Some people like the look of classic boots for hiking. Others prefer the sportier, sneaker-like aesthetic of many modern hikers. If you like the look of 1980s hiking boots, though, we have a feeling you’ll love the Vasque Clarion 88 GTX, an updated version of the retro hiking footwear.
Billed as a hiker that combines “retro style and modern comfort,” the boot retains the classic 80s aesthetic, so you finally have the perfect shoes to match with your thigh-high shorts, colorful socks, and fanny pack. That way, you can hit the trails looking like a refugee from three decades ago for whatever joy it brings your way.
The Vasque Clarion 88 GTX Hiking Boot has an upper cut in a mix of abrasion-resistant mesh and 1.8mm waterproof suede leather, with a Gore-Tex membrane that blocks any moisture from the outside while allowing moisture inside to evaporate. This allows it to keep water from seeping in through the upper, so you can walk in puddles and cross shallow water without getting your feet wet, all while allowing any sweat that develops to evaporate, so your feet stays dry the whole time you’re on foot.
While it manages to recreate much of the appearance of the original, it sheds a good load of the heft, courtesy of lightweight modern materials the outfit used to put the shoe together. And yes, that’s remarkable, given how the original boots were marketed primarily for their uniquely light weight at the time.
The Vasque Clarion 88 GTX Hiking Boot fuses the upper to a Vibram Winkler outsole, a thinner material that provides good traction on a variety of surfaces. That means, however, this shoe won’t be great for making your way around rocks, as the lack of thickness could make stepping on sharper objects an uncomfortable affair. Other features include a high-rebound footbed, a die-cut EVA midsole, and colorways taken straight out of the company’s 80s period catalogs.
Want one? The Vasque Clarion 88 GTX Hiking Boot is available now, priced at $159.99.