One of two hiking shoes we tested that are designed for dry terrain and weather, the super lightweight Vasque Juxt delivers great comfort and good durability at a very good price. The lightest product we tested with a full leather upper, it eats up terrain as long as it's not wet and muddy out.
Brandon Lampley scrambling down after the rappels on Devils Tower, WY. The Juxt is very light, and the leather upper durable for lots of rocky terrain abrasion.
The Juxt is form fitting and comfortable right out of the box. This lightweight shoe needs no break-in period and the padding around the opening is minimal, flexible, and feels great around the ankle. Vasque has done a brilliant job with the unique lacing system: eight alternating traditional eyes and webbing loops let you adjust the tightness of the lacing better than most shoes. With no waterproof lining and small vent holes through the leather tongue, this product is more breathable than all others except the Merrell Moab Ventilator
. Folks with wide feet will probably find the fit and toe box narrow, but wide sizes are available.
Fit is king for comfort, and as is common with many Vasque products, these shoes fit narrow and low volume feet well. If you have a wide forefoot, you may find these a bit narrow. Lucky for you, the Juxt is available in a wide version as well.
We found this shoe comfortable for dayhiking and moving fast on the trail. It could really benefit from a forefoot rock plate or beefier sole. Pointy rocks are easily felt through the sole.
How can a full leather shoe be so light? Our size 12 test model weighed in at 2.1 lbs, tied for the lightest hiking shoes we tested. Weight on the foot really adds up after many miles and we were pleased with the amount of support and durability these burly trail runner like shoes brought to the table relative to their weight.
One of the lightest two shoes we tested, support is not the strong suit of the Juxt. The TPU insert in the midfoot provides some stiffness, and delivers pretty good resistance to twisting. If you have strong feet, you may find these supportive enough for carrying loads backpacking, but hikers looking for more foot support will find it in The North Face Ultra 109 or the Keen Targhee 2
, which are only a couple of ounces heavier per pair.
The Vasque Juxt gave us mixed results in our traction tests. In line with the choice not to focus on water resistance, this shoe also delivers poor traction in snow and on wet rock, and only performs OK in the mud. However, it offers great traction on dry rock, loose gravel, and rough, dry terrain.
The flipside to the thin sole, sensitivity for scrambling on exposed terrain. This shoe performs like a sensitive approach shoe, but doesn't have sticky rubber.
We found that the Juxt's fit and construction make it feel more like a burly trail running shoe than a low-cut hiking boot. The fit is nice and snug like a running shoe, and the cushioning is adequate for picking up the pace to a jog for a few miles.
A flexible forefoot makes these great for dayhiking, but there is enough support in the midfoot for carrying a bit of a load. With an unassuming look for casual wear, these shoes earned a high versatility score. Just don't expect them to perform well in wet weather.
One of only two models we tested without a waterproof membrane, this shoe is built to perform well in dry conditions. The full suede leather upper can keep your feet dry for a while in the morning dew, but the Juxt isn't designed to handle splashing through puddles or heavy rain. A free floating tongue, rather than gusseted, contributes to this product's surprisingly good breathability, but lets water run right in if you step into the edge of the river. Unlike the Moab Ventilator, these dry weather hikers will not dry quickly if you get them soaked.
Putting in a lap on Mt. Sanitas above Boulder, CO. Dry conditions made this shoe a good choice this day. Not incorporating a waterproof liner makes this model very breathable for a shoe with a full leather upper.
We are impressed with the durability of this shoe overall, especially considering how lightweight it is. The full leather upper can handle the abrasion caused by rocky terrain, and a substantial protective rubber cap protects the toe. While the proprietary rubber sole isn't as long lasting some competitors' Vibram soles, it gives most folks six months or so of everyday use before wearing the lugs wear thin. The comfortable fit and unassuming look make these great everyday shoes, but if you want them to last longer for hiking, try to avoid a lot of concrete time. The relatively soft rubber soles provide increased traction on dry rock, but can wear quickly.
We love this shoe for just about all things hiking. That is until it gets rainy and muddy. With a flexible forefoot, but a decent amount of support and stability through the midfoot, the Juxt is both a great dayhiking shoe, and a good backpacker for those with strong feet. It is our favorite shoe of all we tested for off-trail desert hiking. Not only is the full leather upper durable for the rough terrain, it protects your foot from cactus spines better than products with mesh panels in the upper.
With a full retail price of $110, this shoe is an excellent buy for the budget-conscious hiker. This is Vasque's budget hiking shoe, with no waterproof liner and proprietary rubber soles instead of more expensive Vibram rubber. That said, the lack of expensive name brand components is not a handicap for this shoe. It scored reasonably well in most of our metrics without a premium price tag.
As always, dipping your feet in the cold water and letting your shoes air out on hot days is a real treat.
The Vasque Juxt is a great shoe for desert hikers and everyone else through the dry season. Without a waterproof lining, it is very breathable
surprisingly so for a full leather shoe. Excellent traction on dry rock and gravel, combined with a category leading weight make this a great shoe for hikers that want to move fast in rough and dry terrain.
Vasque Grand Traverse
or Vasque Grand Traverse - Women's
- Lightweight shoe that falls between a hiker and approach shoe
- Comfortable hiker with light loads
Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX
- Midweight, mid top hiking shoe
- Lightweight, breathable design