Master of Deep Snow and the Cold
Sometimes, you just need a big boot that will keep you warm and dry regardless of conditions and the Vasque Lost 40 seeks to fill this niche in your footwear arsenal. This is a boot that makes no apologies for its purpose of winter hiking in serious snow and other cold-weather activities. Think snowmobiling, shoveling your car after an epic snow storm, or taking your dog for a hike in untracked snow. These aren’t something you’ll be wearing at the office or out to dinner without feeling like your footwear is out of place. The look is utilitarian and the urban camo sole coloring was an interesting choice that you may love or hate.
Waterproof and Warmth
The Vasque Lost 40 is made with a waterproof rough leather upper matched with a resistant softshell for a combination of durability and flexibility. A waterproof barrier was added for extra protection while remaining breathable. In addition to the outer’s 200g of Thinsulate insulation, these boots get the bulk of their insulation power from a 7mm wool felt liner with a lower leg wrapping design. Post-holing through deep snow on a blizzardy day was a great challenge for testing the warmth and I can say that my feet remained completely comfortable in these tough conditions.
Traction with Vibram Icetrek
For winter traction, Vasque chose one of the top outsole constructions available in the Vibram Overland molded with Icetrek Compound rubber. Icetrek is a special type of rubber designed to remain flexible and grippy in extreme weather conditions. In use, I found the traction to be above average on snow and icy walkways, while not being exceptional. Frankly, without metal spikes or Yaktrax, even the best rubber just isn’t able to grip ice as well as we’d hope, but this isn’t unique to the Lost 40.
Lost 40 Boots Lacing and Comfort
The Vasque Lost 40 uses a dual zone lacing system to keep the boot secure on your foot and once I got the boot on, it works well. However, I experienced two challenges with this approach. I really struggled to get the boots on because the upper and the liner do not stretch much at the ankle and with this being such a tall boot, you really have to work your foot in. Thankfully, there are pull tabs on both the liner and the outer and I found that using these at the same time was essential to getting the boot on. Once you’ve gotten in, the lower part of the laces is tightened with a simple quick-lace toggle that you pull on. A more traditional lacing secures the upper part of the boot and a thoughtful snap-closure exists to keep the tie from coming undone at the top.
Once on, I found the Vasque Lost 40 boots to be extremely comfortable with a nice foot wrapping yet very flexible feel. They are more slipper like then many similar boots and I preferred this design. The wool felt liner has a lot to do with this comfort factor. Finally, at 3 lbs. 1 oz, the Lost 40 were surprisingly lightweight for their size and this was noticeable while walking around in them and lead to a feel that wasn’t as trudging as you’d expect.
Unfortunately, I did experience a little quality control issue the first time I used this, with the stopper at the end of the lace popping off. Vasque will replace this and it doesn’t affect use but it is disappointing on a $180 pair of boots.
Overall, the Vasque Lost 40 is an excellent boot for extreme conditions or for people that spend a lot of time in deep snow. This is not the boot for you if style is your top concern but for functionality, it is tough to beat. Warmth and protection from the elements are well balanced with comfort and flexibility. The sole of the boot is aggressive and provided good traction on snowy trails. The Vasque Lost 40 is a great option to consider for your heavy boot needs.