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$120, 14.2 oz, www.vasque.com
The Sherman tank of the review, this hefty shoe mows down all trail types in any weather. The sock-like gusseted tongue provides a plush fit, the stiff midsole stops stingers cold and the high heel cuff offers considerable lateral support. The heel counter is also solid, but the shoe ran relatively “hard,” which isn’t much of an issue on trails.
If you’re seeking a bomber-constructed shoe for rocky, wet, high-country jaunts, consider the Blur SL GTX, which runs surprisingly well for all its burliness. The shoe fits narrow to medium feet, and runs about a half size large.
TESTERMONIAL: “The Blur SL GTX is best in wet weather and muddy terrain, and performed well on rocky trails where blistering speed is not a concern.” —Bob Jackman, Warwick, RI