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Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2013

Gear Review: Vasque Arrowhead UD/Sakadia UD Boot

Featuring 200 grams of Thinsulate, a dimpled mylar reflective liner, and a fleece collar.

by: Dan Larson

Vasque Arrowhead UD/Skadia UD Boot (Fullerton)
Vasque Arrowhead UD/Skadia UD Boot (Fullerton)


Frigid temps ahead? Hikers and snowshoers who wore the Arrowhead in Alaska, Montana, and Oregon stayed warm on ice, alpine muskeg, slush, and powder, and in damp conditions that often mean cold toes. With 200 grams of Thinsulate, a dimpled mylar reflective liner, and a fleece collar, “they were plenty warm for 10°F but almost too hot at 30,” says one Juneau, Alaska-based tester. “At 8 inches tall, these boots didn’t need gaiters. The height, tall rubber rands, and zippered softshell material covering the lacing kept out the elements when I postholed in rotten snow in the Tongass National Forest.” All that protection and insulation is surprising given the low weight. A Montana tester says of the women’s Skadia, “They’re medium stiff and did well carrying loads up to 30 pounds. Even on the toughest trails—including an icy, well-worn path to the hut’s outhouse—I never slipped in spots where others wiped out.” Credit the outsole’s dual-density rubber with harder, sharper lugs lining the perimeter for bite and center lugs that remain pliable in cold temps. Runs a bit large; size down because you won’t need thick winter socks. $170; 3 lbs. 2 oz.; Skadia: $160; 2 lbs. 4 oz. (w’s 7); m’s 7-14, w’s 6-11;

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