Vasque Kota Mid XCR Shoe
Initial report date: 30/03/2007
Long term report
Cut to the chase
Name: Andrew Preece
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight: 188 lb (85 kg)
I have done a lot of hiking over the years but only
now carry a tent and all the gear for over night stays of one to two
nights. I normally carry approximately 35 lb (16 kg) which includes food
and water. My trips are usually between one to three days duration
mainly over weekends. I hike all seasons with winter temperatures
ranging from 39 F (4 C) to 64 F (18 C) including periods of heavy rain
at times to summer conditions with the temperature ranging from 68 F (20
C) to 95 F (35 C) and very dry.
Bibbulmun Track: Sea level to 585 m (1,920 ft).
Within this region I backpack along old forestry roads, sandy tracks,
and purpose built walking tracks. The south-west of Western Australia
allows for hiking and backpacking from coastal plains to forested
ranges. I hike in varying conditions from forestry tracks, to sandy
tracks to single purpose walking trails, from rock hopping, to beach
walking to completely off-track through open and dense bush country.
During the expected test period I will be going on twelve overnight
trips and trips ranging from one to two days of backpacking. I will be
camping out between eight nights and 20 days between April 2007 and July
2007. There will be two days and one night in February in the hottest
month of our summer. The month of March has been allocated four days and
two nights, and in April, Easter time, I will be away for four days and
three night's car camping in our north along the coast where the weather
is much colder.
Each over night hike of two nights duration would involve approximately
35 km (21 mi) and the day trips would be 12 to 15 km (7 to 9 mi).
It is now well into our summer but we are still experiencing some
unseasonably very cool nights and mornings with a low of 10 C (50 F) and
a high of 31 C (88 F) in another few months it will be winter and the
cold will set in. Daytime temperatures will range during the testing
period, from a minimum of 14 C (57 F) to 26 C (79 F) during April, to 8
C (46 F) to 18 C (64 F) in July 2007. The average rainfall for this time
of year is, 44 mm (1 3/4 in) in April to 175 mm (6 in) in July.
Year of manufacture; unknown
MSRP not supplied
Weight; not supplied
Size; 10 1/2
Upper; 1.8mm (0.07 in) Waterproof Nubuck and Pig Suede Leather
Midsole; Molded EVA
Plate; TPU Torsion Control
Outsole; Vasque Racer X
Footbed; Dual Density EVA
Other; Strobel Construction
Weight 1100 g (38 oz)
The shoes arrived well packed, the shoe box was packed within another
box and taped well. Invoices and delivery dockets arrived with the box.
The shoes arrived within the time specified by the manufacturer, and so
I was very happy with the delivery.
To quote the Vasque's website, "Multi sport shoe meets day hiker! This
versatile shoe's sturdy platform combines with Vasque's Keystone Control
System for excellent stability; ample cushion and a flexible, tapered
toe provide smooth, speedy toe-off."
I can certainly agree that the shoe feels very sturdy, and has a lot of
stability, when I grab the shoe at the toe and heel and bend the shoe
upward, the shoes has give but is not too soft at all. When twisting the
shoe while still holding the toe and heel the shoe feels very firm but
with some give. The sole of the shoe feels very hard to press and I am
not able to press my finger nail into the sole, yet the sole feels a
little sticky to the touch.
The sole looks to be quite aggressive and is made up of black rubber
with lots of smaller green lumps over the sole, it reminds me of sole
that would have spikes on it to help with grip.
The toe of this shoe has a rubber molding that fits part way over the
top of the shoe and is a continuation of the sole, then there is a
darker leather type material above that which covers the top of my toes.
The laces are fed through woven tabs instead of eyelets and continue up
until the third last loop when it then passes through two plastic tabs
that are attached to the same type of woven material that is then
attached near to the out side of the sole near the heel. This may help
to hold the foot firmly in place or may just look nice.
The heel of my foot is well protected by the sole which rises up a
little at the back of the shoe. Above that is a smaller rubber section
which completely protects my heel. Above that is a another small woven
piece that is used to put a finger through while pulling on the shoes.
The tongue has a gusset that attaches to the side of the shoe near the
laces and would help keep stones and the like out of the shoes. The
shoes have small holes through the first layer of material which may
help my foot to breath while hiking.
