Monolith Mid UltraDry – 26oz / 742g, $160
The Monolith UltraDry is Vasque’s jack-of-all-trade boot ideal wear for day hikes, light backpacking, or just for the hiker who prefers a lighter foot. Featuring a tough upper of leather and abrasion-resistant mesh, the Monolith is ready for rocky trails and Vasque’s proprietary UltraDry membrane keeps feet dry and happy, too. The Monolith UltraDry is the perfect companion to the newbie outdoor adventurer or weekend warrior.
Vasque Company Profile
Vasque was founded in 1964 by William D. Sweasy after he was introduced to mountaineering while visiting Europe, where hiking and outdoor exploration were a popular trend. Recognizing the hobbies’ late blossom to the States and a lack of brands specializing in outdoor footwear, Sweasy became inspired by the handmade mountain boots of European mountaineers and started Vasque as a division of Red Wing Shoes. The Vasque legacy remains as strong as their first pair of iconic Sundowners and continues a reputation as high-quality, durable footwear for outdoors performance.
The Monolith Mid UltraDry is great company through wet or rocky trail for any day hike or light weekend adventure.
The upper of the Monolith features 1.88mm waterproof leather conjoined with tough mesh for a resistant, yet breathable exterior. The lacing is simple, making this boot easy on and easy off should you come across swimming holes or other barefoot exploration on the trail. The mesh liner inside of this boot wicks away moisture on hot days to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
The Monolith has a relatively larger toe box that feels less restrictive than many boots and the EVA midsole makes it feel similar to an athletic performance shoe. The TPU midfoot shank creates stability for rough and rugged trail to make sure you step with confidence.
The outsole of the Monolith features a broad and multi-angled lug pattern that will grip rocky surfaces and also clear any mud or snow. It’s tough without being heavy.
The Vasque Monolith is made to keep you dry, quick and steady on the trails.
I tested the Monolith’s through a few day trips that covered a broad variety of terrain with only a light day pack, knowing on first fit that they wouldn’t be my choice for a longer, heavier adventure. But even without extended multi-day mountain stints they tested through water, rock, meadow and even sand.
Out of the box, the Monolith fits comfortably and unlike any hiking boot I’ve put on and I immediately noticed how lightweight they felt. They aren’t stiff on first fit, so you won’t have to spend a lot of uncomfortable miles just to break them in. The mid-cut ankle support is actually a little lower and wider than most standard mid’s and feels less aggressive than most hiking boots, but still provides a decent level of stability which I prefer for lighter hikes. The extra breeze around the ankles keeps things cooler, too.
I tested the boots though some aggressive and rocky terrain and didn’t experience any piercing through the sole. Because of the lower cut, however, I did need to be more conscious of my step so as not to twist my ankles. I didn’t consider this to be necessarily a disadvantage, however, when considering a light day pack as the risk of injury is much lower and I would prefer a little more mobility and breathability. I wouldn’t feel as confident in managing the same terrain with a heavy overnight pack though.
The UltraDry material of the Monolith holds up to the claim and kept my feet dry through shallow creek beds. Again, however, due to the lower-than-average mid-cut I wasn’t able to wade as deep as I might usually.
If you’re a new to outdoor adventure and want your first trainer boot, the Monolith is the perfect new guide and companion. Even if you’re a more experienced weekend warrior just looking for a lighter step with more breathability and mobility, the Monolith UltraDry mid is up for anything. If you can handle it, this boot can, too.
[This posting has been backdated to its original publication by TrekTechBlog.com. Some contents may be modified or updated from the original article]