Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX hiking boot review
Vasque delivers a lightweight, high-performance GORE-TEX waterproof boot, the Breeze 2.0 GTX, that's perfect for just about anything a Southeast adventure will throw at you.
If you’re looking to tackle some of the toughest and most demanding trails in the Southeast, you might be interested in this incredibly durable and comfortable hiking boot from Vasque, the Breeze 2.0 GTX.
My primary sport is trail running. I’ve grown accustomed to hitting the trails in lightweight and nimble footwear. So, when it comes to choosing the right hiking boot for longer adventures, I’m a bit hard to please. The Vasque Breeze 2.0 changed that for me.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the Breeze 2.0 GTX fit like a glove the moment I slipped my foot in. Most noticeably, the thickly padded tongue felt like pillows on my feet. After lacing them up through the ankles, I appreciated the snugness and secure fit.
I took the boots for a couple 3-5 mile hikes with moderate elevation change to break them in. I was happy to find after these outings that breaking in wasn’t actually necessary. The boots were already comfortable and ready for action.
I proceeded to take the Vasque Breeze on some longer outings, including some difficult, rocky sections of the Appalachian Trail, including the AT segment from Unicoi Gap to Chattahoochee Gap. I hiked roughly 9 miles with a light pack. This type of trail is where the boots’ Vibram contact sole really shined for me. Navigating miles of sharp rocks was no trouble at all for the Breeze. The grip was exceptional, especially considering the morning of my hike had been quite drizzly, and the rocks were still wet. The fit of the boot provided noticeable ankle support, while the dual density EVA midsole delivered comfort, and gave confidence to each step.
Upon descending, I found the toe box to be roomy, but just a pinch narrow towards the pinky toe. The feeling was not enough to bother me, though I have yet to hike in the Breeze with a very large or heavy pack, which could exacerbate this minor issue. I very much appreciated the control of the heel brake going downhill, especially on steeper sections of technical trail where mud was an issue.
I was also anxious to test the Breeze’s waterproof ability in wet conditions, so I jumped at the chance to put them through the paces with a creek filled adventure, hiking Tennessee’s Cades Cove. The boots’ upper is well equipped with a GORE-TEX membrane, nubuck leather, and, per Vasque’s description, “abrasion resistant air mesh”. The holes in the mesh are rather wide, and I was curious if it would actually keep water out as it claimed it could. Again, I was very pleased with the performance here. Creek after creek crossing, my feet stayed completely and perfectly 100 percent dry. And thanks to the full gusset tongue and mesh, the inner stayed debris free.
Despite the boots’ solid waterproofness, they remained quite airy and comfortable while hiking. No blisters, rubbing, or hot spots to report here! I found the breathability best when paired with a lightweight sock, such as the Vermont Darn Tough Micro Crew with light cushion.
Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX review: bottom line
After many adventures of varying length and difficulty, I have affectionately labeled the Breeze 2.0 GTX as my go-to hiking boot. As someone who primarily uses trail runners, I appreciate the comfortable, secure fit of the Breeze, while it also remains lightweight. The protection and grip is unmatched, and is especially useful while traversing the technical terrain North Georgia is known for. I find myself excited to slip into these, even when my feet are sore from long trail runs. I’m looking forward to tackling more mountain outings with these boots. I’m certain the Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX can handle just about anything!
While Vasque provided us with a sample Breeze 2.0 GTX pair to test, all opinions above are our own, and based on our own, trail-tested experience.