Hiking boots really took the tactical community by storm during OEF. Rugged mountain terrain proved a horrible environment for standard issue tan 8” boots. SOF and conventional counterparts have been issued and buying hiking boots out of pocket for years now. Everyone has their brand preference it seems, but some dominate more than others, Salomon, Merrill etc. One brand that isn’t as well-known (but should be) is Vasque.
I was and still am a big Salomon guy. I’ve used the 4d quest and multiple XA pro variants for years. The only issue I ever had with some of the lighter weight Salomon’s is that they wore out very quickly. In the search for a more durable pair of approach-type kicks, I heard about a brand called Vasque. The few other guys I knew that had Vasque footwear all swore by the brand, so I decided to purchase the Vasque Juxt.
I went with a shoe over a hiking boot as I wanted ankle mobility and not ankle support (think short-term assaults, short movements over rough terrain, etc.) The first thing I liked about them is the limited use of synthetics in the upper. They are made using a thick suede-leather that has proved durable over the last few years. The other thing that stands out is the lacing system. It extends almost down to the toe, allowing for a more customizable fit that stays locked in place. They are definitely a stable shoe across the board, and the reinforced toe cap is good for when you have to kick something (or someone) around.
The biggest reason I liked Salomon brand hiking footwear was that every pair I had ever used were comfortable out of the box. The Vasque Juxt are the same way. Durable and stable, yet not sacrificing comfort and flexibility. Usually, you have to choose between the two, but not in this case. If you are someone who loves Salomon or just someone who needs a pair of decent approach shoes, check out the Vasque Juxt. I’ve had mine for about 3 years, and they have been through the wringer. They’ve even been chewed on by my old working dog as you can see in the picture. Even through all that, they are still going strong with no end in sight.
Author – Tim M. is a former Army Ranger who has served in Afghanistan and as a K9 handler for ARSOF. In his free time, he enjoys shooting, working out and hitting the trails with the dog.