Gear Closet: Vasque Coldspark Ultradry Winter Hiking Boots Review

Generally, when it comes to buying winter hiking boots, you can find warm and dry options but not necessarily affordable. A good pair of winter boots can set you back some extra cash, particularly if you want a pair that is also lightweight and athletic enough for use in active outings.

In creating the new Coldspark Ultradry model, Vasque has created something that defies expectations, particularly for the price point at which they can be purchased.

Built from the ground-up with winter hiking in mind, the Coldspark Ultradry is everything you could ask for in a winter boot. Not only does it incorporate a waterproof lining to keep moisture at bay, but it also has a heat-reflective layer designed to retain warmth even in cold temperatures.

Add in a grippy outsole to help you keep your footing on a variety of wet, snowy, or icy surfaces, and you have all the ingredients you could ask for in a shoe designed for use in the wettest, coldest, sloppiest season of them all.

cf72fa3d 2442 45b7 a24a e28cfed4e633 1

All of that said, every winter boot promises that kind of performance, so what sets this one apart from the others?

Well, for starters, the Coldspark does deliver in keeping your feet dry, even in very soggy or even rainy conditions. It is also quite warm, provided you’re staying active.

A Fine Balance Between Warmth & Function

2c043de8 558b 4b33 bfdd 7bf56169efd5 1

There are definitely warmer boots out there if you find yourself standing around in the cold regularly, but this is a shoe built to be active, so the designers at Vasque had to strike a balance between warmth and bulkiness.

The result is a really nice boot for those who want to go out and play in the snow.

Part of the appeal of the Coldspark Ultradry is the comfort that it brings to the table. These shoes are surprisingly lightweight (2.2 pounds/1030 grams) and feel more like a trail running shoe at times rather than a winter boot.

3a71f8c6 a627 4d09 ac53 5cb0da270ea0 1

They even have a nice athletic profile that makes them great for winter hiking and snowshoeing or light backpacking. They can pull double-duty shoveling snow, taking the pups to the dog park, or even running errands around town on a nasty day.

Since they feel a lot like sneakers on your feet, they’re likely to be your favorite winter footwear for many different activities.

Warm Yet Breathable (winter hiking boots)

Despite the Coldspark’s ability to keep your feet warm and dry, they also seem to good at venting excess heat and moisture too. The boots are breathable enough that you could potentially use them comfortably during the shoulder seasons of late-fall and early-spring too.

While wearing these in a variety of uses cases, my feet never got clammy or sweaty. Instead, they stayed dry, even in thick hiking socks, even when working hard. That’s essential for staying warm and comfortable in the outdoors, even when the mercury takes a plunge.

7144c89c 8f19 45e7 8e17 14f0230310a3 1

An Exceptional Value

So, all of this sounds like a good winter boot. Well, I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. Vasque sells the Coldspark Ultradry for just $139.99, making them an incredible bargain, in my opinion.

Yes, there are other boots on the market that are probably warmer and more durable.

Some have incredible soles for taking on really harsh alpine conditions, and some boots keep your feet so dry you can wade through a river and still come out fine. Those models are all going to cost you a lot more than what Casque charges for the Coldspark.

For $140 you’re getting a very capable and comfortable boot that will see you through plenty of cold-weather adventures. And you’ll do so without breaking the bank.

Considering the all-around performance that the Coldspark offers for the price, this is one heck of great achievement on the part of Vasque.

If you’re a winter hiker, backpacker, or snowshoer, you should definitely consider adding the Coldspark to your gear closet. It isn’t the boot you’ll want for serious winter alpine pursuits, but for just about everything else, it is an outstanding option.

Lightweight enough so as not to slow you down, but still warm and supportive, this is one of the best winter hiking boots I’ve ever used, and I think you’ll really like them too.

Kraig Becker