Breeze LT GTX Boots (Women's Model)
Series by Jennifer Koles
Skip to my Initial
Report- April 23, 2009
Skip to my Field
Report- June 30, 2009
Skip to my Long Term Report-
September 1, 2009
Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Email address: jennksnowy at yahoo dot com
City, State, and Country: Orange County, California,
getting into the outdoors scene camping while 4-wheeling
and day-hiking, I switched to backpacking in the early
2000's. I have backpacked extensively in Utah, Wyoming
and Idaho along with California, Pennsylvania and Nevada.
I have slowly been cutting my base weight to be able
to go longer in duration and distance. I have done so
mainly by using better gear and dumping heavy luxuries.
(I also married a Sherpa to help.) I backpack year round
in all weather, and usually take a free standing tent
and a gas stove on all my trips. I love trying out new
The author in the Narrows at Zion
National Park, Utah.
Vasque Breeze LT GTX Boots
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer Website: www.vasque.com
Guarantee: From the manufacturer's website:
"Vasque products are covered by a limited 1-year warranty
against defects in materials and workmanship. Damage that
is due to normal wear & tear, abuse or accidents is not
covered by this warranty."
Listed Weight: 1 lb 12 oz
Measured Actual Weight: 1 lb 15.40 oz (0.89
kg) for both boots
Sizes Available: Women's US 5-11(half-sizes
available), also available in men's sizes
Size Tested: US 9 M
Available Colors: Bungee
Cord/Adriatic Blue; Chinchilla/Mock Orange
Color Tested: Chinchilla/Mock Orange
MSRP: $130.00 USD
The Vasque Breeze LT GTX is considered
a crossover/multi-sport boot by the manufacturer. The
manufacturer claims that this boot "melds trail
running quickness with the sensibilities of a boot.
The end result is a phantom-light, trail-worthy speed
The upper body of the boots is made from
synthetic leather and Airmesh nylon. Looking at the
boots there is a large quantity of Airmesh. I am thinking
that this would help with ventilation and breathability.
This will have to be further tested in the field.
|The boots have a Gore-Tex waterproof
membrane to help make the boots waterproof. The
body of the boots are various shades of a tan/gray
color with orange accents on the nylon lacing loops.
They are fastened by a lace that passes through
eight nylon loops and two plastic lace stays at
the top of the cuff. Six of the nylon lacing loops
are positioned near the tongue of the boots. The
other two loops are located just below the plastic
stay and these are on the boot body are are reinforced
with stitching. The Vasque logo and company name
are embossed on the lateral sides of the boots;
near the sole of the boots. There is a black rubber
tag with the words GORE-TEX printed on it. This
tag is located on the lateral sides of the boots
near the cuff.
The boots have a molded rubber toe rand
to protect the toes from contact with rocks and trail
debris. A nylon loop is located at the rear of the boots.
This loop is designed to help me pull the boots on.
Below the nylon loop is the Vasque logo embossed in
LT GTX boots have an integrated tongue to help
keep water and debris out. The upper 2.5 in (6
cm) of the tongue is not attached to the boot
body. There is a padded ankle collar on the boot
body and on the upper portion of the tongue. The
lowest height of the boot collar is 5.5 in (14
cm) and the highest portion is 6.25 in (16 cm).
This was measured from the sole to the top of
The soles are made of Vibram rubber
and are called Vibram Contact. These soles are
indicated to have "A combination of aggressive,
trail biting lugs and broader, high surface area
lugs provide both traction and stability."
The soles are black, gray and orange in color.
The treads run in various directions with the
forefoot treads running primarily towards the
rear of the boots. The treads are beefier than
trail running shoes, but they are not as aggressive
as the backpacking boots that I own.
The EVA midsole is combined with
a nylon plate that is described to offer cushioning,
support and protection.
The footbeds are a dual density EVA foam.
These are thin in nature, measuring 1/8 in (3 mm) in
the thickest part. They are made of an orange dense
foam in the forefoot area and they have a black foam
reinforcement in the hind foot area and the heel cup.
The hind foot reinforcement is more dense than the foam
in the forefoot area. The footbeds have a thin top sheet
lining that appears to be a nylon type of material.
Top of footbed
Underside of footbed
I wear a women's US size 8.5 in other Vasque shoes
that I own. I found that I had to go up a half size
in the Breeze LT GTX boots to get a good fit so that
my toes are not bumping the front of the boots when
I am walking down a hill.
I viewed the manufacturer's website and I was able
to find the page for the Breeze LT GTX boots easily.
The website has minimal content describing the boots.
Just the main features and specifications are listed.
I was surprised by the amount of mesh on the boots and
how lightweight they are. I am pleased with the Chinchilla/Mock
Orange color. The color looks gray in some lightening
and then other times it looks more tan. The orange detailing
makes for a nice accent. The boots appear to be manufactured
well and seem to be made of quality materials. There
are no loose threads or spots of excess glue on the
I wore the boots for about 30 minutes around the house
and the US size 9 medium seems to be a correct fit.
I tried the boots on with mid-weight and heavy-weight
wool socks. I found the footbed to be slightly thin
and not very supportive for my arch. I will further
evaluate the comfort of my feet while wearing the boots
and determine if I will need to place a custom footbed
inside the boots. Right now my feet do not slide around
inside the boots and my heel feels secure.
