These trail runners are cool and lightweight, but they are a little lower in the heel collar than I would like.
I bought these at the end of the summer at the same time as I got the Montrail Hardrock Trail Runners. I hiked in the other pair a lot, but held on to these to wear around the house because I didn’t, and don’t, think that I could hike long distances in these.
First of all, trail runners are designed to be cool with mesh uppers and extra traction on the soles for outside use. They have excellent support built in. Neither pair is exactly perfect for me.
The Vasque Velocity for women weigh just 1.5 pounds for the pair. This color is called Moonstruck/ Orange. I don’t care much for the orange, but hey, they were half price. These have rubber over the toe for abrasion resistance, and a good padded collar.
The laces thread through fabric loops on the sides of the gusset, and the tongue is fastened on each side so it can’t slip. There is a loop on the tongue to run the laces through for extra security to keep the tongue straight.
These have a little bit of reflective material on the back. The mesh does make these very airy, and noticeably cool, which I like since I tend to have hot feet.
They have a stiff supportive arch, but it is not too high as was the case in the Montrail pair. In other words, I can wear my own orthotics in these without any trouble.
The one thing that I really don’t like about these is that the heel collar does not come up quite as high as I like. I have a sensitive nerve in the top back of my heel that doesn’t like having a shoe press on it. So far, these haven’t irritated that, but I still wish they were a bit higher. Also, my heels are really narrow, and the higher the shoe the better it stays on. Thanks to the way my sister in law taught me to tie the laces, it makes these a little bit better.
I don’t think that I could hike in these because even with tying them better they would slip too much. But I am finding them comfortable to wear for everyday. The extra traction on the soles does make them “squeak” when I don’t lift them high enough on linoleum or tile floors.
These retail for $110, and I got them for $50.
Update On Jul 23, 2010: I had to come back and explain more about these shoes. This summer, I annoyed my achilles tendon in one heel between sections of a hike. There I was, at a trailhead, with boots that I could not tolerate, since they rubbed on the tendon. These were the only other shoes I had with me. I did not think I could walk 3 miles in them, let alone 80, which was the planned hike. But it was the choice, or go home. So off we went.
As it turned out, I hiked in these for a total of 200 miles in May and June. Although they were/are still a bit big for me, they held up pretty well despite being completely wet a lot of the time. Of course, they have no ability to keep out any water as noted in the main review.
They quickly got really filthy as mud worked into the mesh. and the mesh was not strong enough to withstand the occasional stubbed joint or scrape on rocks and roots. Both shoes have broken outer mesh.
However, they did the job, so I needed to come back and give them a better report than I would have expected.
Update On Nov 13, 2010: I continue to wear these, and except for the torn mesh they are holding up well. I have a bone spur on one heel, and these shoes still cushion it fairly well. I have noticed that the excellent ventilation of the foot means that if I'm working outside much my feet get really, really dirty!