oak." It's more of a reddish brown, but honestly a more contemporary look.

So far I'm thinking Vasque has hit a home run that will, with a little time, put them back in their rightful spot as the best boot on the trail. Even though the trend has been toward lighter and faster, those of us who know that the most important piece of gear you have is what is on your feet realize that some things just can't be skimped on and now that the most beloved boot ever is once again available, there is just no reason to spend $100-150 every year or so on lug soled running shoes.

Add SuperFeet inserts and you just may never take them off!


They are wonderful, comfortable boots that fall apart…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: around 200 bucks


They are wonderful, comfortable boots that fall apart *very quickly.*


  • Comfortable
  • Stable


  • They fall apart quickly

I like the way these boots fit, particularly with an innersole. However, the sole came completely detached as I was climbing last weekend. The boots were two years old, but didn't have that many miles on them. I was not happy. Customer service seemed glib and uncaring when I called them.

My *former * pair of Sundowners lasted for many years, by the way.


I've had my Vasque Sundowners for 17 years. I just…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
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!


  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Waterproof


  • None

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!!  


Great Boot - Just returned from an 11-day backcountry…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
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. 


I have worn Italian Vasque Sundowners for over 15…

Rating: rated 0.5 of 5 stars
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


A durable boot, but far too expensive.

Rating: rated 0.5 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $82

A durable boot, but far too expensive.


I wore Sundowner for years before they got greedy…

Rating: rated 1.5 of 5 stars

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!


I've been reading a lot of negative reviews of the…

Rating: rated 2.5 of 5 stars
Materials: Leather
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.

Happy Hunting!


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 ---

Breathability: GOOD
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.

Durability: EXCELLENT
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.

Comfort: POOR
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.

Looks: GOOD
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.

Conclusion: NO-GO
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.


Great boots so comfy and heavy duty, I wear them all…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
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?


First off, I would like to say to the people who wrote…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
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!!!

rated 4.00 of 5 stars All Sundowner versions

In addition to the 10 men's reviews above, there are 68 reviews for other versions of the Sundowner. Read all reviews »

Vasque Men's Sundowner


The Men's Sundowner has been discontinued.

previously retailed for:
$100.00 - $159.99

The Vasque Men's Sundowner is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen May 11, 2008 at GearTrade.

If you're looking for a new backpacking boot, check out the best reviewed current models.