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Vasque Zephyr

rated 4.0 of 5 stars

The Zephyr has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best backpacking boots for 2023.

photo: Vasque Zephyr backpacking boot

Great fit, holds up well; wouldn't leave home when being in the mountains for a hike...rain, show, or shine (fall - spring).

Price Paid: $67

When used with light loads, the boot is comfortable and performs well, grabbing the ground well in a variety of conditions. Excels on wet grass or mushy ground without slipping.

Have care now: the manufacturer describes this boot for light hiking duties. True! It is not a heavy backpacking boot (despite finding it categorized so here). The large outside lugs, probably a stylistic adornment for attracting buyers, will flex under high load or torsion when the foot comes down off camber, threatening to roll the foot and causing mis-steps at bad times.

I personally experienced this tendency with a heavy pack load on a rocky hill trail in Texas. See nearby Trailspace reviews of the newer Zephyr GTX, with which I agree; I should have read them first before that trip.

In mud you'll pick up a lot in the lugs and make the boot heavy, although it still grips better than most in mud.

Needs a minimal break-in period, the uppers are pliable and the sole is moderately stiff, handling rugged ground fine.

An good choice for day hikes or overnights on soft or pebbly trails or overland. For heavy backpacking, pick something with a conventional sole. (I like the Aku Utah, Alico Summit, Columbia 'Peaks' series)

Materials: Nubuck upper, nylon vent, Vibram sole
Use: Light to medium hiking over varied terrain
Break-in Period: 1 week
Weight: 3 lbs 4 oz
Price Paid: $69 at Sierra Trading Post

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