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Hands-on Gear Review

Vasque Juxt Review

Price:   $110 List | $82.46 at Amazon
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Pros:  Lightweight, breathable, great dry traction, inexpensive
Cons:  Not waterproof
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Vasque

Our Verdict

The Vasque Juxt is a great choice for dayhiking and light backpacking when you can count on avoiding water and rain storms. With very breathable construction and a clean, low-key look, this shoe is a great casual and everyday choice as well. While this model fits average to narrow feet really well, wide sizes are available for folks that need more forefoot room.

We believe our Editors' Choice winner, The North Face Ultra 109 GTX, is a better all around performer for day hiking and light backpacking in mixed conditions. That said, we quite like the Juxt. If you want something light and durable for dry conditions, this is a great shoe.

This product is a new addition for our 2015 update!


RELATED REVIEW: The Quest for the Best Men's Hiking Shoes of 2017

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Measured Weight of Pair, Size 12 Waterproof Lining Upper
85
$120
Editors' Choice Award
2.3 lbs. GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Mesh and PU-coated leather
83
$125
Best Buy Award
2.3 lbs. KEEN.DRY waterproof breathable membrane Nubuck and textile
83
$110
2.1 lbs. None Suede leather
78
$150
Top Pick Award
2.5 lbs. GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Footwear Nubuck Leather/ 100% recycled Nylon Mesh/ Uretech
78
$140
2.2 lbs. GORE-TEX Full-grain leather, textile mesh, synthetic overlays
76
$210
2.7 lbs. Waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX Nubuck leather
75
$130
2.3 lbs. KEEN.DRY waterproof breathable membrane Lightweight mesh, synthetic overlays
73
$169
2.2 lbs. GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Microfiber Forefoot, Ballistic Mesh, Exa Shell
69
$100
2.1 lbs. None Dura leather and mesh
68
$120
2.15 lbs. GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Air mesh and synthetic upper

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Brandon Lampley
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Monday
May 18, 2015

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One of two hiking shoes we tested that are designed for dry terrain and weather, the super lightweight Vasque Juxt delivers great comfort and good durability at a very good price. The lightest product we tested with a full leather upper, it eats up terrain as long as it's not wet and muddy out.

Performance Comparison


Brandon Lampley scrambling down after the rappels on Devils Tower  WY. The Juxt is very light  and the leather upper durable for lots of rocky terrain abrasion.
Brandon Lampley scrambling down after the rappels on Devils Tower, WY. The Juxt is very light, and the leather upper durable for lots of rocky terrain abrasion.

Comfort


The Juxt is form fitting and comfortable right out of the box. This lightweight shoe needs no break-in period and the padding around the opening is minimal, flexible, and feels great around the ankle. Vasque has done a brilliant job with the unique lacing system: eight alternating traditional eyes and webbing loops let you adjust the tightness of the lacing better than most shoes. With no waterproof lining and small vent holes through the leather tongue, this product is more breathable than all others except the Merrell Moab Ventilator. Folks with wide feet will probably find the fit and toe box narrow, but wide sizes are available.

Fit is king for comfort, and as is common with many Vasque products, these shoes fit narrow and low volume feet well. If you have a wide forefoot, you may find these a bit narrow. Lucky for you, the Juxt is available in a wide version as well.

We found this shoe comfortable for dayhiking and moving fast on the trail. It could really benefit from a forefoot rock plate or beefier sole. Pointy rocks are easily felt through the sole.
We found this shoe comfortable for dayhiking and moving fast on the trail. It could really benefit from a forefoot rock plate or beefier sole. Pointy rocks are easily felt through the sole.

Weight


How can a full leather shoe be so light? Our size 12 test model weighed in at 2.1 lbs, tied for the lightest hiking shoes we tested. Weight on the foot really adds up after many miles and we were pleased with the amount of support and durability these burly trail runner like shoes brought to the table relative to their weight.

Support


One of the lightest two shoes we tested, support is not the strong suit of the Juxt. The TPU insert in the midfoot provides some stiffness, and delivers pretty good resistance to twisting. If you have strong feet, you may find these supportive enough for carrying loads backpacking, but hikers looking for more foot support will find it in The North Face Ultra 109 or the Keen Targhee 2, which are only a couple of ounces heavier per pair.

Traction


The Vasque Juxt gave us mixed results in our traction tests. In line with the choice not to focus on water resistance, this shoe also delivers poor traction in snow and on wet rock, and only performs OK in the mud. However, it offers great traction on dry rock, loose gravel, and rough, dry terrain.

