The Vasque Breeze III is the latest version of the company’s best selling boot, which is highly breathable and provides good traction in a variety of conditions. The best best aspect of the boot is all the mesh incorporated into its design, making it more breathable in hot conditions. However the downside to the mesh is that durability may be more of an issue over time as the fabric breaks apart sooner than the rest of the nubuck leather that makes up the boot. The Breeze III has the feel of a lightweight boot and is more comfortable out of the box, but after a full day of hiking some testers complained of heel rubbing that didn’t occur with other boots.
Initially the Vasque Breeze III feels fairly comfortable but testers noted heel rub after prolonged hiking. On longer hikers the lack of extra padding and cushioning becomes obvious and testers preferred both the Oboz Sawtooth and the La Sportiva Nucleo as an all-day boot. It uses toe and heel counters to add durability, with mesh vents to help even more with breathability.
Support & Stability
The TPU shank and EVA midsole provides good stability while walking and at the same time provides a decent amount of cushioning on the foot. Despite being a mid height boot it feels a bit loose around the heel, with less stability there in comparison to the La Sportiva Nucleo. While testers had differing opinions on support, one tester complained of a rolled ankle while hiking in this boot and rated it poorly in this category.
On all the surfaces tested the Breeze had good traction and was never an issue for testers on rocky surfaces or wet conditions. Vasque used a Vibram contact grip outsole which delivered good traction on loose trail and rocky terrain.
The Vasque Breeze III uppers are made of nubuck leather and large amounts of mesh. The nubuck leather is a durable material, but the lightweight mesh allowed sharp sticks or thorns to poke through and would most likely fall apart before the rest of the boot, which resulted in a lower score in this category. It has a Gore-Tex lining that was successful in keeping feet warm and dry during cold stream crossings.
The Breeze, surprisingly enough, is the heaviest of all the boots tested. Since it uses a lot of mesh on the outside of the boot, testers initially thought it would be one of the lightest boots. However, it has the same feel as the lighter boots in the test and none of the clunkiness that the Oboz Sawtooth has, which is only an ounce lighter.