Vasque Transistor FS Trail Running Shoe Review

Vasque Transistor. Click to enlarge.

Vasque Transistor. Click to enlarge.

Vasque Transistor FS Trail Runners: Lightest Trail Shoe on Market

Vasque Transistor FS trail running shoes are true off-highway footwear. But they work just as well on concrete and urban settings. The Transistor FS makes a strong case if you are looking for a shoe that will take a step in any direction.  The Transistor is scientifically designed to provide the runner lightweight, durability, and style.

That science notion comes in the form of their Footsync Fit System. And that’s where the “FS” slams into the ground instead of you feet. This FS technology essentially meshes the two naturally occurring forces: the anatomy of the human foot and the ever changing terrain or surfaces you find yourself running or walking on.

The major design element in this FS technology includes Vasque’s Immerse 360 shoe last. Whereas most running shoe lasts are manufactured with a contoured top and flat bottom to simplify the shoe-building process, Immerse 360 design philosophy calls for the Transistor trail shoe last to match the contours of the entire foot 360-degrees across the top and the bottom; like a cocoon.

Exploded view of the Vasque Transitor. All primary components are fully contoured, and there is no separate footbed.
Exploded view of the Vasque Transitor. All primary components are fully contoured, and there is no separate footbed.

Immerse 360 technology not only equally supports foot top and the bottom of the foot – the anatomical surface that takes the most pounding from any terrain – but it eliminates the need for a separate footbed. By eliminating a major component of traditional running shoes, Vasque pretty much eased up on their own manufacturing process.

The second technological improvement built into the Vasque Transistor is that the Waveform S/C midsole is molded from the foot last. By molding the midsole from the 360-degree contouring of the footlast, the S/C midsole is a matching contoured surface that mirrors the shape of the foot and provides constant foot support throughout the life of the shoes.

Over the midsole, and next to your foot, is the Flux Foam strobel that continually forms, caresses, and takes on the shape of your foot. Now, you may be one of the more enlightened trail runners or bike-path joggers who are in tune with the benefits of compression socks to improve your circulation and manage perspiration. But even if you typically wear cotton athletic socks for your runs, we can tell you that your feet are housed in cutting-edge footwear technology with the Vasque Transistors.

Vasque Transistor Review Observations:

Attention to detail are evident in the Transistor. By the way, 2010 is Vasque's first year building trail runner's.
Attention to detail are evident in the Transistor.

So whether you are scaling a slightly snow covered mountain trail or loping along a variety of canyon terrain types, Vasque Transistor delivers cutting edge flexibility.  So we laced them up and took these trail shoes for a run.

The Snow:

No the Transistors are not designed for snow days, unless you have access to groomed, hardpack, snowmobile trails. But nonetheless, there was a day we ended up in Snowtown. Traversing along a trail covered with a few inches of newly fallen powder snow, we took these Glacier/Gray (other colors are Silver/Rust; Gold/Black) runners on a trail assent up to Mount Baldy to see what they can do. While a few passersby were wearing spike-heeled hiking boots and way too much Chanel #5, the Vasque Transistors proved to be a competitive alternative.  The Transistor’s “FS Footsync system” allows for the change in terrain to work with the active movement of the foot.  Well designed tapered lug soles offered good grip with enough traction to stay upright on icy paths.  The solid traction at the heel and the lateral stability of the overall shoe design was an assurance of Transistor’s uniqueness, reinforced foot support, and working capabilities.

Canyon Run:

Recent heavy California rains washed out many roads and trails, but the Vasque Transistors worked well for each trail-path we tested them on.  They were really comfortable and stable on a recent trek through Sycamore Canyon in Southern California. We were able to navigate the muddy, rain saturated, terrain on the decent down to trickling waters in the canyon bottom. Transistors ample rubber soles, contouring at the foot arch, all combined to give additional foot support and stability in rocky, muddy, conditions.

FluxFoam continually adjusts to your foot.
FluxFoam continually adjusts to your foot.

We found the Transistors worked well in gravel-strewn stream beds, too. No matter where we wore them, these trail shoes navigated any terrain type we chose to run. They are stable.

Even as the weather warmed on the hike back to civilization, the Transistor FS breathable lightweight Airmesh nylon and moisture-wicking shoe-lining fabric offered good ventilation. Soft comfortable fabric on the tongue worked great with rubber-reinforced eyelets to help secure laces in place.

The Jungle:

Concrete jungle that is…  Comfort and more comfort thanks to the Flux Foam inserts, durably stitched along the inside of the shoe.  The foam slowly and most certainly forms to the foot, creating a partnership with your feet no matter if you’re trail running, street running, or running for the art gallery doors.  A bonus is when you take that evening run. Reflective material is designed into the shoe creating a safety feature that passing autos can see in the headlights.

Transistor soles offer deep lug traction in most terrain you'll likely run on. The mid-sole and uppers offer good stability and comfort regardless of terrain.
Transistor soles offer deep lug traction in most terrain you’ll likely run on. The mid-sole and uppers offer good stability and comfort regardless of terrain.

Overall, we enjoyed the Vasque Transistor trail runners. Transistor was evidently made to perform on the many terrain types you will find on your runs.  Whether you are an experienced trail runner or just getting into it, this Vasque Transistor shoe has soul!

Weighing in at just 11.4‐oz, the Vasque Transistor is light and fast. This is a running shoe that can expand your horizons whether you train on purely hardpack dirt trails or a combination of paved roads and cow pastures. It really doesn’t matter. You can just let your “Fancy Flow” as Mr. Jimi H. would say. And as for your investment consideration, you might expect to pay about $100 for the Vasque Transistors.

By Mary Webb

Editing and Photography by Rick Shandley

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