The Vasque Mantra 2.0 GTX trail shoe is perfect for hiking and walking. The shoes are quite light and comfortable.
The moment I wore them, it felt good and the sole had a soft flex that gave more comfort.
These are best for rainy day hiking through puddles and street rivulets.
However, I found them not much effective on rocky surfaces.
Overall, the waterproof feature and comfort for everyday walking inspired me to write and share this review of the Manta 2.0 with you.
- Waterproof and can easily withstand water splashes.
- Soft leather on the upper side makes wearing comfortable.
- Flexible sole that makes day-long walking a breeze.
- Perfect for wider feet.
- Padding around the ankle.
- Too soft for hiking on rocky trails.
- Feet may roll around on rough surfaces (for narrow feet).
- The lace could have been a bit longer.
Vasque Mantra 2.0 review: Men’s Gore-Tex Hiking Boot.
Lightweight Hiking Shoe for Natural Trails
For day hikes when you are only carrying a day pack, you don’t need the full support of a hiking boot. But you do need a shoe that is stable and protective. It needs to have a sole that will help prevent slipping on gravel and dirt. The sole must protect your foot from feeling the rocks and roots. I also look for a waterproof shoe so I don’t have to worry about splashing through puddles or getting wet crossing small rivulets.
The Vasque Mantra 2.0 does all of this. It has a Nubuck leather and air mesh upper that reduces weight. The Vibram sole should last a long time, but it is also built with great flexibility to allow you to walk with a good heel-to-toe roll-through of each step. Some wearers complained that you can still feel rocks through this shoe.
The fit is great for people with a wide forefoot, but it still has a narrow enough heel. I have a wide foot and wore this comfortably through over four miles on my first outing with it.
The lacing system is boot-like, so I had to do some modifications to get the kind of lacing I prefer to make sure my heel was retained in the heel cup.
The body of the shoe is full-grain Nubuck leather, very smooth, tough and attractive. The leather pieces are sewn together with stitching that is so precise and amazing. The well-padded collar around the ankle is well-formed and supportive as well as protective of that sensitive area. The sturdy leather over the heel has two fingers that extend up on the sides of the Achilles padding to help limit lateral movement in that area.
The lacing system is not bad either. You can easily adjust according to your fit. But the lace could have been extended more toward the toes. People with narrow feet might find the lace a bit lose but enough to hold them in place.
Outsole and Soles
I have no complaints about the service the outsole on my old Renegades gave. The Vibram soles are often considered the gold standard for all kinds of footwear, especially for hiking boots. The Vibram EVO sole on the new Renegade II shoes and boots is advertised to provide “sure-footed traction in rugged terrain.”
Based on past personal experience, the Vibram reputation and a quick glance at the actual sole on the shoe, I have no reason to doubt the claim. The sole on the new Renegade is deep and rugged-looking under the ball of the foot and most of the heel. At the extremities of the sole under the toe and the back of the heel, the sole has more material to give longer wear in the high friction areas.
Now for a few words on the GORE-TEX membrane, the midsole and the shank, parts of the shoe which are not visible. The waterproof feature is an absolute must here in the wet Pacific Northwest and its performance is well-known from years of use worldwide.
I suppose that there are some locales that would not benefit from GORE-TEX in boots and save a little cash and a little weight and breathe a little better.
But overall, if there is the slightest chance that your natural trail will cross a stream or a snowbank or a remote chance that you will get caught out in a sudden rain shower, you might end up believing the membrane is essential, as I do.
There is not much to say about the PU (Poly Urethane) Midsole or the full-length nylon shank. These two features help give the shoe form and contribute some shock-absorbing capacity.
The sole is a bit wider than usual. So, that’s a good point. The ankle and the gusseted tongue has some padding around them. This helps to minimize pressure and walk with more comfort.
I basically tested on 3 types of surfaces- normal trails, rocky trails, and wet surfaces.
The shoes worked perfectly on normal trails. It was comfortable and it felt like I could walk all day long.
But when I shifted to rocky trails, the shoes disappointed me somewhat. I could feel the rocks beneath the sole and I guess the sole flex was a bit soft for such surfaces. And at some point, it even felt like the shoes were about to come off from the feet.
I found some users complaining about the waterproof quality of the issues. But I found no issues. Yes, the shoes will get wet. But your feet and socks will remain dry.
Final Verdict: Should you buy or not buy the Mantra 2.0?
Let’s be realistic here! If you want to buy a hiking shoe and if your trail has mostly rocky surfaces, then avoid this shoe totally.
The shoe has a restrictive fit. So, there might be some sort of sizing issues if you are unlucky. And the shoes get pretty warm when the weather is too hot.
I also found that it has a poor grip on wet surfaces.
So, who should buy this?
I think the shoes are best for hikers who want comfort and hike mostly in wet and cool climates.
With the sidewall and ankle protection, these shoes are also perfect for everyday homeowners who love to walk with their dogs or have a large outdoor that needs constant moderation.