Vasque Breeze LT GTX - Women's Review
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.
For being the lightest model we tested among our top-ranked women's hiking boots, the Vasque Breeze LT is surprisingly comfortable. Vasque may have cut corners somewhere to cut weight on these shoes, but they didn't skimp on comfort. They're not as burly as some Vaque boots we've reviewed in the past, but the Breeze LT provided enough cushion underfoot to carry moderate weight. The padded tongue cushions 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.
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.
The Breeze LT totes a Vibram MegaGrip sole and an updated tread pattern, making 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.
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.
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 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.
Should You Buy the Vasque Breeze LT GTX?
These boots provide a lightweight, high-performing alternative to the more traditional hiking boot styles on the market. They're comfortable and supportive, even under heavier loads. They're definitely not the most waterproof boots we tested, so if you need bombproof water protection, we suggest looking elsewhere. All in all, though, if you want a mega lightweight boot that offers great performance on the trail, we can't recommend the Breeze LT enough.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
If lightweight is the name of your game, this boot reigns supreme. We'd also recommend the Topo Athletic Trailventure as a great lightweight option for those with wide feet, and our favorite boot Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid, is also a lightweight model that offers across-the-board performance, including great water resistance.
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