Vasque Constant Velocity II - Women's Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Vasque Constant Velocity 2 is a versatile traditional trail runner that boasts great stability, durability, and protection. While we think it's comfortable, the toe box is less voluminous and fits a narrow foot best. Take it with you on any trail…just avoid super sloppy surfaces.
Reinforced with a bomber water-wicking upper, thin rock guard, welded toe cap, and ample cushioning, it sports a decent amount of protection. The synthetic upper is tightly knit, keeping out pesky particulates while the toe cap is hard, preventing pain when unsuspected stubs occur. The heel is stacked with 24mm of responsive cushioning that provides a great barrier for trail hazards.
The thin ESS rock plate is unobtrusive and helps to protect from any sharp item you may encounter underfoot. To top it all off, the upper is reinforced with a wicking liner that proved to do well on river crossings on the trail. Overall, a well-equipped and protective trail shoe.
The outsole of the Vasque Constant Velocity 2 provides traction on mellow to medium terrain. Vasque's AxisGrip rubber is sticky and pliable, latching to smooth rocks and other surfaces. The heel features a brake or crash pad that provides additional stability when coming to quick stops. The lugs are 4mm, multidirectional, with a plethora of cutouts to facilitate a smooth transition between different types of terrain.
While we like this outsole, we didn't think it performed the best on super slippery or soft surfaces. Think high-angle scree slopes, deep sand, or heavy mud. The lugs simply aren't as long or spaced out as other competitors like our Top Pick for Sloppy surfaces, the Salomon Speedcross 4. While the outsole is versatile and transitions well from road to trail, it's limited when it comes to technical terrain. This makes it a perfect option as a mostly all-terrain shoe.
The stability of the Vasque Constant Velocity 2 is awesome! When taking it out on more technical trails littered with pebbles, rocks, and roots, we felt nimble and supported. The design of the shoe is unique, providing a high level of stability all around.
Stacked with ample cushioning in the heel in addition to a more narrow toe box, we were surprised that a shoe with a higher stack height could feel so stable. This is largely attributed to the 'splaying design' of the shoe. The outsole actually splays out from the footbed, creating a larger base, and thus better balance. The heel cup cradles the heel, making you feel incredibly low to the ground. The synthetic overlays and the upper wrap around the foot, securing it in place. The result? Awesome stability. Not once did we roll an ankle or even have to slow down to account for instability in the shoe. Overall…two thumbs up in this metric!
Comfort & Fit
While this shoe is certainly comfortable, fit is trivial depending on your foot (as always). The stacked EVA cushioning is exceptionally responsive and supportive (but not too soft) while the stability of the heel facilitates easy heel-striking. The upper is incredibly thin, flexible, and breathable, adding to the comfort of the ride. None of the synthetic materials are too hard, nor do they cause blisters. The laces are ridiculously long, but the round lace construct stays in place on long runs. In addition, there are numerous eyelets for an adjustable fit and an attached gusseted tongue that doesn't slide down or around while running on trails. Finally, the pull-on tab at the back of the shoe makes it easy to clip the shoes to a backpack or harness, while making it easier to put on and take off.
While the comfort features of this shoe are great, the fit is another animal. This shoe fits those with a narrow foot best because of its less voluminous and more narrow forefoot. Those with medium to wide feet will find the toe box to be a little constricting. That said, those with a more narrow or less voluminous foot saw no problems and felt that there were great arch and heel support throughout. Another point to bring up is the room between eyelets. The eyelets are not spaced out very far from one another, so there is little room for adjustments. For example; if one needed to make the shoe more narrow or much wider, there isn't a large range for these adjustments. Even when letting out the laces, the eyelets are still fairly close together, and the gusseted tongue keeps the space of the shoe the same. Aside from this caveat, our testers thought the fit to be precise.
This lightweight shoe weighs 10.3 oz (per one size nine shoe). While crossing over streams, we noticed that the synthetic upper did a great job at wicking away stray droplets and it didn't become saturated until the shoe was totally immersed. Even after saturation, it doesn't hold much water and dries very quickly. In our submersion tests, it only held 3.3 oz of water which is little to nothing in comparison to other contenders.
With great protective elements including amply cushioning throughout the midsole, this shoe has an average level of sensitivity. The thin rock guard does a great job at adding protection without sacrificing a "close to the trail" feel. You can certainly feel the surfaces stepped on, allowing you to readjust as needed to stay upright.
This traditional trail runner is perfect for all sorts of conditions. The easy-wicking upper makes it a great option for rainy weather or river crossing, while its fantastic level of protection and breathability keeps you dry and cool on hot days. While the outsole is super aggressive and doesn't do the best on soft surfaces like mud, deep sand, or snow, it certainly performs on other surfaces, including technical terrain. Overall, all a great all-around trail runner, perfect for running everything from roads to trails. In addition, it can double easily as a light hiking shoe.
Retailing for just $119 (and less with sales online), this is a high-value shoe. During our testing period, we observed no wear and tear. The textiles used in this shoe are incredibly durable and reinforced. As a result, we'd say this is a high-value option.
The Vasque Constant Velocity 2 is a traditional trail runner that balances protection, stability, and durability. It is quite versatile and can easily transition from road to trail at the drop of a hat. Enjoy it through all-seasons and in all conditions mother nature throws at you!
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