Sunday, February 24, 2013

Keeping Warm & Dry On the Trail In Vasque Snowburbans - My Review

The nice people at Vasque sent me a pair of their new Snowburbans. They released 3 insulated
boots in the fall of 2012 and along with the lighter Snow Junkie and Snowblime, The Snowburban is
the behemoth of the three.

Let's back up a bit. I've been using Vasque boots and shoes for quite a while now. I feel they're
the toughest to hit the trail. I've worn and wear other brands, but my dogs always feel most at
home when I'm wearing Vasque. My go-to hikers are the Vasque Breeze GTX and I've run in the
Aether Tech, Velocity VST, Mindbender and Transistor. Add the Velocity, Blur SL, Mantra and even the Watergate when I'm paddling and you could say I'm a little biased about wearing the shoes with the golden logo with the V on the mountain. Yes I'm a huge fan, but this was my first chance to wear an insulated boot by Vasque.

Right out of the box, The Snowburbans were ready to go. There was none of that stiff/needed to be
broken in feeling about them. I loved the fit, especially the extra-high ankle support. We hadn't
gotten any "real" snow falls in my area, but have had some pretty cold temperatures. Pretty cold
in Pennsylvania this winter means temps below 20. I've been out for extended periods, both hiking and simply standing around at the muddy dog park in temperatures in the low teens and the 3M™ Thinsulate™ Ultra Insulation kept my feet toasty warm. I've worn them with a basic boot sock from Gander Mountain. The thinsulate does a great job of keeping your feet warm, but not too warm. I thought that if my feet were warm simply standing around in frigid temps, what would happen if I
were hiking? Were these boots going to get too hot? I was pleasantly surprised when hoofing it out
across a mountain trail with my dogs, my feet weren't cooking. Instead of sweating they were
comfy and warm as they should be at 16°F.

Snow, rain, freezing rain and freeze and thaw makes for a sloppy mess on my favorite nearby
trail, I've worn the Snowburbans through snow, ice, mud and water. Yes, the are "Ultra-Dry" and I
would welcome the Venture out sole tread on tires for my Jeep. The Snowburbans will slop through
a stream and stay dry and cross rocks with confidence.

Snowburbans On The Rocks With Mojo & Mollie

Probably the coolest thing about this monster boot is that it isn't a monster. I've worn other
insulated boots that are apparently trail ready and you get that Napoleon Dynamite moon boot
feeling from them. The Snowburbans fit like a hiker. I could easily see backpacking wearing these
in the winter. Vasque lists the weight at 3lb 3oz and says the Snowburbans are built same
articulated hardware as their backpacking boots. Although I haven't used it, they have a handy D-ring at the base of the lacing to hook gaiters. The toe cap that Vasque calls a toe rand (must be shoe industry jargon) is super tough protection for coordinated hikers like me who are especially skilled at catching a toe on a rock.

Guess I Should've Used Gaiters

The pair I got are Beluga and Old Gold so they even look cool. The only negative I've found on
this boot is that they're a bit too big to fit in my particular type of snow shoe. I have the MSR
Evo Tour Snowshoes and the Snowburbans just don't seem to fit. That's ok, my Vasque Breeze fit in
them just fine.

I admitted my bias for Vasque boots and shoes early on, but please believe that I've used these
boots and I've given my honest review. I'm not a hunter or a snow mobiler, but I would recommend the Snowburbans to my friends who are. Don't let cold temperatures and snow keep you off the trail when this new warm dry boot by Vasque can take you there.

The ground hog has predicted an early spring and dreams of summer trail running are already dominating my thoughts. Until that permanent thaw I'll be hiking in my Snowburbans.
Speaking of trail running, Vasque has just released their new trail running shoe, The Pendulum.  I plan to be running the trails this season wearing Vasque Pendulums, so look for my review when I do.

Posted By Blogger to Perry's Trails at 2/24/2013 06:21:00 PM

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