Vasque Pingora Multisport shoe


We test a lot of shoes here at SNEWS® headquarters. So suffice it to say, when we received a test pair of Vasque's Pingora shoe (named for an imposing granite face in the Cirque of the Towers in the Wind River Range of Wyoming), we were rather ho hum about jumping into them. We'll get around to testing them, eventually, was our attitude.

However, after some intense wear fast packing in the Sierra (mud, snow, rain, sand, wet granite slabs) and then a follow-up trip to New Zealand (we know, testing is hell) where our tester's feet were wet half the time, we're placing the now well-worn Pingora's reverently on our keeper shelf.

On the surface, and in catalog copy, the Vasque Pingora is a sticky rubber technical approach shoe clearly designed to strike a balance between climbing performance and hiking comfort. And it does just that -- well.

The technical outsole uses Stealth S1 rubber that grips the rock like a remora sucks onto a shark's belly -- even when wet. The low low-profile lug design doesn't accumulate mud, grit or slop, and the shoe edges remarkably well -- useful when traversing dicey zones where the climbing ain't hard, but the vertical exposure amps up the pucker factor.

The synthetic suede upper is waterproof and breathable -- but who really cares since the shoes are low top anyway so any moisture is likely to pour in over the top with ease. What we found most impressive is that even when wet, the shoes remain extremely comfortable and don't get sloppy -- a plus when scrambling over boulders on a six-mile journey down a rushing mountain stream that some brilliant soul decided to make the trail. What was most pleasing is that after a few hours of wear in dry conditions, previously soaked leather dried out to the point it was barely damp to the touch -- nice.

What our tester most appreciated is the distinct heel underfoot, which even on slippery terrain, he was able to use to securely hook rock edges and rough surfaces making an otherwise tenuous descent (one that left others on the trip tumbling and bumbling into the water) feel relatively benign.

Though the shoe is a bit heavier than a trail running shoe (1 pound, 15 ounces in a size 10), it is infinitely more supportive and secure while still remaining nimble enough to allow for relatively unencumbered jogging -- for short distances.

With a generous rubber toe rand around the toe bumper and extra support in the high wear and friction areas along the sole, these shoes are built for rough terrain and rough use.

SNEWS® Applause Meter: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)

Suggested Retail: $90

For more information:



IceBug Multi Run Dry shoes

Serious runners aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed. After all, normal people consider roads and trails covered with ice a perfectly acceptable reason to stay inside watching television. Yet runners will do the darnedest things to get their adrenaline fix when the more


Vasque Alpine GTX

The Vasque Alpine GTX boots, made of waterproof full-grain nubuck leather uppers and lined with Gore-Tex, are said to offer all the support and protection needed for basic mountaineering, mixed routes and extended backpacking trips. Weighing just under 4 lbs for the women's more


ExOfficio Caravan travel shoe

Like any explorer, a good travel shoe must be flexible and able to handle a variety of situations. First, it should offer plenty of support and cushioning for hours of walking and standing, whether you’re strolling city sidewalks or negotiating airports. Adventure travelers also more


Shoe Wallet

It's certainly not a new idea -- a pocket-like pouch that straps to the laces of your running or walking shoes so you can stash ID, a key or some change – but it's been recycled again by a company called Shoe Wallet that is promoting more than a product. Instead, it promotes more


Bite Upstream wading shoe

As a fly fisherman dreading long hours on the river because of a pair of old, inflexible and very uncomfortable wading shoes our tester owned, it didn't require too much arm-twisting to get him to test the new Bite Upstream wading shoes. In the spirit of full disclosure, he more


Lowa AL-X 66 Shoe

Lowa Boots has utilized a new injection molding technique that's intended to shave weight from the light hikers currently in its line without diminishing the support those light hikers have long been recognized for. With the new AL-X series, Lowa injects polyurethane and other more


New Balance 904 Trail Running Shoe

Introduced earlier this year, the 904 is bound to become a trail runner favorite. Built with a Strobel last to give the shoe a mix of stability needed on uneven trails and flexibility a runner wants for performance, the 904s can take you over dirt, rocks, and mud and then return more


Wolverine Monroe shoe

Two major consumer trends have captured the attention of footwear companies. First, shoppers on tight budgets want versatile products that deliver more bang for the buck. And, second, they want products they can customize to meet their own needs. When it comes to outdoor more


Timberland Rip Current Tech water shoe

As water shoes have become more popular the last few years, companies have tweaked their designs so that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to get a truly amphibious shoe. Timberland’s Rip Current Tech is a good example. After wearing these water shoes for a couple of months more