The Vasque Satoru Trail LT is the best zero-drop, super lightweight hiking shoe that no one is talking about. This shoe almost won my annual hiking shoe review. While everyone else is talking about Altra Lone Peak, this shoe is quickly becoming my new favorite.
I have spent a significant amount of time in the Vasque Satoru Trail LT, and the more I hike in it, the more I like it. The breathable upper textile is minimalist, to be sure. Don’t expect an advanced midsole and upper system that locks your foot in place.
Instead, the Vasque Satoru Trail LT is designed for those that want a more direct relationship with the trail and who are not afraid of using the entire architecture of their feet and lower legs to navigate the geometries and obstacles along the trail. It boasts a super grippy Vibram outsole and an incredibly comfortable footbed using the new Biotic last from Vasque.
If you are curious about this shoe and want to learn more, then read on. I tested this shoe against four other shoes and have been on multiple hikes and spent countless hours walking in them.
Ultimately, this shoe from Vasque did not win the competition. If you are looking to buy a hiking shoe, then you may want to read my review of the shoe that did win the competition here on my blog.
Already convinced about the quality of the Vasque Satoru Trail LT? I think they are the most underrated, zero drop, ultra-light hiker on the market. I love wearing them. You can check out the pricing here.
In the graph below, you can see the overall test results and the competition that the Vasque Satoru Trail LT had to contend with. Go to my YouTube channel to check out all of the tests I did.
If you are interested in reviews of these other shoes, click on the links below.
- Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Review
- Merrell Moab Speed Review
- Merrell MQM Flex 2 Review
- Salomon X Ultra Pioneer Aero Review
Are the Vasque Satoru Trail LT Comfortable?
The Vasque Satoru Trail LT was the only shoe that required some adjustments for my feet. As with the other shoes I tested, I took them out of the box and hiked for 9 miles. Unfortunately, I got blisters on both heels, which did not happen with the four other shoes.
These shoes also lost points for comfort because the area around the collar digs into my lower ankle. After multiple uses, you do get used to this, but it never completely goes away.
The real stand-out for me is the Biotic last from Vasque. The footbed is exceptionally comfortable.
I wore these shoes to work constantly because of how great the bottom of my feet felt at the end of the day. There is little in arch support, which fits the zero-drop vibe anyway.
For comfort, it is strange to talk about weight, but in this case, it is worth mentioning. Comfort is also about how you feel after hiking all day for days on end. With the Vasque Satoru Trail LT, you will be saving mountains of energy due to its extremely low weight.
My size 12 US Vasque Satoru Trail LT weighs only 332 grams or 0.73 pounds per shoe which is feather-light.
Finally, my last thought on comfort is that the Vasque Satoru Trail LT is not perfectly stable when stepping on uneven surfaces. Because of the minimalist design, there is little in the way of stabilization from a more traditional midsole.
When scampering over rocks or obstacles, occasionally, my heel would slip to the side of the shoe. Vasque could overcome this with a better lacing system that allows you to lock down your foot in the shoe.
Do the Vasque Satoru Trail LT Provide Adequate Protection?
With the minimalist design, Vasque had to make some compromises. When I tested these for protection underfoot, they lost to all four other shoes simply because they have thinner soles and midsoles but also because they do not have a shank or rock plate.
After recent hikes in Italy in Tuscany and at the Cinque Terre, I have changed my stance on the protection provided by these shoes. Yes, if you step directly on a sharp rock, you will feel it, but I found the protection adequate over rocky terrain on the trail.
I would trust the Vasque Satoru Trail LT for an extended, multiday hike with a light to medium backpack. That is how much my opinion has changed since I tested them in May.
Finally, the mesh upper will not protect your upper feet from impacts from rocks or other hard material on the trail, but the shoes have a substantial toe cap that extends across the width of the front of the toe box. The shoes also have harder plastic reinforcements at the heel.
Do the Vasque Satoru Trail LT Provide Good Traction?
In the testing I performed against four other shoes, the Vasque Satoru Trail LT had far grippier soles than all other shoes. Vibram’s Megagrip compound is the best in the industry. Furthermore, the Ethereal Litebase sole exhibits highly effective traction on various surfaces and even on the smooth, wet stone.
After comfort, the most critical characteristic of any hiking footwear is traction and grip. If your shoes cause blisters or don’t fit properly, your hike will be more difficult. If, on the other hand, you lose your footing and fall, your hike could be over, and you might find yourself in a survival situation.
Vibram Megagrip is consistently the best compound I have ever tested.
Are the Vasque Satoru Trail LT waterproof?
The version I own is not waterproof, but they do dry out very quickly.
Another test I performed on all five shoes was time-to-dry. I dunk each shoe in water for five seconds, then shake off the excess water and weigh them to see how much water they took. I then put the shoes out to dry and reweighed all of them every 60 minutes. The first shoe to reach its dry weight was the winner. The Vasque Satoru Trail LT scored second place in this competition.
You can watch the complete testing for time-to-dry here on my YouTube channel.
The minimalist construction and especially the TPU mesh upper are very breathable and dry out very quickly. The Vasque Satoru Trail LT does not have a waterproof barrier such as Goretex, but I would still consider using them on a hike in wet conditions with wool socks if I knew I would have opportunities to dry them out.
Final Thoughts on the Vasque Satoru Trail LT
I think these shoes are much better than the market has reacted. The heel geometry caused blisters on the first hike, which is unusual for hiking shoes these days in my experience, where most have out-of-the-box readiness for long hikes.
Also, the collar digs into my ankle, and although I got used to this, I think other people may be put off by this.
I have lots of hiking shoes in my closet, and yet I keep coming back to these shoes for day hiking here in Italy. They perform so well and provide an excellent balance between traction, grip, comfort, and performance. They are incredibly lightweight and highly breathable. If you are considering buying these shoes, please consider using my affiliate link to support my mission to provide evidence-based reviews on hiking footwear for everyone.