In 1965 Vasque founder William D. Sweasy traveled to Europe and found our future. Outdoor recreation and mountaineering were sweeping the continent, and Sweasy knew it was a matter of time until the craze found its way stateside. He began preparing his high quality mountaineering and hiking boots so he’d be ready when the time came. After a brief run under the brand name “Voyageur,” Sweasy changed the name to Vasque in 1971 (for Fort Vasquez in the mountain mecca of Colorado). And no, the rest is not history. The Vasque trail continues today, breaking new ground toward what’s next. That’s what happens when you keep your eyes firmly focused on the trail ahead.
The very first step on the Vasque trail takes its name and spirit from the wood-bound rebels who roamed the Northern Minnesota wilderness in search of furs in the 17th century. Those original voyageurs found independence on their own terms and on their own two feet.
Little known climber and rag company owner Yvon Chounard designs the Ascender and Ascender II boots for Vasque. Both are called “Shoenards” by a quickly growing legion of fans.
Vasque introduces the Directicema boot. It is immediately embraced by climbing superstars like Henry “Hot Henry” Barber as they attempt climbs such as the east ridge of Mt. Johnson in Ruth Gorge, Alaska Range (unclimbed to this day).
Climbing, hiking, and backpacking experience skyrocketing popularity as millions join a recreational mass exodus from urban centers. As the world’s most remote outposts become its most sought-after playgrounds, Vasque intensifies its focus on delivering the best technical footwear (like the Montana) to reach these spots.
25 years ago the Sundowner redefined the backpacking boot, and remains the benchmark. All thanks to its simple, technically innovative, and timeless design. Cement construction removes the weight of welt construction, adds forefoot flexibility, without reducing support and stability under a heavy pack. The one-piece, full-grain leather upper eliminates seams, and gives the boot its iconic look. A perfect blend of form and function, the Sundowner attracts Iegions of enthusiasts and imitators to this day.
Along with grunge and flannel, the 90s were marked by this boot – still the lightest in Vasque’s backpacking line. Athletic fabric, leather upper, and lightweight construction combine for a style that was revolutionary at the time and still in great demand today.
2002 ICE 9000
A partnership between Vasque, Stealth Rubber, and renowned alpinist Jack Tackle produces a new sticky rubber outsole compound (Stealth MT) for unmatched rock climbing performance in a mountain boot. And the Ice 9000’s Exo-Therm composite shell, makes the boot more comfortable with increased thermal resistance. Altogether a new standard for double boots and mountaineering.
As outdoor enthusiasts begin seeking out lighter, faster footwear, the Velocity is equally embraced as a breakthrough by trail runners, adventure racers, and fastpackers alike. That’s probably because it can do anything: great fit, aggressive traction, and full underfoot protection, without the weight, thanks to a plastic TPU Plate. Wins Outside Magazine’s Gear of the Year award.
2004 BREEZE XCR
Vasque continues to push hiking footwear in an athletic direction. Running shoe inspired sole construction reduces weight, making the Breeze ridiculously agile. One of the first boots on the market to meet Gore standards for breathability, allowing the use of GORE-TEX® XCR.
With a lightweight bottom package, the Blur appeals to fast-paced offroad runners, and lures many away from pavement and on to the trail. Expands Vasque’s range of fit by introducing an endurance-tuned model, and becomes yet another Outside Magazine Gear of the Year Winner.
2008 AETHER TECH
Vasque partners with leading innovators BOA to fully dial performance capabilities, and develop the first-ever trail running shoe to use Boa Technology’s reel system on the tongue for enhanced fit. Captures Outside Magazine’s Gear of the Year and its sister shoe – The Aether Tech SS – receives Runner’s World’s Best Debut for a Trail Running Shoe.
2012 SNOW JUNKIE
Vasque is proud to be the recipient of one of the most prestigious awards in the outdoor industry, the Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Snow Award, for its new insulated boot, the Snow Junkie. Built on the successful Perpetuum last for a great all around fit, the Snow Junkie is part of Vasque's 2012 debut of performance insulated footwear styles that are now available at retail.