Down ‘N Dirty: Vasque Women’s Mesa Trek

I must admit — in the summer I am a dedicated sandal wearer. I have a 10-year-old “Z” atop my foot and I’m not afraid to admit it. For over a decade, I backpacked rolling and rocky east coast trails, wandered sandy deserts, rambled along scree fields and summited 14ers — all with my toes flying free. But, with my thirties in full swing, a toddler in tow and another kid on the way, I’m finding toe bumps and pebbles under foot much more commonplace. I have come to accept that there is a time and place for a closed-toe boots. Cue the Vasque Mesa Trek. I have owned a few Vasque boots in my day and I am particularly happy to add these to my line-up.

MSRP: $139.99

Pros: Comfort out of the box is a novel idea and the Mesa Trek fully encompasses it. For a gal that prefers relatively minimal footwear, I appreciated the cushy, yet supportive nature of the Mesa Trek. The first day I pulled the boots on, I felt like they were made for my foot. Form-fitting and quick to mold nicely to the contours of my feet and my quirky toes. I also appreciate that this boot doesn’t sacrifice support for said comfort. I didn’t experience any hot spots, rubbing or strange twinges that sometimes come with a firmer, more rugged boot. And for a light hiker, the Mesa Trek provided very nice ankle support on steep hikes while ensuring no unnecessary fatiguing after a day on the trails. The UltraDry waterproof membrane was also a nice feature on this boot. Once monsoon season finally hit Southern Colorado, it was reassuring to have some peace of mind that hiking in a passing downpour wouldn’t leave my feet swampy.

Cons: These boots are very comfortable as a light to moderate hiker and I appreciated the support while carrying the added weight of being 6 months pregnant. However, while the lower profile sole provides enough traction for day hiking, I would not suggest this boot for hefty, longer backpacking trips with heavier packs. While the AxisGrip sole and suede/mesh upper keep the boots lighter and more nimble, they sacrifice more rugged support and aggressive traction.

Where I Took It: Moderate difficulty (steep, rocky scree fields, ridge hiking) day hikes along the Continental Divide Trail, short hikes on varied trails in Southern Colorado and sprints up the Del Norte, Colorado town trails.

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