I don’t usually circle back to look at products I’ve previously reviewed, but I’m making an exception with the Vasque Breeze LT GTX hiking boots. I reviewed these in spring 2019 and came away liking them a lot. However, footwear that makes a good first impression doesn’t always fare as well after repeated use. That’s when design flaws tend to show up. I’ve since put a lot more mileage on the Breeze LT GTX boots in all sorts of conditions. With the 2020 hiking season kicking off, I thought now would be a great time to revisit these boots. Spoiler alert: I still think they’re great.
Vasque Breeze LT GTX Key Features
• Synthetic microfiber, abrasion-resistant mesh uppers
• TPU molded yarn mesh ankle structure
• GORE-TEX Extended Comfort waterproof membrane
• Dual density compression molded EduraLast EVA midsole
• Anatomical high rebound footbed
• Vibram Litebase outsole with Megagrip compound
• Weight (for the pair) 1lb 11oz
• Available in a range of colors (review sample is Beluga/Lime Green)
After Two Years of Use
These hikers made an immediate impression on me for two primary reasons: their extreme lightweight and their comfort.
At roughly 15 ounces each, they weigh less than most of my runners. The weight is almost unbelievable in an ankle-height hiking boot. And the Vasque Breeze LT GTX boots are extremely comfortable to wear. They breathe well in hot weather, which is extremely important in the summer. Leather is at a real disadvantage when the temperatures rise. At the same time, the soles are supportive and extremely well-cushioned. They feel like running shoes and add an extra spring to my step, even when walking on a sidewalk. That’s extremely unusual for hiking boots, which tend to feel rigid and awkward when walking on paved ground.
So, roughly two years after my initial evaluation period, I’ve had the opportunity to put these boots through a lot more use. I don’t know the exact number, but I believe it is roughly 200 miles of hiking while wearing these particular boots. That’s primarily a mix of forest trails in provincial parks combined with urban trails. There’s been mud, rocky sections, plenty of tree roots, a few beach fringes, stream crossings, and some paved areas—where urban trails are connected by sections of sidewalk. Even a patio or two. Length of hikes ranging from around five miles to 14 miles, with most in the late spring, summer, and fall.
Everything I initially liked about these boots has made me appreciate them even more with use. They’re like wearing runners, but with far more ankle support, toe protection, water resistance, and plenty of grip.
Just as importantly, they have stood up to the use. I was worried the mesh uppers might get frayed, the mud would get ground in, and the water resistance would fade. Not the case at all. They don’t look quite new, but they are in great shape. When they get muddy, I hose them off and they dry quickly. I’ve yet to get a soaker on a hike while wearing these. The combo of web eyelets and hook eyelets remains secure with no signs of tearing or coming loose. In fact, the original laces are still intact. The lugs have stood up well, especially considering that some of those miles were on concrete. There is some visible wear on the lugs under my toes, but even there they still have roughly 3/4 of the tread depth remaining.
I even discovered these boots are decent for use in ankle-deep snow. A pair of thick socks (they’re not insulated), and they are good to go. Just don’t wear them in icy conditions. The sole is hard when it’s cold, and wearing these on ice is like wearing skates… That being said, they were never promoted as winter boots.
The recommendation I wrote as part of my original review for these boots still stands:
“If you do a lot of hiking or trail walking in warm months, you may be tempted to skip hiking boots for low-cut shoes that are lighter, and less likely to become uncomfortably hot. That’s been my usual approach. But the Vasque Breeze LT GTX hikers have changed my mind on that front. You get the advantages of boots—including ankle support and a higher cut so there’s less chance of water coming in over the top—with lightweight and breathability. Add the incredibly comfortable soles that make these feel like wearing running shoes, and the Vasque Breeze LT GTX hikers are an easy recommendation.”
However, I’m going to add to that based on the two years and several hundred miles of additional use these hikers have seen. The lugs are wear-resistant, even when used occasionally on sidewalks or roads, and the boots perform well in snow—just wear thick socks and avoid ice. The boots wash up well and dry quickly. They’re still my go-to pick for most hikes and in warmer months, I’ll take them pretty much any day over a traditional leather hiker. And they’ve proven they’re built to last.
Disclosure: Vasque provided boots for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.
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