2009 Vasque Celerator Trail Running Shoes Review


My Fall trail running assault has been a great opportunity for me to test out several pairs of new trail running shoes. The weather and the trails this fall have been perfect, so off I’ve gone on the local trails–taking full advantage of the dry weather we’ve had this Fall in Utah.

Slowing things down and running through the fall colors on cool, crisp days, I’ve had a chance to run on the new Vasque Celerator trail runners (available Spring 2009). They have performed really well, but what else would you expect from a company that’s been making outdoor-specific shoes for over 30 years?

About the Vasque Celerator Trail Running Shoes

The new lightweight kid on the block for 2009 is the new Vasque Celerator. The foundation of the Celerator is the award-winning Aether outsole, the Velocity last and then topped by a new, breathable upper that ends up tipping the scales at a mere 11.9 oz. per pair (size 9).

The Celerators are made for warm-weather training or race day with solid, proven traction and tons of breathability. Here are a few more specs:

  • Upper: Synthetic nubuck, TPU weld, Airmesh nylon
  • Midsole: Neutral molded EVA with high rebound heel and forefoot inserts
  • Footbed: Dual density EVA
  • Outsole: Vasque Aether
  • Last: Vasque Velocity
  • Reflective trim and DriLex lining
  • MSRP: $105 (Spring 09)

Vasque Celerator Trail Shoe Review

I was able to get out on several runs with the new Vasque Celerator shoe. As I’ve mentioned before, Vasque has the dirt/shoe interface nailed with the Aether outsole, so it’s great that they stuck with that design. Overall traction is superb on loose-and-sandy or hardpack conditions I’ve been running in.

Lacing them up, I’ve found the fit to be really good overall. As always, I chose to use SOLE footbeds in these shoes to provide the right support and fit. The toebox is a little roomy, so I opted to use my Lorpen midweight socks instead of the ultralight socks I typically wear. With that setup, the fit was supportive and stable.

I’m still completely satisfied with traditional lacing on most shoes (instead of Boa or quick lace designs), but I’m not OK with shoes that don’t have an even lace pull from top-to-bottom. Nothing is worse than having to loosen or tighten the laces manually down the entire length of the shoe. With a single-pull, I could tighten the laces from top-to-bottom on the Celerators.

The only issue I’ve had with these is a funky rib where the lower, thicker mesh meets the upper inside the toebox. My big toe could feel the distinct line where the lower mesh is welded to the upper. I only really noticed this while walking and never felt it while on the trail.

Traction is good enough with the Celerators that short, steep hikes and descents are managed easily–not something that can always be said for a shoe that’s this lightweight. On typical running terrain, the shoes provided a great balance of support and trail feel.

Lateral support was also great for such a light shoe. This is likely due to the v-shaped support band going from the heel to the middle of the laces and the thicker mesh support band that attaches to the last around the perimeter of the shoe. There are more supportive shoes on the market, but these are good considering their weight.

Breathability is outstanding. A couple of times I really felt the chill of the 45-degree wind, thus prompting me to classify these as warm-weather shoes. On warmer runs, in spite of my midweight socks, temperature-control was great.

I also like my trail runners to be able to hold their own on the road. The Celerators can comfortably be used on the road, if needed. They have a smooth tread and roll well for an occasional run on the pavement without feeling clunky.

FOR YOUR REFERENCE: I’m 5’11” and 170 lbs. My size 10 feet are regular width, but super-flat.

Good Celerator

  • Great ventilation
  • Great traction both up and down
  • Solid support and comfort
  • Lacing system cinches up well
  • In spite of meshy design, is reasonably supportive
  • Lightweight
  • Competitively priced
  • 50/50 pavement to trail ratio

Bad Celerator

  • Funky toebox seam issue
  • EVA cushioning may not as long as air or gel cushioning
  • Must wear midweight socks for a proper fit
  • A little chilly in cold temps

The Bottom Line on the Vasque Celerator Trail Runners

I have really enjoyed these shoes. Support is good… breathability is good… traction is also good. While, my flat feet may need something with a little more pronation support, with footbeds they are great. I can definitely recommend these as lightweight, traditional lace-up trail shoes that will perform well in warm-weather trail running conditions.


About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

1 Comment

  1. Jim Schoenberg on

    I just wore the Celerators for the first time this past weekend. I whole-heartedly agree that this shoe performes exceptionally on rocky / technical trails. I tested these shoes on the legendary La Luz Trail in the Sandia Mountains, NM. My overall impression was:

    a) The lighest trail runner I’ve purchased to date
    b) Amazing breathability on the uppers
    c) Fantastic traction for rocky and challenging terrain
    d) Good support underfoot

    I highly recommend this shoe from Vasque. The only negatives I can objectively come up with are:

    a) Due to this shoes breathability, it may not be suitable for cold-weather, windy climates (yes you can actually feel the wind through the uppers).

    b) Because it is so light, it is risky for over-pronators as it doesn’t contain the extra weight needed for lateral support.

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