User Review: Vasque Men's Wasatch GTX
Use: Hiking, backpacking, scrambling over talus
Break-in Period: 2 weeks
Price Paid: $165
Good boots, but serious durability issues with the leather currently used in this model. Not recommended for off-trail use or for extended backpacking trips.
Bought these boots in May 2006, used them extensively over two summers for work and play in the northern Rockies. I'm a biological field technician, so I spent many hours in these boots for work and then scrambled around the mountains on my days off.
I have slightly wider feet than average, and these boots were a great fit for my feet. They broke in with minimal discomfort and never caused any blisters. Good ankle support, despite lower height of the uppers.
The leather performed well with the proper maintenance (mink oil, Nikwax, etc.) although these treatments did change the color of the nubuck leather (which didn't matter to me at all).
The soles are in good shape after 1.5 years of use. No delamination yet. However (and now we get to the reason why these boots only get two stars), the leather used to make the uppers of these boots has not performed well. It's not durable at all for my purposes. I'd bump rocks and the leather would cut and tear with ridiculous ease. After less than 1 year of use, they looked as though they'd been greatly abused after what I considered to be an easy season. I actually talked to an experienced salesperson at a national outdoor rec. chain store after that first year and he wasn't too surprised with my experience. The leather Vasque was using for this model was too soft and just wasn't up to par, especially for leather that is 2.4mm thick. Seems to me that appearance and cutting costs trumped utility in this case.
Good boots, if you're staying on the trail and avoiding all hard objects. Perhaps that's what they were designed for, although that wasn't what I was told when I purchased them. I won't be buying another pair.