Vasque Transistor FS
Use: Have been using them on treadmill but will take to trail once snow melts
Break-in Period: About a day - Walk around in them first
Price Paid: Pro deal to test
Trail running shoes are like mountain bikes. They take you off trail where the crowds are fewer and the flora and fauna is more prevalent, but are still effective for getting the job done on the paved trails and roads. This year, I’ve been taking the Vasque Transistor FS trail runners for regular spins. The Transistors are the latest and greatest from Vasque's footwear line.
I’ve been a wearer of Vasque hiking boots for many years so when they offered me a pair of trail runners to test out, I had to try them. I have no idea what Vasque does to their boots but their boot technology clearly bubbles over into their trail running shoes. There’s been too much snow on the ground for me to take these shoes out and run on an actual trail so I’ve been running on the treadmill regularly to get a good feel.
The Transistor doesn’t have a removable foot bed like so many performance shoes. While a shoe’s mesh or leather upper might be anatomically correct, where your foot rests is flat. Vasque is using a new technology called FootSync Fit System™ to shape an anatomical midsole and upper as one, eliminating the need for a foot bed. This makes the Transistors lighter and cozier than the average trail shoe, and keeps your foot closer to ground. This reduces your center of gravity, enhances stability, and, can probably help to prevent ankle injuries when running on uneven trails.
Stability and a balanced, natural feel is what I noticed most about the Transistors. The Flux Foam layer inside the shoe contours to your foot and delivers comfortable cushioning. At first glance, you wouldn’t think these shoes would feel the least bit comfortable, lacking a foot bed and all, but they are.
Just to make sure that Vasque wasn’t joshing me, I tested the Transistors side by side with my Ahnu Rockridge XTR trail runners. Both shoes had a low center of gravity and felt identical as far as height went but the real test came with a 30-minute run on the treadmill wearing the Ahnu on the right foot and the Vasque on the left.
Both shoes provided great stability, but Vasque won in the fit, comfort and weight category. The Vasque had a more molded, cozier feel while the Ahnu had some extra wiggle room. Finally, I felt that the Vasque absorbed more shock and impact than the Ahnu, making it a significantly more comfortable shoe to run in.
This is not to say that the Rockridge is an inferior shoe, it isn’t, but its purpose is more twofold: It’s a light-weight day hiker and trail runner so it’s designed to accommodate a heavier sock (I think).
Overall impression? The Transistor FS actually make me feel like running.
Where to Buy
Manufacturer's Description refers to the men's version
The Transistor FS is the first Vasque model to use the company's new FootSync Fit System, which simultaneously synchronizes the anatomy of a dynamic foot and the uneven, constantly changing running surface.
Vasque's lightest trail runner to date, the Transistor FS is a nimble, high-tech shoe that combines a road-runner's upper with a trail-runner's body.
Here's what other sites are saying:
The Transistor FS is about connecting the runner to the trail in a whole new way. Using the patent pending FootSync Fit System, the runner is closer to the ground as the shoe morphs to their individual foot shape. This is achieved without sacrificing cushioning. The result is an extremely light trail shoe that offers unsurpassed control, seamlessly connecting to the foot and to the terrain.
- CampSaver.com refers to the men's version
CLOSEOUTS . Tune your feet into a faster frequency with Vasque's Transistor FS trail running shoes. The FootSync Fit System is designed to conform to your foot shape for improved trail feel on long runs. Available Colors: GREY/GARGOYLE, SILVER/FORMULA ONE RED, SUPER LEMON/PEAT. Sizes: 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 13, 14.
- Sierra Trading Post refers to the men's version
The Vasque Transistor FS trail-running shoes help you achieve a new level of performance without compromising support and protection. Breathable, abrasion-resistant synthetic leather and nylon mesh uppers are lightweight and flexible for comfort. Protective toe bumpers shield toes and uppers from abrasion; padded tongues and collars add comfort and relieve pressure from lacing. Nylon linings disperse excess moisture away from feet for fast drying. Poron(R) memory foam footbeds conform to your feet for the ultimate in comfort. Anatomically shaped, low-profile EVA midsoles are contoured to match the foot's shape, providing support and cushioning where needed and offering feel for the trail. Thermoplastic urethane plates provide support and stability on mixed terrain and protection from sharp objects underfoot. Outsoles utilize a slip-resistant rubber compound and feature aggressive, multidirectional lugs for superior traction. Closeout.
- REI refers to the men's version
Designed for logging long, fast miles, the Vasque Transistor FS Trail Running Shoes for Men connect your foot to the shoe while connecting you to the trail. The Transistor FS is about connecting the runner to the trail in a whole new way. Using the patent pending FootSync Fit System, the runner is closer to the ground as the shoe morphs to their individual foot shape. This is achieved without sacrificing cushioning. The result is an extremely light trail shoe that offers unsurpassed control, seamlessly connecting to the foot and to the terrain.
- Altrec Outdoors refers to the men's version