Hands-on Gear Review

Vasque Breeze III GTX - Women's Review

Price:  $180 List | $125.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Very comfortable, breathable, waterproof, supportive
Cons:  Heavy, expensive
Bottom line:  The Breeze III are a great overall boot, providing support, comfort, and breathability to get you through the most rugged hikes.
Editors' Rating:   
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Boot Type:  Midweight Hiker
Weight Per Pair (pounds):  2.2 lbs
Upper:  Waterproof nubuck leather, air mesh
Manufacturer:   Vasque

Our Verdict

The Vasque Breeze III are the total package, yet they fall toward the bottom of the fleet. They have everything we look for in a hiking boot — comfort, water resistance, durability, and support. Vasque has refined this shoe with each new version, and their third version is the best yet. They were comfortable right out of the box, requiring little to no break-in time. They nail the magic combination of providing support, while still feeling sneaker-like on foot.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Hiking Boots for Women of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jane Jackson

Last Updated:
Sunday
May 6, 2018

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In every metric, the Vasque Breeze III performed like a champ. Holding its own in all parameters against contenders that have a much higher price tag, the Breeze is an excellent option for a work-horse of a boot. They will protect against the elements while still providing the support and comfort needed to keep you on your feet for a full day on the trail.

Testing traction on wet sandstone in the Vasque Breeze III.
Testing traction on wet sandstone in the Vasque Breeze III.

Performance Comparison



Comfort


The Breeze III Mid was one of the highest-scoring boots in our comfort metric. They are immediately comfortable, right out of the box. Vasque has a good track record for making comfortable boots and shoes, like the Vasque Monolith, which was one of our favorites for comfort in our previous round of testing. The Breeze is no different. Similar to the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3, these boots are supportive and well cushioned, while still feeling light on the foot. This makes them great for both long and short days on the trail.

The burly toe caps and heavy-duty soles makes these boots stable and secure on the roughest terrain.
The burly toe caps and heavy-duty soles makes these boots stable and secure on the roughest terrain.

Support


As we began to say above, the Breeze III shine when it comes to support nearly as much as they do in our comfort ratings. With a well-padded ankle and a stable midsole, the Breeze provides support both underfoot and in the ankle. The Exo-plates added to the midsole provide a structure to the boot that keeps you on your feet and prevents the ankle from rolling. The soles are also substantial enough that they provide support underfoot, especially after a long day on the trail. These boots fit a lot like the Vasque Monolith UD, but they provide more support overall and are a better option for long days and heavier loads. A good alternative with equal support and a similar price tag is the Keen Targhee III Mid.

The Breeze IIIs are surprisingly waterproof  despite having large panels of mesh as a part of their construction.
The Breeze IIIs are surprisingly waterproof, despite having large panels of mesh as a part of their construction.

Weight


Weight was the one metric that had the Breeze III fall a bit short. Weighing in at 2.2 pounds, these are the heaviest boot in this review, followed closely by the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid with a weight of 2.19 pounds. This surprised us, as the Breeze felt light on the foot, while the Renegade felt much bulkier due to their all-leather construction. The weight of the Breeze III comes from their soles and leather/mesh uppers. A boot that weighs less but is comparable to the Breeze is the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3.

Traction


Often, boots with Vibram soles tend to score highly regarding traction, and the Breeze III are no exception. These boots use Vibram's Megagrip rubber compound, which stick to rocky surfaces with ease. Even when wet, the soles still managed to provide decent traction. Similarly, the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 and the La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX did well in this metric, though only the La Sportiva model has Vibram soles. The tread pattern is moderately aggressive, but the boots do lack lugs that extend over the sides of the boot. This feature can help maintain traction when traversing slabs or large boulders, but generally, we didn't miss it on most trails.

A wet spring day in Moab makes for a perfect opportunity to test water resistance.
A wet spring day in Moab makes for a perfect opportunity to test water resistance.

Water Resistance


The key to a successful water-resistant boot is the combination of water resistance and breathability. The Breeze III successfully joins these two features. The waterproof Gore-Tex Extended Comfort Membrane used in this boot will keep your feet dry, while still allowing for ventilation and breathability. Some boots, like the Lowa Renegade, provide tons of protection, but because they are made of mostly leather, they lack the breathability that other models have. In comparison, the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 is more like the Vasque Breeze III; both boots are made with Gore-Tex, but also have the breathability that comes with a mesh and leather upper.

Durability


We had very few complaints when it came to the durability of the Breeze III. The combination of leather and abrasion resistant mesh made for an upper that hardly showed signs of wear during our testing period. The Vibram soles held up well, and there were no signs of wear along the seam between sole and upper. The re-enforced rubber toe cap and protective heel also make for added durability. These boots seemed to have more longevity than the Vasque Monolith UD and were more in line with Ahnu Sugarpine or the Ahnu Montara.

The Vasque Breeze III dry out after a wet outing on the Colorado River.
The Vasque Breeze III dry out after a wet outing on the Colorado River.

Best Applications


These burly boots will provide support all day on the trail. For long hikes on uneven terrain, the Breeze III is sturdy and sticky. These features make them ideal for rugged hiking. Additionally, they come at a reasonable price, and the Breeze III make a good, less expensive alternative to boots like the La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX or the Lowa Renegade.

Value


Though they are less expensive than the top hiking boot models on the market, the Breeze III is still an investment. These boots ring in at $180 online, making them comparable to the Oboz Bridger Mid BDry. The Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 is, in our opinion a better boot, and is less expensive than the Breeze, making it a better choice concerning value for a boot of this style.

We had nothing but good things to say about the Vasque Breeze III's as we wore them day after day in southern Utah's Canyon Country.
We had nothing but good things to say about the Vasque Breeze III's as we wore them day after day in southern Utah's Canyon Country.


Conclusion


The Vasque Breeze IIIs is the most substantial, and most expensive, boots from Vasque that we have tested. These boots hold their own in comparison to more expensive and higher-end models on the market. We found them to be durable, sturdy, and supportive, while still managing to be comfortable and breathable. They feel quite light on the foot due to their combination of mesh and leather uppers. Overall, these are a well-made boot that break in easily and remain comfortable all day.
Jane Jackson

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Most recent review: May 6, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
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