Vasque St.Elias GTX Review

Vasque St.Elias GTX Review

Whether you’re just out on a day hike with your friends or backpacking across a challenging trail, there’s nothing that will ruin your adventure than a bad pair of boots. For most trails, you will need boots that are comfortable, lightweight, and have good water-resistance, stability, and traction. And that’s where Vasque St. Elias GTX comes in.

Anyone searching for a pair of mid-weight boots for summer backpacking or hiking big miles must consider Vasque St. Elias GTX. These shoes have Gore-Tex waterproof membrane that will keep your feet dry. And, their full-grain leather looks great. But above all, they are comfortable right out of the box and always ready for any challenge.

But aside from those, Vasque St. Elias GTX has more benefits to offer. In this review, we will provide you an in-depth review of these high-quality boots. These include specs, pros, cons, additional features, and many more!

Specs & Features Overview

Vasque St.Elias GTX
Durability5/5
Water Resistance4.5/5
Weight3/5
Traction4/5
Stability4.5/5
Comfort4/5
Price$$
Weight3.26 lbs. (1.48 kg)
UseBackpacking
CutMid-cut
LinerGore-Tex
ClosureLace-up
ColorwaysDark Brown and Brown
Heel1.75 in. (4.44 cm)
Platform0.75 in (1.9 cm)
Width optionsNarrow, regular, wide
Size range (US)
  • Weight: 1.57 kg (for size 12 medium)
  • 7-14 for men
  • 6-11 for women
  • Wide, medium, and narrow options
Materials
  • Toe protection: molded rubber bumper.
  • Synthetic ankle collar.
  • Liner: GORE-TEX.
  • Upper material: 2.3 mm waterproof oiled nubuck leather.
  • Footbed: dual-density EVA.
  • Midsole: A.S.E. with EVA cushioning pads and TPU shank.
  • Outsole: Vasque exclusive Vibram Frontier.

Vasque St.Elias GTX Detailed Review

The Vasque St. Elias GTX is a quality pair of boots manufactured by a prominent footwear brand – Vasque. It is an excellent option for backpackers who need great performance, comfort, and stability. It’s a little bit hefty, but this trait makes it a more suitable pair of boots when the trails are rough, and you are carrying a heavy load.

To further understand what Vasque St. Elias GTX can really provide, let’s take a look at the following features.

Vasque St.Elias GTX shore
via @vasquefootwear on Instagram

Comfort

Compared to other models from Vasque like Keen and LL Bean, the St. Elias GTX are among the most comfortable midweight hiking boots out there. Similar to many backpacking boots, particularly the full-grain leather ones, the St. Elias GTX needs some breaking before they are ready for long adventures. But you will feel how this pair of boots cushion, protect, and wrap your feet without restricting them as soon as you put them on.

It is also worth mentioning that these boots can endure a wide temperature range. They are actually only suitable as three-season boots, but we found out that they also work great on winter hikes on ice and snow. Of course, they are not a replacement for mountaineering or winter boots. But certainly, they will keep your feet warm if you’re just heading out for some quick fun in the snow.

In warmer conditions, the Vasque St. Elias GTX won’t let you down when it comes to breathability. During the hottest days, you might prefer lightweight trail running shoes that come with plenty of mesh. However, the St. Elias GTX will surely keep your feet pretty cool even in summer while providing superior ankle support. What makes Vasque St. Elias GTX a comfortable pair of hiking shoes is the amount of structural support under the foot that provides protection from a long day of hiking.

The molded rubber toe caps provide extra security from tripping over large roots and rocks. The boots’ dual-density EVA footbeds are top-quality. Their upper three sets of lacing hooks allow you to customize the fit around your ankles. The all-metal lacing hardware helps for easy and snug-fitting.

Stability

This pair of shoes from Vasque comes with an improved chassis that features a stable and supportive midsole platform known as the ATC or All-Terrain Compound. This platform is rigid while being comfortable all the time. Not to mention how secure and snug your ankles will feel if the collar is lace up.

Another factor that highly contributes to these boots’ stability is its outsole. The outsole is Vasque Exclusive Vibram Frontier molded with the XSTrek compound. This is an excellent design that gives exceptional stability, even on different types of terrains. Additionally, the design was incorporated into the boots in order to minimize rubber while not compromising the traction. Their ankle collars are made of synthetic material. With the extra leather layers, these boots provide better cushioning and support.

Vasque St.Elias GTX trail hike
via @vasquefootwear on Instagram

Water-Resistance

When it comes to any hiking boots, water resistance is one of the most crucial factors to consider. The Vasque St. Elias GTX boots come with great water-resistance. You can use them to walk through small streams and puddles. However, walking anything deeper than six inches is not a smart decision since the water will just get above the boots’ upper and will seep down to your feet.

The Vasque St. Elias GTX will keep your feet dry for a pretty long time if you keep to the shallows. Since they don’t come with an extra DWR treatment, their leather uppers will wet out gradually. From the bottom of the sole of St. Elias GTX to the lowest point of the tongue gussets, the boots measured 6.2 inches, which give them a high margin for trudging through deep puddles.

Durability

Every part of the Vasque St. Elias GTX is built to last. The boots are incorporated with thick laces, metal lacing eyelets, leather uppers, and Vibram soles. They even come with double seams in the upper. With its excellent durability, you will be able to endure hiking through rock, mud, dirt, and deep snow. Not to mention that even after months of use, they will still look great.

Their rubber toe bumper is molded to the outsole and stitched to the upper. This makes the boots more robust than other toe caps. Additionally, its full-grain leather is incorporated with a minimal number of seams to reduce the problem of upper falling apart. Overall, the Vasque St. Elias GTX boots have excellent durability thanks to the great construction.

