Vasque ColdSpark UltraDry

Vasque ColdSpark UltraDry

Vasque ColdSpark UltraDry

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David Tucker

Comfort and function for winter hiking.

Winter boots have always posed a dilemma for me: too much insulation, and my feet sweat; not enough, and my toes freeze. I've tried several different systems, such as adjusting sock thickness, but nothing has worked—until now. The ColdSpark UltraDry boot from Vasque successfully toes the thin line between comfort and function, leaving my feet warm and dry, while allowing me to travel easily in various winter conditions. Here's a rundown of the boot's highlights.

Comfort
Before I put the ColdSparks on my feet, I knew they were going to be far more comfortable than my last winter boot. They are extremely lightweight compared to bigger, bulkier pac boots or Sorels, and their lower profile and compact shape wraps the foot more tightly. I typically size down with boots from Vasque, but in this case, only a half-size because I tend to wear thicker socks in winter. The cuff hits just above the ankle and is lined in Thinsulate, which provides the warmth without the bulk. While the cuff isn't rigid, it is stiff enough to keep you upright when the terrain gets variable, but forgiving enough to remain comfortable around town.

Vasque ColdSpark UltraDry
Expand winter options with the right footwear.

Function
After comfort, I look to a boot's function, and these perform in spades. The soles have two traction patterns, which when combined keep me from slipping on everything from ice to refrozen slush. They're also waterproof, which means my feet stay dry all winter, no matter if I'm hiking on trail over packed-down powder, or running to the bank from the office through week-old melt. The lacing system keeps the boot tight while allowing for circulation, and the laces themselves won't come undone, even with a single knot.

Vasque ColdSpark UltraDry Stay warm and dry regardless of the terrain. 

Application
When I'm in the mountains in winter, I usually have ski boots on my feet. But when the snow isn't great or I just need a break, a hike on packed-down trails is a great option, and I've never really had the proper footwear in the past. The ColdSpark fills that void well. But that's not all they're good for; with the drastic temperature swings we've had so far this winter, you never know what a walk downtown will have in store. These boots have performed on all surfaces, and their color schemes are subtle, so they aren't out of place at happy hour.

The ColdSpark's are available in two color schemes for both men and women. $140; vasque.com.

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