When I hear the phrase “all time best seller”, my eyebrow arches and I go into full-on dubious mode. Surely a piece of gear that every Joey and Janey Weekeneder buys can’t be worthy of my elite pursuits! Vasque is a company that makes a huge array of top-shelf footwear, and when I was lucky enough to test some of their boots, my biggest problem was where to start. “Let’s make this easy,” they said. “Check out our all time best selling boots, the Breeze 2.0 GTXs.” I cast my prejudice overboard and decided to give them a try. Could I really love the same boots as thousands of adventurers before me? I was about to find out.
First impressions are always important, and the Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX boots sure make a good one. The first thing I noticed was that these boots are light; 2.8 pounds per pair, to be exact. Next was the streamlined look of the Breeze 2.0s. Sure enough, these boots were conceived as a supercharged running shoe, rugged enough to be true day hikers, but light and breathable enough to please minimalists. I wasted no time in getting them laced up and on the trail. I was pleased to discover that the Vasque Breeze boots required a very short break-in period. I don’t think I had put 10 miles on them before they felt custom molded to my feet. I used them initially for light duty such as short hikes with my pooch and wet fall days in the city. Satisfied with their initial performance, it was time to take them to the real proving grounds: the Wasatch Mountains.
I sported the Breeze 2.0 GTX boots for several fall hikes in Utah’s most accessible mountains. During wet autumn days my feet stayed dry and warm inside the boots; good old Gore-Tex gets the kudos for that. Schlepping through mud and fallen leaves was no trouble at all. These boots have a Vibram Contact outsole (exclusive to Vasque) that provides excellent traction in nearly every condition. I plodded over boulders and through slopes of mixed talus and loose dirt with confident footing. Downhill sections were a breeze, indeed. These mid weight hiking boots have great braking ability, thanks to both the solid tread pattern and the Arc Tempo last. Okay, I was beginning to understand why so many people grabbed a pair, but I couldn’t give the Breeze 2.0s a green light before giving them a test in Utah’s most famous weather condition: snow.
Sure, using snow as a final test isn’t exactly fair. After all, there are a bevy of boots on the market made specifically to tackle the white stuff. However, the truth is that most of us can only afford to drop money on one pair of boots which will have to do it all. With that in mind, I bundled up and took the boots on snowy hikes up Neff’s Canyon and the Desolation Trail. The Breeze 2.0 GTX boots never let me down; through everything from fresh powder to slush, the boots gripped and kept me from falling into snow angel position. They didn’t do much in the way of warmth, but that’s not what I was looking for. It was truly an amiable performance from a pair of boots designed for three season day hiking, and believe me when I say I’ll be using them in the snow again very soon.
So what’s wrong with these boots? Honestly, not a damn thing! The only time they failed me was when attempting to cross wet logs on some of my hikes. I am willing to let this shortcoming fall by the wayside, as it’s been my experience that all but the heartiest boots will slip in such conditions. Overall, I was very impressed by the Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX hiking boots. Light, comfortable, waterproof, breathable, grippy and good looking? Yup, these are the boots. Oh, and I should mention that the boots are priced well below $200! It’s hard coming to terms with loving an all time best seller, but the fact that these Breeze 2.0 GTXs kick mucho ass definitely makes it easier.
The Good: Lightweight, grippy tread pattern, durable, waterproof and comfy after a full day of hiking
The Bad: Nothing to see here, move along
The Verdict: If you are looking for a solid three season day hiking boot that can handle some snow, the Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX boots are worth checking out.