When we set out to test the Vasque Snow Junkie Ultradry, we first questioned could this shoe do anything more than a regular waterproof hiking boot could do? After taking the Snow Junkie on plenty of test trips, we were able to come up with the outcome. For those that are in a hurry, the answer is yes, but you must read on to get the nitty gritty details.
Many times when you are looking for a winter boot that has warmth you have to sacrifice for a sub par performance fit. If you are getting out for a couple hours or more winter hike or snowshoe, having a shoe that “kind of” fits just doesn’t cut it. You will end up disappointed with an uncomfortable fit and the potential for lots of blisters down the trail. The good news is that you don’t have to worry about that because we have living, walking, hiking, proof the Vasque Snow Junkie Ultradry will keep you comfortable, dry, and warm in almost any winter scenario.
To start, the Vasque Snow Junkie Ultradry uses a 3M 200 gram Thinsulate which adds warmth for those colder temperatures. I tested these boots out in temperatures down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit and they offered plenty of warmth while in motion. I hope to be able to test these boots in temps down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the near future, but I feel these boots offer enough warmth to keep your feet warm in colder temps. Thinsulate offers higher gram material such as 400, 600, 800, and 1200. 200 is the lowest gram material, but during my testing of these boots I felt that weight of Thinsulate was acceptable. One caveat in keeping your feet warm in cold weather is that you have to keep your feet moving.
The midsole of the Vasque Snow Junkie Ultradry is made with duel density EVA and incorporates a 2/3 length shank. This allows the boot to keep its form and structure when hiking on uneven surfaces. I took this boot out where I was hiking on rock, dirt, and slush in the beginning and as I hiked to higher elevations I was hiking in snow. While hiking on the rocks and dirt, I found the Snow Junkie to absorb all the rocks without making me feel out of balance. The Snow Junkie has good sized lugs on the outsole which provides a good amount of traction whether you are in snow, slush, or dry trail. When on ice, the lugs don’t do much as expected and they slide easily just like any other rubber lug would do. If you end up hiking around lots of ice, I suggest using a snow/ice traction product such as those from Yaktrax or Kahtoola.
The upper in the Vasque Snow Junkie Ultradry uses Vasque Ultradry material for waterproofing the boot and keeping your feet dry. While testing the boots on long snowy and slushy hikes, the boots stayed dry with no issues to speak of. The Snow Junkie uses a synthetic leather around the bottom of the boot which helps keep the boots integrity if you end up kicking and scuffing your boots on rock and ice. To help keep snow from getting inside the collar of the Snow Junkie, there is a loop at the bottom of the laces to hook a gaiter into. Gaiters are great if you find yourself hiking or snowshoeing in deep snow. Many snow pants have Gaiters integrated into them now, but they don’t always have the hook and loop system.
The fit of the Vasque Snow Junkie Ultradry is superior! As I mentioned above, having a boot that is warm is one thing, but having a snow boot that is warm and can perform is another. I’ve tested out the Vasque Snow Junkie on very steep ascents and descents and found the boots to keep their snug fit with almost no foot movement. This can be tough to see in a picture, but the designers at Vasque did an amazing job on the lacing configuration to keep your foot locked in place.
Overall, I have been extremely happy with the Vasque Snow Junkie Ultradry boots and I am very happy to give these boots my two thumbs up.
Weight: 2lb. 5oz. (1050g)
MSRP: $130 (worth every penny!)