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Vasque Breeze LT GTX - Women's Review

A low weight, high-performance boot that excels on long, technical trails and short jaunts, too
Vasque Breeze LT GTX - Women's
Photo: REI Co-op
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $180 List | $179.95 at Backcountry
Pros:  Lightweight, comfortable, break in easily, supportive
Cons:  Minimalist design could result in durability issues, fairly costly
Manufacturer:   Vasque
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 31, 2019
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Support - 20% 8
  • Weight - 15% 10
  • Traction - 15% 8
  • Water Resistance - 15% 5
  • Durability - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The women's Vasque Breeze LT GTX is a super-light, sleek option that has all of the aspects of a traditional hiking boot — support, stability, and ankle protection — without the added bulk. The pair we tested is an updated version of the popular "Breeze" line from Vasque, with significant changes. The Breeze LT has a new tread pattern — improving traction and stability generated from the sole. Additionally, Vasque has made a considerable effort to make this boot lightweight. The Breeze LT's have a running-shoe feel, with all the benefits of a supportive hiking boot. An EVA midsole and a cushioned tongue make them comfortable, while the ankle shaft provides support and stability.

We found these boots to be a great option for folks who are reluctant to commit to the traditional (heavier!) hiking boot model but still want the support and stability these types of shoes provide. The Breeze LT is breathable and light — great for warm weather. The Gore-Tex membrane provides some water protection, too. We recommend these boots to anyone who wants a high-performing, lightweight boot.

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Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $179.95 at Backcountry$159.95 at Amazon
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$219.95 at Backcountry$190 List
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Pros Lightweight, comfortable, break in easily, supportiveGood traction, very comfortable, ankle padding, waterproofComfortable, durable, very cushioned, stable, supportive, lightweightVery water resistant, durable, incredibly lightweight, sleek designComfortable, lightweight, durable, inexpensive
Cons Minimalist design could result in durability issues, fairly costlyRuns big, excess padding in tongueExpensive, take some time to break in, can be warm on hot daysProblematic fitLacks support of larger, heavier boots
Bottom Line This pair combines extreme lightweight comfort with top-notch performanceThis best-in-its-class boot combines lightweight technology with all the versatility a modern boot should haveDesigned for long-distance hikes with heavy loads, this model is designed to maximize support and comfortThese boots are lightweight, sleek, and durable - designed for technical and varied terrainThe best iteration of this model yet
Rating Categories Breeze LT GTX X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Kaha Gore-Tex Alpenrose Ultra Mid GTX Targhee III Mid
Comfort (25%)
8
9
9
5
9
Support (20%)
8
8
10
8
7
Weight (15%)
10
7
6
9
7
Traction (15%)
8
8
6
9
7
Water Resistance (15%)
5
10
8
10
8
Durability (10%)
6
8
8
7
7
Specs Breeze LT GTX X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Kaha Gore-Tex Alpenrose Ultra... Targhee III Mid
Weight Per Pair (Size 7.5, in lbs) 1.38 lbs 1.83 lbs 1.91 lbs 1.47 lbs 1.80 lbs
Upper Microfiber mesh Suede leather, nylon Full-grain leather Breathable mesh/ coated fabric Oiled nubuck leather
Width Options Regular Regular Standard Regular Regular
Heel height (mm) 29 mm 32 mm 54 mm 32 mm 35 mm
Shaft height (mm) 114 mm 121 mm 140 mm 127 mm 125 mm
Midsole Dual-density EVA Dual-density EVA EVA EVA Dual Density EVA
Sole Vibram MegaGrip Contagrip rubber Vibram MegaGrip Michelin rubber Rubber

Our Analysis and Test Results

Though we were excited about how lightweight these boots were at first, we were unsure they would make the cut in the rest of our metric comparisons. It turns out the Breeze LT nailed it in terms of comfort, support, and traction. Its lowest performances come in water resistance and durability.

Performance Comparison


We loved the lightweight feel of the Breeze LT for a wide variety of...
We loved the lightweight feel of the Breeze LT for a wide variety of adventures -- from short jaunts to long days on the trail.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Comfort


For being the lightest model in this review, the Vasque Breeze LT is surprisingly comfortable. Vasque may have cut corners somewhere to cut weight on these shoes, but they didn't seem to skimp on comfort. Though they may not be as burly as some boots we have reviewed in the past, the Breeze's provided enough cushion underfoot to carry moderate weight. The padded tongue provides cushion for the top of the foot, while the heel and ankle provide even more padding for the back of the foot (Achilles and heel). The lacing system starts high up on the top of the foot, which makes fine-tuning the fit of the toe box a bit more difficult. Shoes that are more adjustable will have a lacing system that starts closer to the top of the toe box. Our wide-footed lead tester was able to get them to fit comfortably with a bit of work.


Our favorite thing about these shoes, though, is the fact that they are light! For us, this is a big deal on long hikes, where a heavy boot can start to feel like a ball and chain attached to your ankle. Hiking in these boots is the opposite of that experience. They are light and breathable, while still providing padding and cushion in all the right places.

