Vasque Breeze 2.0 ReviewMarch 23, 2013
- Incredibly agile for such a substantial boot
- Beefy outsole can get you over any terrain
- Midsole shank provides ample stability for long hikes
- These boots got pretty steamy on hot, long hikes
- Cuff felt a little too high for a light hiker
The Breeze 2.0 was one of the most impressive boots in our Spring 2013 test. It feels like a backpacking boot with a light hiker upper—the tall cuff, substantial midsole, stability plate, and Gore-Tex liner behave like a backpacking boot, but the overall comfort and responsiveness makes the boot feel like an athletic shoe. It’s probably a bit much, though, for those who are not going to be loading up or heading into really rocky terrain.
Support & Stability
This boot gets top marks for being the most stable and supportive boot in the test. Although technically it is a mid-cut, the cuff rises above the ankle, providing more protection and foot control for steep hikes with loose rock. A thermoplastic urethane stability plate provides the necessary midsole rigidity for long, exhausting hikes. In addition, the heel box is narrow and my instep felt “locked” down, preventing slippage on steep hills.
I was impressed by how comfortable this boot was, considering how brawny it looks. Although the cuff is tall for a light hiker, it was padded and flexible enough to provide gentle support without the bruising. I was also amazed at how agile and responsive the boot was given its muscular looks. The only feature that kept the Breeze 2.0 from getting Best in Class was that it was almost too much boot for typical light hiker terrain and consequently felt a little cumbersome for short day hikes. It’s really more of a ‘tweener—in the space between workaday light hikers and burly backpacking boots.
Quality and Construction
The leather and burly mesh upper is top quality, with the added bonus of metal lacing hooks on the cuff. Thick, durable rubber heel and toe bumpers add protection and durability. A super aggressive, nubby outsole provided grip even on slick, muddy areas. I also appreciated the thin reflective strip on the back of the cuff.
A note on our durability ratings: Because we rarely have enough time in a field test to actually wear out a boot, durability is determined by the materials used (ex: full-grain leather lasts longer than mesh); features such as rubber toe and heel caps; and whether or not the upper is constructed out of one piece of leather, or multiple pieces and materials sewn together. Our ratings are based on general wisdom and we cannot guarantee that a boot with a higher durability rating will actually outlast those with lower ratings.
At $160, the Vasque Breeze 2.0 was among the most expensive in the test. If you’re looking for a true light hiker, there are less expensive options that will get the job done. If you’re looking to upgrade to a boot that can handle the most demanding terrain, the Breeze is worth the dough.