The Eclipse has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best backpacking boots for 2024.
I purchased my first pair in 1995, I still wear that pair of Sundowners almost every day. On the other days I'm wearing the Eclipses. I have backpacked in Colorado, Missouri, and Arkansas. These are the most comfortable Boots I have ever owned. With the full Gore-Tex bootie, the only time my feet have gotten wet is when water has come in from the top. I will admit that after a long day my feet are kinda sweaty. They do scuff pretty easily but with regular sealings, and polish that sill look brand new. I wear the Eclipses every day in my profession as a paramedic, the soles wear quite a bit faster on the pavement, but that's to be expected. I will be replacing them with another pair if they ever wear out!!!!
Materials: Full Leather
Break-in Period: 2 weeks
Price Paid: $190
The Vasque Sundowner, Newbrier, and Eclipse are all the same boot with the only difference being the leather. The Newbrier is brown nubuck while the Sundowner is burgundy full grain leather and the Eclipse is black full grain leather. All three boots are Gore-Tex, and despite my constant abuse of my Newbriers and Sundowners they have never leaked. They are a great all around boot. I use my Newbriers for crusing around town and I have reserved the Sundowners for backpacking. Some complain that the ankle is a little stiff, but it eventually breaks in. The new Sundowner II's have replace the "stiff" top of the ankle with a softer leather collar.
You cannot lose by buying one of these boots!!!
Use: Medium to Rough trail with a medium weight pack
Break-in Period: 3-4 days
Weight: 12 lb 12 oz
Price Paid: $170-180 US
This is a great light/medium duty boot. I use this for short day hikes, off trail with a daypack, working in the yard, daily during the winter months here in Missouri, and for travel whenever I will use a travel backpack.
The boots are very waterproof, the Skywalk soles are very grippy and wear well. The boots are sometimes hot in the middle of summer, since Gore-Tex can't push out moisture when it is 90% humid outside.
I purchased these to supplement my Raichle Montagnas, which are too heavy for most uses. I wasn't sure how well a cemented boot would perform compared to a Norwegian-welted boot. I have been satisfied with the performance to date.
Materials: 2.8 mm full-grain leather w/Gore-Tex bootie
Use: Off trail/day hikes/daily use in winter
Break-in Period: Out of the box
Weight: 3.2 lbs
Price Paid: $125 (closeout: Sierra Trading Post)
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Reviewers Paid: $125.00-$190.00