The ankle shaft and tongue are well padded -- upping the comfort...
The ankle shaft and tongue are well padded -- upping the comfort score of these boots.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Support


Both the ankle and sole of the Vasque Breeze LT are fairly stiff — providing stability and support. When twisted, the Breeze barely moves, which shows the stiffness of the midsole. This, combined with the lightweight feel of the boot, creates a running-shoe feel without the sloppiness of a runner.


The ankle support felt adequate to our testers, even on the rockiest of trails. The ankle shaft contributes to this stability and support. Though not as tall as some of the burlier boots we tested, the Breeze's ankle came up high enough to support our testers' ankle bones effectively.

Though you can't tell from the photo, this trail was steeeep! We...
Though you can't tell from the photo, this trail was steeeep! We were grateful to have the Breeze on our side to provide stability.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Weight


Here, the Vasque Breeze LT really shines — weighing less than any boot in this review. Not only do they weigh the least on the scale, the Breeze has such a lightweight feel that they knocked it out of the park in this metric. With a total weight of 1.38 pounds (US Women's size 7.5), wearing the Breeze means carrying only 11 ounces on each foot. This is significant — many hiking boots weigh over 2 pounds in total. As the miles add up, we began to appreciate the lighter, spritelier feeling we experienced underfoot. This also led to less tired feet at the end of the day, and less sore feet following days of heavy mileage.


The impressive thing about the Breeze LT is that the performance is on par with more robust boot models, making them a legitimate choice for multi-day trips carrying significant loads. We would back off using them for truly heavy loads, but if your pack doesn't typically weigh a ton, these lightweight boots are pretty rad.

Though they weigh a fraction of the beefier boots in this review...
Though they weigh a fraction of the beefier boots in this review, the Breeze's hold their own in the testing arena.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Traction


The Breeze LT totes a Vibram MegaGrip sole and an updated tread pattern, which makes them super-grippy — reminiscent of a rugged trail runner. The flower-shaped lugs look small and fairly insignificant, but the minimalist tread pattern stuck to gravel, large boulders, loose hillsides, and talus with ease.


Even in muddy conditions, this tread pattern sheds globs of mud impressively. The tread also showed little sign of wear over the course of our testing period, which is a nod to the longevity of these boots.

Shown here is the flower-shaped tread pattern of the Breeze LT. We...
Shown here is the flower-shaped tread pattern of the Breeze LT. We were impressed. Plus, we like the design.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Water Resistance


From late-season stream crossings to freezing autumnal puddles, we encountered our fair share of wet conditions during the Breezes' test period. This boot stood up to the challenge fairly well with a Gore-Tex membrane that effectively sealed out moisture in these wet conditions. Though they kept our feet dry during brief icy stream crossings and mild rain, the boots let some moisture in through the mesh part of the upper.


In terms of breathability, the Breeze's ventilated fairly well, considering their Gore-Tex membrane. We found the mesh upper to do a fairly good job of letting heat out and providing airflow, while the Gore-Tex lining kept our feet mostly dry in wet conditions.

Fully submerged in water, the Breeze's ended up leaking a bit where...
Fully submerged in water, the Breeze's ended up leaking a bit where the upper is mesh.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Durability


Though our test period is fairly short compared to the lifespan of a hiking boot, the Vasque Breeze LT seemed to weather the rigorous testing we put them through. From rock scrambling to traipsing through streams to dusty, end-of-summer trails, the Breezes seemed to handle anything we threw at them. Since they are so lightweight, we had a few concerns about the seamless construction of the upper but saw no signs of delamination during our time wearing these boots. In the same vein, we were impressed by the beefy lacing system on the Breeze — with leather eyelets and sturdy laces. Still, we aren't totally convinced that the longevity of the mesh upper can consistently compete with burlier options.


Value


The Breeze lands in the middle of the pack in terms of cost. Due to their high scores and overall impressive performance, though, we would say that these boots are worth the investment for those seeking high quality, lightweight boots. They provide a lightweight, high-performing alternative to the more traditional hiking boot styles on the market. They aren't super specific, too, which makes them feel right at home in a wide range of settings.

Lightweight and comfortable, we were happy to don the Vasque Breeze...
Lightweight and comfortable, we were happy to don the Vasque Breeze LT on many outdoor occasions.
Photo: Jane Jackson

Conclusion


Less is more when it comes to the women's Vasque Breeze LT GTX. These boots perform better than expected for such a lightweight package. With a padded tongue, heel, and ankle, they make the foot feel comfortable on long missions and with heavy loads. The EVA midsole provides support underfoot, while the traditional above-the-ankle design makes for a stable ride. The Gore-Tex liner didn't prove to be completely waterproof, but the mesh upper provides a bit of ventilation and breathability in warmer conditions. The lightweiht design could be concerning in terms of durability, but we can attest to their durable construction throughout our testing period. All of these factors combine to make the Breeze LT GTX our Top Pick for Lightweight Performance.

Jane Jackson