Vasque Mesa Trek UltraDry - Women's Review
Cons: Lack support, poor traction
Our Analysis and Test Results
While the Vasque Mesa Trek UD shines when it comes to comfort, the boots fell a bit short in our support, durability, and traction metric ratings. The Mesa Trek make for a good budget option. Because of this, there are a few compromises made regarding the boots' overall construction and durability. The soft leather uppers make them less waterproof than other Vasque models we have tested, and the soles have a less aggressive tread pattern than other models as well.
This is the rating where the Mesa Trek shine. These boots are very comfortable right off the bat and require very little time to break. Unlike many of the other leather boots in this review, think of the Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof or the La Sportiva Nucleo, the Vasque Mesa Trek's are made of a supple, suede leather. Most other boots with leather uppers use Nubuck leather, which takes much more time to break in than soft suede. Their supple nature, paired with their wide toe box, makes the Mesa Trek an incredibly comfortable boot. Similarly, the Vasque Breeze III Mid combine this softness with a bit more support underfoot.
For a fairly large boot with a thick sole, the Mesa Trek is not the most supportive in this review. The uppers do not provide very much stiffness, and the midsoles are flat underfoot. For more support, these boots worked well with an insole, for those who require more arch support underfoot. They are more supportive than the Teva Arrowood and the Keen Terradora, but provide less stability than the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3.
The Mesa Trek UD weigh in at 1.8 pounds. This weight lands them on the upper end of average in comparison to the other boots in this review. A few pairs of comparable weight that received high scores overall are the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 and the Hoka One One Tor Ultra. Both of these boots have a light feel on foot and provide a ton of support and cushion underfoot. In that way, the Mesa Trek falls short, since it does not provide the same support, though it weighs the same.
In comparison to other Vasque models we have tested over the years, the Mesa Trek falls a bit short regarding traction. The tread pattern is pretty minimal, lacking the large lugs of the Vasque Breeze III. The Vasque Monolith also had issues with traction but performed better than the Mesa Trek on rock slabs and steep terrain. The boots that performed the best concerning traction were the La Sportiva Nucleo, whose Vibram soles provide great traction.
The combination of water-resistant suede leather and mesh make the Mesa Trek a surprisingly water-resistant boot. At first glance, the boots look as though they would not perform well in wet conditions because of their suede leather uppers, but they proved to be surprisingly water resistant. When the Mesa Treks were submerged in water, they kept our feet dry initially. Because they are not Gore-Tex, their water-resistant coating has some limitations. For long periods of time in wet conditions, the Mesa Treks started to let in a little bit of moisture through the mesh of the toe box. These boots are not as waterproof as Gore-tex models such as the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 or the La Sportiva Nucleo High.
The mesh and leather are well integrated on the Mesa Trek and make up a durable upper. The toe box is reinforced with leather on the sides, which is a place that tends to show wear most quickly. During our testing period, we saw very little wear on this part of the Mesa Trek. The soles, with their low-profile lug depths, seem like they will wear out faster than boots with a more substantial sole, like the Keen Targhee III or the La Sportiva Nucleo. For light hiking, though, the Mesa Trek's held up well overall.
These boots would make for a good light hiker or a boot for those not planning to do exceptionally strenuous hikes. They are durable and comfortable but do not provide the support, stability, or traction needed for long, rugged hiking. We were pleased by their water resistance, but would not get these boots if we were planning on hiking in wet conditions constantly.
For $140, the Mesa Trek is a reasonably priced option for the construction of the boot and support they provide. They were not outstanding when it comes to new technology but did work well keeping our feet comfortable on the trail. For a less expensive introductory hiker, we suggest the Keen Targhee III or the Vasque Monolith UD. Both of these boots were a bit more substantial than the Mesa Trek and received higher scores in our metrics overall.
Overall, the Vasque Mesa Trek was a decent, though not outstanding boot. These boots were comfortable right away and fit a wide foot. Unfortunately, they lacked support in the ankle and underfoot, making them a less-than-ideal option for longer hikes. They were fairly water resistant, though they lacked regarding traction and we often found ourselves slipping on wet, loose rock. We used these boots in the desert, where we encountered a bit of water here and there, but for the most part stayed dry. These types of conditions were ideal for the Mesa Trek, any more moisture and our feet would have been less happy in these boots. For more moderate hiking, the Mesa Trek is a good choice.
— Jane Jackson
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More