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Gear Review: Vasque Jule Trail Shoe

A low-cut hiker for all your daily adventures.
gear review vasque jule shoe 445x260Vasque Jule on location in Alpine Lakes Wilderness (Allison Woods)

For three months, the Vasque Jules (the men’s is called Juxt) went everywhere with me. From desert conditions on the dry side of Washington to the jungles of Oahu, and most recently in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie river valley, we traveled together in a wide variety of conditions and terrains.

Out of the box, the Jules were slightly snug across the widest part of my foot, but this is a soft shoe, and it stretched out enough to be comfy in about one wearing. The tough suede and nubuck exterior held up to basalt abrasions in Eastern Washington’s Quincy Lakes area and lava formations in Hawaii.

The moderately lugged outsole provided good traction in all conditions except muddy slop. The cushy liner around the ankle was absorbent and breathable when the Hawaiian heat climbed into the high 80s. When held up against the wetter-than-wet moisture levels of the Middle Fork valley, the Jule fended off water surprisingly well for a shoe lacking a waterproof/breathable membrane. (The Juxt is available with Vasque’s own UltraDry.)

The upper got wet while making my way through numerous Volkswagen-sized puddles, but water never seeped through, and my feet stayed surprisingly dry. What I wouldn’t do with the Jule: Take it backpacking. This is a great all-around shoe, but the midsole, built from molded EVA and a TPU plate, lacks needed rigidity I need for carrying a pack over 15 pounds or so. I’d also suggest wearing shorty gaiters to keep out pebbles.

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