The flipside to the thin sole  sensitivity for scrambling on exposed terrain. This shoe performs like a sensitive approach shoe  but doesn't have sticky rubber.
The flipside to the thin sole, sensitivity for scrambling on exposed terrain. This shoe performs like a sensitive approach shoe, but doesn't have sticky rubber.

Versatility


We found that the Juxt's fit and construction make it feel more like a burly trail running shoe than a low-cut hiking boot. The fit is nice and snug like a running shoe, and the cushioning is adequate for picking up the pace to a jog for a few miles.

A flexible forefoot makes these great for dayhiking, but there is enough support in the midfoot for carrying a bit of a load. With an unassuming look for casual wear, these shoes earned a high versatility score. Just don't expect them to perform well in wet weather.

Water Resistance


One of only two models we tested without a waterproof membrane, this shoe is built to perform well in dry conditions. The full suede leather upper can keep your feet dry for a while in the morning dew, but the Juxt isn't designed to handle splashing through puddles or heavy rain. A free floating tongue, rather than gusseted, contributes to this product's surprisingly good breathability, but lets water run right in if you step into the edge of the river. Unlike the Moab Ventilator, these dry weather hikers will not dry quickly if you get them soaked.

Putting in a lap on Mt. Sanitas above Boulder  CO. Dry conditions made this shoe a good choice this day. Not incorporating a waterproof liner makes this model very breathable for a shoe with a full leather upper.
Putting in a lap on Mt. Sanitas above Boulder, CO. Dry conditions made this shoe a good choice this day. Not incorporating a waterproof liner makes this model very breathable for a shoe with a full leather upper.

Durability


We are impressed with the durability of this shoe overall, especially considering how lightweight it is. The full leather upper can handle the abrasion caused by rocky terrain, and a substantial protective rubber cap protects the toe. While the proprietary rubber sole isn't as long lasting some competitors' Vibram soles, it gives most folks six months or so of everyday use before wearing the lugs wear thin. The comfortable fit and unassuming look make these great everyday shoes, but if you want them to last longer for hiking, try to avoid a lot of concrete time. The relatively soft rubber soles provide increased traction on dry rock, but can wear quickly.

Best Applications


We love this shoe for just about all things hiking. That is until it gets rainy and muddy. With a flexible forefoot, but a decent amount of support and stability through the midfoot, the Juxt is both a great dayhiking shoe, and a good backpacker for those with strong feet. It is our favorite shoe of all we tested for off-trail desert hiking. Not only is the full leather upper durable for the rough terrain, it protects your foot from cactus spines better than products with mesh panels in the upper.

Value


With a full retail price of $110, this shoe is an excellent buy for the budget-conscious hiker. This is Vasque's budget hiking shoe, with no waterproof liner and proprietary rubber soles instead of more expensive Vibram rubber. That said, the lack of expensive name brand components is not a handicap for this shoe. It scored reasonably well in most of our metrics without a premium price tag.

As always  dipping your feet in the cold water and letting your shoes air out on hot days is a real treat.
As always, dipping your feet in the cold water and letting your shoes air out on hot days is a real treat.

Conclusion


The Vasque Juxt is a great shoe for desert hikers and everyone else through the dry season. Without a waterproof lining, it is very breathable…surprisingly so for a full leather shoe. Excellent traction on dry rock and gravel, combined with a category leading weight make this a great shoe for hikers that want to move fast in rough and dry terrain.

Other Versions


Vasque Grand Traverse or Vasque Grand Traverse - Women's
  • Lightweight shoe that falls between a hiker and approach shoe
  • Breathable mesh siding
  • Comfortable hiker with light loads
  • $120

Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX
  • Midweight, mid top hiking shoe
  • Lightweight, breathable design
  • $170
Brandon Lampley

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: May 10, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (4.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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   May 10, 2016 - 01:19am
These are hands-down the most comfortable boots I've ever owned. Even with a fractured heel and field first aid, these well-cushioned and well-shaped boots got me home without complaint. They're great in town, and only a little unsupported when trekking serious elevation and mileage with 50lb+ packs.

I love em. That said, there are 3 reasons I'm not immediately replacing my heavily-used, disintegrating pair with another, though:
  • as noted in the review, they could use a stiffer sole. You get a good feel for the ground while scrambling, but you really feel all the sticks and stones over a long hike.
  • not quite as much ankle support as I'd like for heavy loads on long trips. Keep your pack light to take advantage of these boots' benefits.
  • not water proof and they hold water. Even for quick stream crossings on hot days, I'd switch to water socks or barefoot rather than ford in them. Same issue tromping through snow. Boots with goretex or similar can make a big difference.

The durability is of some minor concern (seam splits, sole separation, …), but frankly these boots have earned it.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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