The Best Hiking Boot of the 1980s Is Back and Totally Boss

In these fraught times, it’s tempting to daydream of the ’80s. And while it’s easy to view them a little too favorably through nostalgia’s skewed lens, some things really were spectacular back then. Like hiking boots. The Vasque Clarion GTX kicks that dropped in 1988, for example, represent a glorious blend of form and function. Well, get out your stonewashed jeans, because the brand is bringing them back. That’s right, the Clarion ’88 GTX hiking boots, in their original colorways, are available exclusively at Vasque’s website today.

We got a sneak peek at these limited-edition, suede-festooned beauties during the most recent Outdoor Retailer trade show a couple months ago — and I’ve been pretty much obsessed with them ever since. The truth is that while they may have the look of a lifestyle shoe, they were the height of hiking performance lo those many years ago. And thanks to waterproof Gore-Tex and a grippy Vibram outsole, they still have a lot to offer on that front. I’ve been hiking, biking, motorcycling and running around the city in them for the past several weeks and have nary a complaint.

Of course, the fact that their appearance is totally radical sure doesn’t hurt. Fashion is cyclical, and as far as I’m concerned, so 1988 is so hot right now.

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Steve Mazzucchi is Gear Patrol’s outdoors and fitness editor. Outside the office, you can find him mountain biking, snowboarding, motorcycling or sipping a dram of Laphroaig and daydreaming about such things.

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