When I first unpacked the shoes I felt that they are too narrow for my
feet, I had ordered the shoes through the website and was not able to
try them on at all. The length that I ordered seems to be just about
right but the shoe is definitely narrow, the heel, sides and tops of my
toes feel comfortable though. The shoes came with the laces in place and
is laced the way I would have done it myself so I have left the laces
alone and not changed the way they are done.
I received the shoes at my place of work on the Friday and put them on
to walk around the warehouse on the concrete floor that we have. On
Sunday was my first true hike, the plane was to park the cars near an
old forestry track and follow that for some time before heading off into
the bush, we would then pick up the Bibbulmun track and follow that up
and over the highest mountain near to our city. Mt Cooke at 582 m (1909
ft) was to be the stop for our lunch that day. The plan was to walk up
and over Mt Cooke and down to the other side, then around the base of
the mountain and back to the cars.
We walked over a lot of what we here in Perth call pea gravel, a kind of
small round gravel that sits on top of hard packed dirt, this can be
very slippery but at no point did I find myself slipping in the new
shoes. After a while we headed off track and through the bush, I walked
over rocks, dirt, burnt logs, branches and whatever came in my way, not
once did I feel that I need to be overly cautious. I then turned on to a
dirt track and headed up hill, before long I was walking up a smooth
rock section that rose quite steep up from the ground, some of this rock
was loose and I had to be a little careful. At the top I stopped for
morning tea and wondered what it would take to make me feel that the
shoes would let me down because even over this smooth rock the shoes
held on. In all I covered about 12 km (7 1/2 mi)
My plan now is to hike another two full weekends over all kinds of
terrain and covering about 35 km (22 mi), I will be using the shoes on
my weekend bush walks while Geocaching and for the upcoming Easter long
weekend while car camping, once back to work I will wear the shoes to
work every day.
I will be testing in particular.
The laces, they seem to want to come undone.
The soles, are they hard wearing?
The material that the laces are attached to near the top, will it break
The mid sole is made from softer EVA, will this become damaged easily in
The rubber toe section, will this peel away from the front of the shoe
and need to be repaired?
Will the pull strap at the rear of the shoe tear?
How will the shoe measure up once the weather turns bad and it begins to
Return to top.
Field report date: 16-06-07
I have now been using these shoes for two months now and find them very
good. At first I was worried about the fit as they were too tight for
the width of my foot and because I ordered them over the internet I was
not able to try them on. if I were to buy another pair I would make sure
I had the sizing right.
After these past two months I find the fit has improved somewhat and
find the shoe not as tight any more. Never has the shoe rubbed or caused
me blisters, and in fact they have felt quite good once worn in.
I started to wear the shoes to my work which has all concrete floors to
test them out for a while before heading out bush, then once worn in a
little I started with mornings out Geocaching in the bush along trails
and off trails. I built my way up to two days of walking with an
overnight stay in between. I would have to guess at the amount of
distance I have walked but it would be about 150 to 200 km (95 to 125
So far the shoes have held up very well and have taken me through a lot
of very rough bush with no tracks what so ever and along dusty tracks. A
lot of our tracks here have very loose small rocks on them which are
very slippery normally but I have not been let down by these shoes at
all. On a few occasions the mornings of my walks have followed very
rainy nights and so the bush and scrub is very wet, but I have never
found my feet to get wet yet. This could be because of the waterproof
nubuck and Pig Suede Leather used in the manufacture of the shoes.
The photos bellow show the shoes before very much wear and they will be
updated in my long term report.
|The sides of the soles of the shoes have
started to show a little wear, the midsole which is molded EVA has a few
marks and some small chunks out of the EVA yet not severe. I take them
through all sorts of conditions and do not baby them and the marking is
to be expected.
|The soles themselves look to be holding
up very well and I find them to hold on to the ground very well be it on
gravel tracks or walking across smooth rock. The toe section of the
shoes is very tough and I have never banged my toes on rocks or at least
not that I could feel it through the rubber cap at the toes.
|The laces pass through a thin piece of
material at the front of the shoe and I have found that if I clip the
front of my gaiters at this section of lace that the thin material gets
pulled over to one side and looks like it may break. I have taken to
clipping the gaiters on the next section back from the toes and have had
no trouble so far.
