Vasque launched the Breeze LT Low last month, introducing a lightweight hiker based largely on trail runners. We’ve been testing the men’s version for the last month, hiking the Hill Country of central Texas and approaching boulders and cliffs in the Gunnison area of Colorado.
The Breeze LT Low specifications:
- Abrasion-resistant mesh upper
- Anatomical high rebound footbed
- Exclusive Vibram Ground Control LiteBase with Megagrip Compound outsole
- Ascent Last
- 6mm heel drop
- Dual-density compression-molded Enduralast EVA
- Verified weight of one pound, 7.5 ounces per pair for men’s size 10
- MSRP $140
I have a narrow heel and a wide but thin forefoot. The Breeze LT Low felt generous in all dimensions.
The forefoot was plenty wide; no overhang at the outside edge and room for swelling. The heel also felt roomy but it was still adequately snug for even my narrow dimensions.
The Breeze LT felt tall in the forefoot. Since the lacing only goes down as far as an average hiker, I couldn’t cinch down the upper on to my forefoot. At rest, the top of my toes didn’t contact the interior of the shoe.
I have a medium height arch, and the shoe contacted this area of my foot even when unloaded.
The Breeze LT Low in Action
The trail runner DNA was apparent on the first hike in the Vasque Breeze LT; the shoes felt like a heavier trail running shoe, not a true hiking shoe. The ‘running shoe’ feel and the low weight encouraged quick foot turnover and fast hiking, while the high level of flex under the ball of the foot made push off feel powerful.
The Vibram Megagrip outsole provided excellent traction on a variety of terrain. From hardpacked and rocky trails in central Texas, loose over hardpack on alpine slopes in Colorado, and even traversing granite slabs, confidence in the Breeze LT’s dry traction never waned. Wet stone or mud challenged grip, but that’s the story with almost all hikers I’ve tried.
Although the traction was high, on sidehills and steeper downhill sections, the inability to tighten the upper above my forefoot allowed my foot to migrate laterally or forward, detracting from the connected feeling of the foot to shoe, and shoe to ground.
The dual-density EVA midsole provided a very high level of cushioning for a hiker; the impact absorption felt more akin to a high cushion running shoe. This cushioning was greatly appreciated as I was still recovering from a long bout of knee surgeries. The downside was the relative lack of sensitivity; when scrambling granite, visually confirming small features to smear for traction was necessary.
I hauled crash pads and packs loaded with trad climbing gear while testing the Breeze LT Low and the shoe’s stability felt appropriate for loads up to 25 pounds.
The mesh upper was moderately breathable; shoulder season temperatures felt comfortable but sunny, breezeless hikes in the ’80s overwhelmed the air permeability.
The Vasque Breeze LT Low proved to be a light, grippy, comfortable, and fast-paced hiker that had the feel of a trail runner. The generous fit, although comfortable, may allow foot migration for those with lower volume feet. For high-speed hiking with lower loads, the Vasque Breeze LT is a great option.