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Vasque Breeze GTX Review

   

Hiking Boots - Men's

  • Currently 3.2/5
Overall avg rating 3.2 of 5 based on 7 reviews. Most recent review: August 15, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $112 - $170 | Compare prices at 8 resellers
Pros:  Light, supportive
Cons:  Not durable, ineffective waterproofing
Best Uses:  Fastpacking, dayhikes, backpacking
User Rating:     
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 (3.3 of 5) based on 6 reviews
Recommendations:  83% of reviewers (5/6) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Vasque
Review by: Atherton Phleger ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ August 15, 2014  
Overview
The Vasque Breeze GTX is a boot designed with a singular purpose in mind: Fast, light, nearly-at-a-run backpacking and hiking. At that purpose it succeeds wonderfully (although we would be strongly inclined to buy the Salomon Quest 4D GTX instead). It is secure, sensitive on the trail, light, and well ventilated and, of the heavier boots tested, perhaps the best suited for hot weather. It's excellent and relatively cheap, no doubt about it. But we did have some qualms. It's not particularly durable (predictably, given the amount of mesh involved,) It isn't particularly waterproof, and overall, it simply isn't as versatile as some of the others, most notably the Salomon Quest and La Sportiva Eco. They can handle a wider range of temperatures, weight, terrain, and weather conditions. That said, the Vasque breeze is a bit cheaper. We would still prefer the La Sportiva Eco, which is about $10-20 more expensive, but the Breeze would be a good option for someone who absolutely could not spend more than $150.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Comfort
These are very comfortable boots. They are light, airy, and have the best ventilation of our heavyweight hikers. They flex very naturally with the foot, and lend every stride a lightness and nimbleness comparable to the Salomon Quest.

It should be said that we didn't test this boot with the 80 pound loads that some of the others were subjected to. We expect, based on using boots with similar designs and extensive testing with lighter loads, that the Vasque Breeze would not do well with backpacks much over 40 pounds.

Traction
The Vibram soles gave us good but not particularly remarkable traction. The La Sportiva Eco has slightly better traction.

Support
Perhaps because there is less material to get in the way of a snug fit, these offer surprising support. While not quite as impressive as the Salomon Quest, our feet and ankles felt very secure. The sole is a bit thinner than some of the others we tested, which reduced the potential for ankle injuries, and gave us a bit more sensitivity on the trail.

Waterproofing effectiveness/Durability
When mesh is included in a hiking boot, its often a sign that its designers either had a very specific vision for how their product would be used, or they weren't thinking. In this case, I believe it was the former. The Breeze GTX is light, reactive, and perfect for fastpacking. It is not however, durable or very waterproof, at least not for long. Mesh wears very quickly and particularly because it is used in several high-wear areas, it will be the first point of failure. That said, the Gore-tex lining contributes a lot, both in terms of waterproofing and general durability. During testing the lining actually managed to stop an alder branch that punctured the mesh, and would have made it into the tester's foot.

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Atherton Phleger

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: August 15, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (3.3)

83% of 6 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
7 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 57%  (4)
3 star: 29%  (2)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 14%  (1)
Sort 6 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   May 11, 2013 - 10:34pm
Thom · Hunter · Fairfax, VA
I've put 400 miles+ on my Breezes, and while it shows it with some scuffing and I've worn through part of the black sole, I'm happy with that for $119 at the overpriced REI (should have shopped around…) 4 years ago. They are waterproof enough for me, have worn them in rain and snow and stepping into shallow creeks and mud puddles and always kept my feet dry. Didn't wade through creeks, though, have to admit. I found them breathable as well, and with reasonably good traction, IMHO. I bought size 11.5 and in hindsight should have gone with 12, since they've always felt too snug. Ankle support has been a Godsend on multiple rock scrambles in the Shenandoah and at the Philmont Scout ranch when I took my sons there 2 years ago. Headed back there this summer and trying to decide if I will use these with their worn out sole for the 100 miles that remain for the training hikes and Philmont, or if I should (a) resole, (b) buy another pair of Breezes, or (c) try a different brand.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Nov 1, 2012 - 08:12am
TheFatpacker · Hiker · Romney, WV
These hikers are very comfortable but fit on the narrow side. I have a slightly wide foot and I can feel this slightly, but after a few minutes wearing the boots, everything loosens up and feels great.

I find my boots reasonably water proof. I've stepped in water ankle deep many times with no leaking. Also, after three years of use, the condition of my boots are still in great condition.

One negative is grip. On rocks that are wet, these are pretty slick. Not a lot of traction. In mud and on the dirt, they are decent.

Overall I am happy with the purchase. Next hiker I want to try will be a low cut.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Aug 3, 2014 - 09:33am
DenLeaderDave · Hiker · Chicago, IL
I've had a pair of Vasque Breezes for about 9 months, and I love them. They're comfortable, light and nimble, very comfortable, supportive, help prevent my feet from getting tropical, and did I say they are comfortable? They served as my only boot (hiking and winter) through hikes in Acadia, a (brief) portion of the AT in NH, and this last winter's Polar Vortex. I took the Cub Scouts to a local forest preserve in late winter in these, and I was toasty and dry despite wind chills in the single digit temps, and a foot of snow on the ground. I even stepped in freezing water several inches deep when trying to dig a trench through the ice to allow melt water to get to the sewer, and nothing got in. In late spring, they did finally admit some water, but it was during my morning commute in one of this Chicago Spring's torrential downpours. I'll say this, since that commute, the only time I got water inside--even on the AT--was on the Cascade Brook trail, when water came in over the top of the boot. (Hopping rock to rock across the river due to a washed out bridge was no challenge.) The only thing I'd really like to see noticeably improved is traction, which is decent, but not amazing.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jul 30, 2014 - 08:11pm
loops · Hiker · york, SC
I just got the Breeze 2.0 GTX. Though I've only just walked around in these boots and find them very comfortable, I'm only reviewing 1 aspect of these boots and why I'll buy these over any other boot on the gear lab list.. They come in a size 15. Get with the program ASOLO, KEEN, Salomon..etc.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Dec 17, 2013 - 11:23pm
A decent boot for a decent price. I've owned mine for a few years now and overall I have been satisfied with the purchase though will be looking at other options as replacements. These boots are a solid choice for dry, warm to hot conditions with a medium sized pack load.

The leather/mesh combination strikes a good balance between foot protection and breath ability. Waterproofing works well for the occasional step through clear water reaching below the rim of the boot ankle with hard surfaces underfoot but once you begin to step through muddy puddles or walk through wet conditions for extended periods your feet will get wet. The breath ability of the boot makes them great for northeastern summers, so long as you don't encounter a summer storm.

Ankle support is good though not stellar. These boots have prevented my ankle from rolling when it should have with a 30 pound pack, though had I been carrying much more I'm not so confident the results would have been the same.

I would have liked these boots to have rubber caps on the toes as the leather has become rather rough from use on rocky trails. That said, I don't think this has had a major effect on the ability for the boots to withstand water given the large amount of mesh so the rubber may do nothing more than add weight to an otherwise decently weighted, if not light, boot.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Sep 12, 2013 - 12:19am
RG · Fisherman · Alabama
I had a older version of leather Vasque boots.

Paid a ton of money for expensive leather gore tex boots, and the soles fell off before I even broke them in. Unbelievable - I've never seen a sole come off of a boot before. Company made no effort to stand behind the product, ignored my requests for help. I won't buy Vasque again.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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