The laces are made from a shiny slippery material and I find that no
matter how tight I tie the laces they normally come undone, this is a
pain when I have to remove my gaiters to retie the lace, so much so that
I always tie a double knot now to keep them tied.
|The uppers have held up very well, other
than being dirty and dusty they are not damaged in any way. I have been
over every type of terrain you could imagine and no damage. The shoes
have a gore-tex tag on the side of them but I am unsure what part of the
shoe is gore-tex.
The very inside of the shoe is of a silvery coloured nylon material
which feels soft to the touch. Around the top of the inside of the shoe
is a green coloured nylon material which feels a lot firmer and is
padded. The whole area where the shoe wraps around your ankle is quire
thick and padded and gives a lot of support.
I have worn the shoes while carrying a smaller day pack with a weight of
5 kg (11 lb) right up to overnight camping trips with loads of 15 kg (33
lb) and not once have I felt that I did not have enough support for me
feet, in fact when I arrive at my camp site my feet are not tired from
the days walking at all.
An older pair of shoes I had left my feet sore because of the stones and
rocks poking my feet through the sole, but not the Vasque. The sole is
very firm and supportive.
Return to top
|Long term report
I have now been using these
boots for all of my hiking for four months and find them very good but
with a couple of small things that are not quite as good as they could
But all in all they have been very good. They seem to have worn in very
well and my fears that they would be too tight are gone. I am now using
a new sock that has padding on the sole but is thin around the rest of
the sock and makes the fit a lot better.
I have hiked a lot of kilometers (miles) in them now and over the last
few weeks alone would have clocked up about 60 klm (37 miles), in that
time I faced some real storms and was able to test just how water proof
these shoes are. After hiking in some very heavy rain the shoes do not
become extraordinarily wet through, in fact once I get home and take
them off although wet they do not feel as though they are soaked
Once I remove the shoes and take off my socks I find that the socks are
very wet but not to a point where I could ring water from them. If I am
hiking along a grassy track that has been rained on during the night or
has a lot of dew on the grass the shoes seem to keep the dampness out
|One of the things about these shoes that
I did not like is the eyelet at the front that the laces pass through, I
wear gaiters while hiking just about all of the time and found that if I
attach the front of my gaiters to the very front of the laces near that
eyelet after a while the tension on the lace causes the thin eyelet to
get pulled over to one side.
If I attach the gaiters on the row of laces one back from the front I do
not have this trouble but then the shoe is not completely covered on the
top by the gaiter.
Perhaps if the material used at this point was a little heaver then this
would not happen.
|I found the pull tab at the heel of the
shoe to be too small, I do not have a large finger at all but as you can
see in the photo there is not a lot of room to be able to pull the shoe
up by it.
It does look easier in this photo than it is while putting the shoes on,
for me it could have been a little bigger.
|This picture shows better the type of
laces in use with these shoes. I found that the laces slip undone after
hiking for a while and a few times I had to remove my gaiters to retie
I then started to tie the laces in a double knot every time so as not to
have any trouble. I am not sure what material the laces are made from
and while they seem to be hard wearing and a tough lace, they seem very
|At this point here on just the right
shoe the rubber section at the front of the toe has started to peel
slightly away from the main part of the toe.
The other shoe shows no sign of this I will have to keep a watch to make
sure it gets no worse.
|The two views here show the pattern and
depth of the tread. These shoes have held up very well over all kinds of
terrain, including rocks, mud, stones and gravel. They show very little sign of
wear as yet. This rear view shows just how deep the tread pattern is.
|The sole of the shoe has held up very
well so far with no real signs of wear.
Other than a few scuff marks on the upper part of the shoes the whole
shoe including the upper, the laces, the stitching look to be able to
last for a long time yet.
Return to top
I have been very happy with these shoes. Once they wore in and I
changed to a thinner sock they became very comfortable.
The only things I do not like are the fact that they seem very narrow
for the sizing. I do not like the seeming lack of strength in the loop
at the front of the laces, only a problem when I attach my gaiters to
the first section of lace. The last thing is the loop at the heel to
pull on the shoes is a little small for my fingers.
So would I recommend them to my friends? Yes I would without a doubt but
also recommending they try before they buy.