Image of the November 2019 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
November 2019 Issue
Home / Articles / Broken in

Vasque St Elias

Vasque St Elias, $399

Used by: Blister-free features and trips writer Hazel Phillips
Used for: 18 months
Cost: $399

The marketing spiel promises ‘out of the box comfort’ and I can’t argue – the St Elias GTX’s were blister-free with zero pain points from day one.

The Vibram sole has worn a little more quickly than I’d like, but at $399 I’m not crying too much. The only other criticism is that the Gore-Tex lining has started flaking off and isn’t waterproof anymore, giving the boot a very low ‘freeboard’ when crossing streams and stomping through puddles.

In the short time I’ve been using these boots, I’ve given them a thrashing often four days a week (overnights and multi-day), so I’d consider I’ve used them the equivalent of around four years based on a regular human’s weekend usage.

They’re light – just 1152g a pair (men’s; 1378g) – and I’ve been impressed by how well they’ve held up on longer trips and in more backcountry terrain – they were so comfortable I took them on a nine-day trip in the Kaimanawas and Kawekas last year.

Verdict: Lightweight boots that can withstand heavy-duty tramping.


Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Web exclusives. Each week we publish stories you won’t find in the magazine. View our latest web exclusives.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.