Vasque Blur GTX Trail Running Shoe Review
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Trail running can require a shoe to perform many different tasks on the same run. Rock protection, traction, flexibility, water proof, and of course comfortable all come to mind. I am the type of trail runner who is willing to sacrifice some protection for lighter weight, so I wasn’t sure the Blur GTX would be for me. At 12.6 oz. and with plenty of protection it looked a bit overbuilt for my tastes. I was pleasantly surprised on my first run when the Velocity proved to me more nimble and agile than it’s weight or looks make it appear.
The Velocity has been in Vasque’s line up for some time and has undergone a few changes to make it what it is currently. Built on a standard dual density EVA midsole, the shoe provides some motion control and a synthetic nubuck upper also offers support. The Velocity is definitely not part of the new, lightweight movement. It has a fair amount of rock protection up front and it comes up to just below the ankle. The addition of GoreTex to the shoe makes it waterproof and adds more versatility, and some weight.
The fit for me, a size 9.5, was perfect with a wide toe box and good heel retention. As I mentioned above, I thought this shoe would be too bulky and stiff for me, but the flexible forefoot gave it a nimble quality. While I noticed the extra weight, it wasn’t a bulky or stiff feeling. I think part of this is due to the tongue design. Rather than use your usual set up, the Blur uses a single piece of material across the forefoot. The tongue is really a small extension upwards and this means less overlap and a more flexible shoe. Other nice touches include reinforced material at the top two lacing holes, where the stress is greatest.
My runs usually have a mix of open trail, rocks and roots so I was able to see how the Blur performed in many elements. The aggressive lugs on the bottom helped on trails with slippery roots and precarious rock sections. I did cross some smaller streams and ran through some puddles to see how well the GoreTex worked at keeping my feet dry. I wasn’t surprised at all when it worked flawlessly. There is a reason GoreTex has been around as long as they have and they have waterproofing down pat. When I did hit the occasional rock or root with my toe the front cap did it’s job and kept my toes protected.
As a whole, the Blur GTX is a good all around shoe that gets the job done in several types of terrain. While the weight may be an issue for some, I found that it performed lighter than it looked. It may not be my go to shoe for open trails or speed work, but when the trails get nasty the Bur GTX shines. It is best suited for those runners that continually run on rocky, slippery trails where aggressive traction and extra toe protection is vital.
For more info on the Blur GTX and other Vasque footwear, visit www.vasque.com or www.amazon.com/vasque.