Remember those fabulous looking, old school bowling shoes you had to rent when you went with your junior high school class to the local lanes? Vasque has updated this classic look in the new multisport Rift, adding a high performance Vibram outsole for superior traction, minus the nasty foot spray of course.
The nubuck and suede uppers of the Rift come in variety of vibrant colors to add some individuality to your trail, climbing, or even coffee shop ensemble. These multisport shoes weigh less than 2 pounds, so make a very stable light hiker or lightweight approach shoe that won't weigh down your harness on walk-off climbs.
The outsole is made from Vibram's climb specific Spider rubber. Micro-cleats on the tread improve traction, while the wide flat surface of the tip is designed for grip when climbing. Vasque has added Vibram's Idrogrip compound for super high friction on wet rock.
The multisport shoes feel very stable over a variety of terrain, from loose scree to snowy rock scrambling. The Rift are much more stiff than other Vasque light hikers such as the Scree, making them a more ideal approach shoe where you need that extra rigidity.
The toe and heel cap are supposedly made of sticky rubber but the top toe cap (there are two) feels a bit plastic to me. I would not attempt any steep and precise bouldering problems in these, though I think they would be ideal for something like the Via Ferrata or even just the approach to some of the multi-pitch climbs in say Red Rock or your local crag.
Similar to the Ahnu Montara hiking boots, one major drawback is that these multisport shoes look way too cool to want to get them scraped up or muddy. Don't worry, that feeling is short lived as soon as you hit the trail. The Rift offer you a bit more substance than some of the Scarpa Lifestyle shoes, even with similar suede uppers and Vibram Spider outsoles.
Bottom Line: You may look hip wearing the Vasque Rift at your local watering hole, but unlike other outdoor lifestyle shoes, these multisport shoes deliver the performance on the trail.
A plethora of bold color options for men and women, together with matching funky laces, give you multiple opportunities to express yourself. The Vasque Rift multisport shoes retail for $120 and will start shipping around mid to end of January.