The Good: Very comfortable, collar offers good stability and support, great traction, light weight.
The Bad: Leather requires frequent maintenance.
The Verdict: Vasque St. Elias GTX are one of the best light weight boots you can find on the market. They offer everything you would need from a hiking boot, at an affordable price.
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For a relatively cheap boot, Vasque St.Elias GTX offer incredible comfort, durability and stability. These boots are great for just about any application, but they will definitely keep you feet safe and dry on a serious hike. Build quality is excellent, and the materials used make it very resistant to prolonged wear. One of the best things about Vasque St. Elias GTX is their light weight design, which makes them great for longer hikes.
Vasque St.Elias GTX are made from full grain leather that is used for the entire exterior of the boot, synthetics that make the collar and interior, and Vibram rubber for the soles. For waterproofing, Vasque used standard Gore-Tex lining which does a surprisingly great job. Lacing is done with ease, and you also have a locking pair of eyelets in the middle that work great at holding everything in place. The Vibram Frontier sole offers great traction even on wet rocky terrain, and performs better than expected.
Comfort and Stability
Comfort is something Vasque St.Elias GTX delivers in abundance. Once you put these boots on, and lace them up tight, the collar won't give you any trouble. On the contrary, the collar will fit snug and won't limit the angle you can bend your ankle at, thanks to its flexibility. Speaking of the collar, it is partially covered with leather which offers an additional layer of protection. The soles are made of somewhat standard double density foam and are very comfortable. For a full leather boot, Vasque St.Elias GTX breathes surprisingly well.
When it comes to stability, Vasque St.Elias GTX performs better than you would expect from an affordable boot. The collar is flexible but rigid enough to keep your ankles stable, and the midsole combined with an EVA insert definitely does a great job at supporting your foot. Vasque St.Elias GTX will allow you to carry heavier loads without having to worry about injury.
Vasque St.Elias GTX is an amazing boot for serious hiking/backpacking, and just about any other application that comes to mind. It's light weight, and offers great stability and support for your ankles. Comfort is one of the best features of Vasque St.Elias GTX, and at this price you probably won't find a better hiking boot.