Verdict from 5 experts and 100+ user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Many Vasque St. Elias FG GTX reviewers consider it one of the most comfortable hiking boots they've owned.
  • Lots of avid hikers are impressed by its durability.
  • It makes a tough boot for all trips, from day hikes to multi-day tramps, according to an in-depth review.
  • Several people find the Vasque St. Elias FG GTX hiking boot ideal for extreme conditions. 
  • This boot is all about stability. It's flexible but firm enough for hiking in rough terrain, say a couple of users.
  • A few reviewers are happy to discover that the Elias FG GTX is a hiking boot available in wide widths.
  • It's a great choice for cold and wet weather conditions, according to some.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A few people aren't happy about the laces that seem flimsy.
  • This boot is on the heavy side, according to some.

Bottom line

Ideal for backpacking and day hiking in extreme conditions, these beefy boots from Vasque get overwhelming positive responses from avid hikers. It ticks the box for durability, weather protection, stability, and performance. With such amazing features, the St. Elias FG GTX perfectly fits the bill for anyone looking for a robust hiking boot they can take to some of the roughest terrain and extreme conditions.

It's not lightweight by any means but that makes it an ideal boot for backpacking in a challenging terrain with heavy loads.

Tip: see the best hiking shoes.

Good to know

  • The updated Vasque St. Elias FG GTX delivers more comfort and skips the break-in period. It features a premium full-grain leather upper, a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane for weather protection, and a robust Vibram outsole that grips well on varying surfaces.
  • It's all-terrain PU midsole creates a firm yet flexible platform for the foot, which is further enhanced by a TPU shank that reduces the load incurred by the wearer's feet.

This hiker from Vasque is a high-top model that provides full coverage for the ankle. Its upper is made entirely of leather so it conforms nicely to the foot, resulting in a precise and comfortable fit. The collar is made from soft and smooth Nubuck leather which cuffs the ankle snugly. Furthermore, this boot has a lace-to-toe construction which means that the lacing system starts from the toe all the way to the collar. This type of closure delivers a secure and customized fit all throughout.

The St. Elias FG GTX boasts of a durable Vibram outsole with the Frontier with XSTrek Compound. It's a special type of sole that is developed for backpacking and mountaineering. It's long-wearing, sticky, and has the right balance of stiffness and flexibility needed for you to traverse uneven ground and challenging trails safely and easily.

This outsole has a lower profile lug pattern which delivers excellent grip on rocks and slabs. It also works well in mud and loose dirt.

This beefy backpacking boot has a midsole made of polyurethane (PU). Unlike EVA, PU doesn't compress over time so it is able to retain its qualities for a long, long time. Backpacking boots such as the St. Elias FG GTX highly benefit from PU midsoles because they're stiffer and hold up weight really well. This hiker also has a TPU shank that provides additional support and protection. Additionally, it comes with a dual-density EVA footbed for more cushioning.

The Vasque St. Elias FG GTX has an upper made of full-grain leather. Lining its interior is a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane that ensures no moisture sneaks into your shoes. The upper features minimal seams for durability. The parts are stitched with double-seams throughout. It also has a  rubber toe bumper molded to the outsole and stitched to the upper that adds to its robust construction.


How Vasque St. Elias FG GTX ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 8% hiking shoes
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Top 20% Vasque hiking shoes
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Top 6% day hiking hiking shoes
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The current trend of Vasque St. Elias FG GTX.
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Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.