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Vasque Velocity AT Trail Running Shoe
Weight: Women’s—8.3 oz.; Men’s—10.2 oz.
Rock plate: Yes
Best Features: Smooth ride, good grip, lightweight, comfortable.
Room for Improvement: Potentially not suited for runs longer than 10-ish miles.
The mesh upper of the Vasque Velocity AT features several panels of reflective material and was breathable and comfortable during testing. While the collar is quite low for a trail shoe, there weren’t any problems with small rocks getting in, even on a loose downhill. The midsole, 24mm at the heel, is made of a soft EVA material; it contains a molded forefoot rockplate for protection. The rubber outsole has cross-shaped lugs.
My favorite part of the Vasque Velocity AT (women’s here) was the grip. On dirt, mud or loose trail it tracks very well. The only surface it had any trouble on was smooth ice (a problem for nearly any shoe). It felt very light on my feet and the roll of the shoe through the stride was smooth and fluid. The rockplate helps protect the feet but it’s not super beefy, if that’s a concern.
One potential drawback was the amount of midsole cushioning. One of my test runs was over 13 miles and I felt I had over-run the shoe. This flaw, however, might not be much of an issue for a lighter runner or a runner who runs a lot of soft trails. I would not choose these shoes for racing an ultra, but, due to their light weight and smooth feel, I would certainly use them for a short trail race or if I wanted to take a crack at the leaderboard of a local Strava segment.
—Will Fisher, age 47, chooses training runs and races for their scenic value. He’s a relatively large runner who cross trains a lot and is excited to have just been accepted into the Western States 100 Endurance Run.