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Vasque St Elias Review | HileHighValley

Vasque St Elias Review | HileHighValley

Vasque St Elias Review

Vasque markets its St. Elias boots specifically as backpacking boots due to it’s heavy-duty design and light weight design, specifically with the outsole. The intention is to make it easier for wearers to trek challenging courses with a heavy pack while delivering comfort and stability for the feet throughout the endeavor. Throughout our Vasque St Elias review we found these boots feature a lot of technology you would expect in a great pair of boots plus some of Vasque’s own technology.


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Comfort and Support

The comfort and support of the St. Elias boots begins with Vasque’s proprietary Vibram® sole which is made of multiple layers consisting of a molded A.S.E. midsole, compression molded EVA midsole layer and finally by Vasque exclusive Vibram® Frontier rubber outsole. The A.S.E. midsole features the durability and abrasion resistance of polyurethane. There are EVA pods in the heel and at the front of the foot which creates running shoe-like comfort but also helps to traverse the unexpected conditions of a trail. The thermoplastic urethane shank offers additional support and protects your feed from anything sharp you might encounter on the trail. With all of these features related to comfort and stability, Vasque aims to provide a more athletic feel without sacrificing any of ruggedness expected for a backpacking boot.



The Vasque St. Elias boots weigh in at about 1.39 kilograms which is pretty light for rugged backpacking boots that are built to withstand the beating taken by a heavy load.



Touched on in the Comfort and Support section, the Vibram® Frontier rubber outsole provides more than adequate traction for any terrain. While other hiking boots feature a Vibram® outsole, this specific outsole is only available from Vasque.

Vasque St. Elias hiking boot Review

Water Proof

In addition to waterproof nubuck leather used on the outside of the boot, the St. Elias boots also use Gore-Tex® technology which provides a breathable fabric which repels moisture that might come from the elements or a stream and also wicks away any moisture inside the boot that might be created by your feet. The boots also have a molded rubber toe cap which, in addition to being roomy enough for the longest of toes, helps to keep those all-important toes comfortable and dry while trekking through a stream or on a rainy hike.


Public Opinion

Vasque considers the St. Elias backpacking boots to be one of their high-end products. As a result of this and the popularity of Vasque, there were many reviews to analyze. The reviews were perhaps a little more spread out for reasons we will discuss however, by and large, the reviews reflected happy consumers content with the rugged yet comfortable boot created by Vasque. Luckily, hikers and backpackers are always looking for the most comfortable and durable boots and as a result have often experienced various brands and models which makes for a frame of reference and allows for a more accurate analysis.


The Good


Despite being marketed specifically for backpacking, the Vasque St. Elias boots are surprisingly versatile thanks to a more athletic build. Reviewers reported simple day hikes with lighter packs and still found the boot to respond well and allow for a reasonable amount of movement. There were also much more intense treks including a Kilimanjaro climb during which the boots were subjected to all kinds of terrain and the user had a heavier than usual pack. In both cases the boots performed well.


Great for Wide Feet

The St. Elias backpacking boots come in wide sizes so if you’re looking for some extra space there is definitely a size for you. Once reviewers discovered what the appropriate size was, they reported a very comfortable fit.



Almost all reviews, both favorable an unfavorable, at least mentioned the durability and reliability of the boots. Steep slopes, rocky terrain and unstable rocks were no match for the St. Elias boots time and time again.


Light Weight and Support

Keeping in mind that the boots are designed for the more challenging treks and for users carrying heavier loads, the St. Elias boots are light weight and offer adequate support thanks to the mid cut ankle support and thermoplastic urethane shank.


No Break in Period

Another near-unanimous comment by reviewers was the ability to take the boots out of the box and put them to the test with successful results. The aforementioned Kilimanjaro climb was accomplished with boots that were fresh from the box.

Vasque St. Elias Review hiking shoe

The Bad

Small Sizing

Some users reported the boots ran a half size too small. This means that users needed to purchase boots a half size larger than they were accustomed to buying in order for them to fit properly. This is a rather small problem but did present a problem if the users were ordering their boots via the internet.


The final results are clear that the Vasque St. Elias boots are a great product. Despite the sizing issue, reviewers overwhelmingly were pleased with their purchase and after subjecting the boots to a variety of conditions, both mundane and severe, they performance was fantastic and met the expectations of the reviewers.


Bang for Your Buck

Even though Vasque considers these boots to be high-end, it’s actually more obvious in the quality and performance than it is in the price. Considering the ability of the boots to withstand the toughest of terrains and the heaviest of loads, the St. Elias boots or a really good deal and the quality is recognized immediately upon removal from the box.


The Verdict

Never a company to disappoint its customers, Vasque delivers an exceptional product with their St. Elias backpacking boots. The sturdy and rugged build of the boot fully takes advantage of the Vasque exclusive Vibram® Frontier rubber outsole. Combined with the admitted goal of creating a boot with a slightly more athletic feel and function, the St. Elias backpacking boots truly are a home run. Additionally, they are great looking pair of boots. So whether you are going on your own Kilimanjaro climb or just going out for the day with your family, these boots are a great buy and will stand the test of time.


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