Vasque St.Elias GTX mountain hiking
via @vasquefootwear on Instagram

Weight

Vasque St.Elias GTX is certainly a bit hefty, but this is not really a disadvantage for the boots. In fact, their weight helps them to have better stability and traction on the trail. It is also worth mentioning that the St. Elias GTX pair is a little bit heavier because it is more durable and robust. On the other hand, lighter boots that use lighter materials are typically less water-resistant and less durable. Lighter boots are also not really ideal for use in colder conditions.

Design

Perhaps it won’t matter how the boots look like for most hikers out there. But for the price, the Vasque St. Elias GTX is a pair of pretty stylish boots. These boots have a simple and classic design that helps them stand out against many competitors like the Merrell Capra, Salomon Quest 4D, or the Keen Targhee II Mid.

It is good to know that aside from sporting excellent construction, this pair of boots is also pretty good looking. And since their uppers are crafted of real leather, they acquire that cool worn leather aesthetic as they age.

Vasque St.Elias GTX mountain
via @vasquefootwear on Instagram

Construction

The Vasque St. Elias GTX is crafted with high-quality nubuck leather resistant, which is suitable for any conditions. The nubuck leather is a top-tier cattle leather that has been buffed or sanded.

On these boots’ toe sections, they have a molded rubber over-layer for additional protection. They also come with additional leather over-layer on the back. One of the few excellent features in these boots is its metal eyelets. They come with seven pairs of them, and they are high-quality, strong, and exceptionally designed.

Meanwhile, the Gore-Tex liner makes St. Elias GTX highly water-resistant and breathable. In particular, you can stay in over 5.7 inches of water without your feet getting wet.

Beneath the shoes, they have a molded ASE midsole integrated with TPU or Thermoplastic Polyurethane shank and EVA cushioning pads for enhanced cushioning and stability. Their outsoles, which are made of Vasque Exclusive Vibram Frontier molded with XSTrek compound, also add to the stability factor for various types of terrains. Lastly, the ankle collars, which are made of synthetic material, give better cushioning and support with the help of extra leather layers.

Vasque St.Elias GTX summit
via @vasquefootwear on Instagram

Size and Fit

When it comes to size and fit, these shoes are suitable for both women and men. The Vasque St. Elias GTX boots feature a semi-curved forefoot area for adapting to the feet movements while walking. They also come with a mid-cut upper for supporting the ankle. The padded collar and cushioned tongue provide improved comfort. Their lacings secure snug fit throughout your hiking adventure.

Upper

The upper of St. Elias GTX features the waterproof oiled nubuck leather for a supportive fit and neat look. The nubuck leather is prominent for its long-term durability. The boots’ upper also has the Gore-Tex lining for improved water-resistance. Aside from protecting the user’s feet from unnecessary moisture, the upper also comes with great breathability, and it is windproof. All these features help the feet dry and fresh, no matter how challenging the trail gets.

Furthermore, the St. Elias GTX shoes are incorporated with a mid-cut design to give extra protection and support to the ankle. This mid-cut design significantly lowers the risk of twisting one’s ankle on rough terrains and steep slopes. Also, it is very helpful for backpackers who are not yet used to hiking on challenging surfaces. Lastly, the upgraded rubber toe gives extra protection to the toes against protrusions and small rocks along the way.

Vasque St.Elias GTX hiker
via @vasquefootwear on Instagram

Midsole

The ASE midsole of St. Elias GTX along with the EVA pods in the forefoot and heel provides better cushioning to the feet. The midsoles are resilient to concentrated forces, long-lasting, responsive, and very soft. Additionally, they lower the risk of damage at a single point, thus improving the capability and efficiency of the boots to hiking over longer distances.

Meanwhile, the TPU shank is placed between the midsole and outsole to reinforce the boots’ structure and reduce the load on the calf and foot. This feature improves the stiffness of the boots, thus securing the feet from bruises and puncture injuries caused by stubbing from rocks.

Outsole

The outsoles of Vasque St. Elias GTX shows are made of Vasque Exclusive Vibram Frontier with XSTrek Compound. This material is highly resistant to abrasions and significantly improves the long-term durability of the boots. They also work in synergy with the lug pattern on the outsole in order to give enough traction to prevent slippage on wet surfaces.

Vasque St.Elias GTX beach
via @vasquefootwear on Instagram

Pros

  • The nubuck leather and the Gore-Tex lining make the boots’ upper breathable, waterproof, and comfortable.
  • They are incorporated with a TPU shank to add stiffness and give extra support to the feet.
  • St. Elias GTX’s EVA pods and ASE midsole work together to maintain a cushioned environment for better responsiveness and comfortability.
  • Perfect to use even on wet, muddy, and rough terrains without worrying about the boots wearing off.
  • Heavy-duty backpacking performance is lightened up with its weight-optimized Vibram outsole.
  • They come with a reasonable price for its construction and durability.

Cons

  • They are not the lightest boots on the market.
  • Some users find that the laces fray a little bit fast.
Vasque St.Elias GTX hiking
via @vasquefootwear on Instagram

Conclusion

The Vasque St. Elias GTX is a pair of high-quality and solid boots that will certainly keep your feet dry and protected from harsh elements. These boots are crafted to be reasonably breathable and highly water-resistant. They also have a minimum number of seams.

So, who should get these boots? Pretty much everyone can have the St. Elias GTX. If you are looking to own one pair of quality hiking boots, surely these would suffice. These boots can handle more or less anywhere your outdoor adventures bring you.

Overall, the Vasque St. Elias GTX boots are perfect for hikers, mountaineers, and backpackers out there. It is a heavy-duty pair of boots. These boots are mostly about excellent water-resistance, feet protection, and exceptional stability for backpacking in tough trails. They are built with modern materials to help you finish that challenging trip.