By Mary Webb
While hiking the Cinque Terre in Italy, I was thankful to have packed along the Velocity GTX, manufactured by Vasque. Having taken a bad step back in the states, my foot was in need of a well supported shoe. I discovered great comfort inside the Velocity GTX. We tested Vasque’s Transistor FS Trail Running Shoes a couple years ago and found the GTX consistent in quality and design. GTX is spring loaded with an Arc Tempo fit, tapered toe box, Gortex waterproof material, and breathable fabric that worked fine on a full day romp along the Mediterranean Sea of the Ligurian Coast!
The highest point along the Cinque Terre hiking expedition is about 2400 feet above sea level. Starting out at the Monteroso Village, we traversed our way up the initial ascent of numerous stone steps towards the next village of Vernazza.
Many technologies come into play here in the GTX. One such technology is the Arc Tempo fit, providing an asymmetrical curve to the last of the shoe. The “last” is a term given to describe the approximate shape of a human foot. Last molds typically come in pairs, and historically have been made from many materials, including hardwoods and cast iron. Most lasts today are made from high density plastics and are designed to become a mold, modeled by the human foot, to accomplish various performance objectives. With Vasque’s addition of the asymmetrical curve to the last, the shoe produces an exaggerated arch to the foot, providing excellent toe off for steep ascents. Trail Blazers with natural arches in their feet may be better served in the Velocity GTX for trail running comfort thanks to the Arc Tempo technology.
My foot felt supported in the molded last, but not too tight. The tapered toe box offered additional comfort and a little wiggle room to stretch my toes on water breaks. Vasque understands that women’s feet differ substantially from men’s, that’s why the heel is narrower in the GTX to accommodate a women’s exquisitely manicured, petite foot. In other perspectives, for women with wider feet such as mine, Vasque also offers various widths for a more relaxing fit. As I completed the steep stone steps of the Cinque Terre hike, it was time to pick up the pace on the trail. What a joy to jog along the cliffs of the Mediterranean sea in the GTX; EVA midsoles were evident for lightweight cushioning, I was cognizant of the technologies working with me on my Italian run.
Gortex has been around for more than 20 years, providing water resistance for trekkers, trail runners and outdoor enthusiasts around the globe. Sweat is able to escape the shoe, while moisture and rain are kicked to the curb; keeping you dry when the Tuscan sun decides to hide behind rain clouds. With higher elevations becoming evident upon the town of Vernazza, we discovered the dirt trails were wet and muddy from recent rains. The Stealth Rubber outsole of the GTX navigated the mud and the variegated traction underfoot and kept me from slipping significantly along the trail.
My feet were dry as Chianti when we entered the Italian Trattoria for lunch. The gunmetal and herbal green colors in the shoe worked nicely with my hiking pants and the dark grey would accompany a wide array of colored khakis. With shared technologies, Vasque also manufacturers a GTX shoe tailored for men, colored in Gunmetal and orange.
It’s all the in Details:
I enjoyed the padded thickness of the tongue on the GTX, it provided needed comfort on the down hill slope towards the Riomassiore village. Finger sized pull grips at the back of the shoe were helpful to slip the shoes on and off, and reflective stitching was appropriate for added safety along the setting sun.
Heading towards the train station, my feet felt great; the injury I sustained to my ankle was no worse for the wear. As a matter of fact, I will be wearing the GTX around town in the states to help provide additional support for my ankle. For a suggested selling price of about $120, the GTX will be a fine addition to your river trail runs and jogs along the back country. Now, off to another Trattoria for dinner!
Weight: 13.9 oz. (394g)
Outsole: Vasque Mako
Last: Arc Tempo
Midsole: Dual-Density EVA
Available Sizes: Women’s Medium 5-11,Wide 7-10