The boots are easy to pull on and off. The lacing system
is pretty straight forward and I had no difficulty lacing,
tightening, and tying the boots.
For the time I wore the boots inside there were no
pressure areas on my feet and the padded collar was
comfortable around my ankle.
Now it is time to take the boots outside and break
The Vasque Breeze LT GTX Boots
were worn in the following locations during the past two months:
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, California:
I spent a total of four days day-hiking at Whiting
Ranch Wilderness Park during the testing period. The day hikes
ranged from 2-5 mi (3-8 km). The temperatures ranged from 65
F (18 C) to 85 F (29 C) on my visits to the park.
Aliso and Wood Canyon Regional Park,
California: On a day-hike in this area after my mountain
bike ride. I hiked approximately 5 mi (8 km). It was sunny and
the high temperature was around 77 F (25 C).
Wasatch-Cache Mountain National Forest,
Utah: On two day-hikes in the area ranging from 3-5
mi (5-8 km). The temperatures were in the mid 40's to low 70's
F (7 to 21 C) and it was partly cloudy to raining.
Performance in the Field
During my field reporting phase of testing
the Vasque Breeze LT GTX boots I encountered difficulty breaking
them in. That is the main reason why they were only used for
day-hiking and not backpacking. They have been worn with various
types of socks (heavy weight, mid-weight, and light weight wool
and wool blend socks) for about 30 mi (48 km) of hiking during
this testing period.
On my first day-hike at Whiting Ranch we hiked
5 mi (8 km) and I encountered a pressure area on the back of
my right heel where the calcaneus bone is beneath the skin.
This area opened slightly and formed a small blister. Because
I could not feel my heel sliding in the boots I was thinking
that I just had to break them in.
On the next day hike I wore socks with thicker
padding in the calcaneus area and this seemed to help relieve
some of the pressure on the back of my heel. I still had a small
hot spot, but it did not amount to a blister of any sort. I
was preparing for a backpacking trip and I did not feel comfortable
wearing the boots on my upcoming trip, especially knowing that
my trip would involve some high mileage.
I decided to change the footbeds in the boots
to an aftermarket footbed designed for high volume footwear.
I also changed my lacing technique to include a surgeon knot.
On my subsequent hikes with the boots I found that the irritation
on the back of my heels diminished and is now not occurring.
I think by getting more miles in with the boots and changing
the footbeds helped. The aftermarket footbeds definitely add
more padding beneath my feet and offer much more arch/heel support.
The lengthy break-in time I experienced was
the only major issue I encountered with the boots thus far.
In my opinion the boots are light weight and do not feel like
a boot on my foot. They hug my forefoot and midfoot like a trail
runner type of shoe. The Breeze LT GTX boots are breathable
and I have not experienced my feet feeling excessively hot.
The boots seem to have a thinner sole than
my traditional backpacking boots. This can be expected due to
the targeted audience these boots were designed for. The soles
have a great deal of flex in the forefoot area. This is just
more flexing than I am accustomed to. I actually like the forefoot
area flex when scrambling rocks and boulders. I can feel small
rocks and sticks through the bottom of the soles when I am walking.
The boots have excellent traction on dirt trails,
rocks, boulders, grassy areas, wet surfaces (such as pavement
and grass), mud, and glaciated snow. The two days I spent day-hiking
in Utah it was raining most of the time. The trails were muddy
and at no point was there a loss of traction. I was very surprised
that I did not lose my traction when crossing large glaciated
snow fields without my trekking poles. While standing on the
snow field my feet felt slightly chilled. I encounter the same
issue with my trail runners when I am standing or hiking in
the snow. I did not expect these boots to have insulating properties
due to the type of boots they are.
I can get the laces tight in the forefoot and
the midfoot areas by just pulling on them with some force. They
do not seem to loosen when they are tied or even when they become
wet. The laces are somewhat long for my liking. I have to triple
tie them at the top of the boots so they do not get in my way.
The Vasque Breeze LT GTX boots have proven
to be waterproof. Even with the outer mesh construction the
GORE-TEX lining has kept the water out. I have worn them on
glaciated snow fields, in rainy conditions, in mud, and while
crossing streams without any water entering the boots. I was
careful not to allow any water to go over the collar of the
boots. In the rain I wore rain pants to cover the top of the
boots. I could feel the cold temperature of the water especially
in the streams and the puddles, but there was no sign of moisture
inside the boots.
During the past two months the Vasque Breeze
LT GTX boots were worn while backpacking and during day-hikes.
Wasatch-Cache Mountain National Forest,
Utah: I wore the boots here on two day-hikes that turned
into night hikes. There were downpours of heavy rain in the
area and the boots became wet. The hikes ranged from 4 to 6
mi (6 to 10 km) in length. The temperatures ranged from the
upper 50 F (10 C) range to the upper 60 F (16 C) range. The
elevation range was from 8,200 ft (2,499 m) to 10,220 ft (3,115
San Jacinto State Park, California:
This was originally a backpacking trip that turned into a day
hike, due to me having an injured toe. The high temperature
was 78 F (26 C) and sunny skies. The high elevation was 9,400
ft (2,865 m). The length of this trip was 6 mi (10 km).
Yosemite National Park, California:
Three days backpacking in Yosemite National Park. The temperatures
ranged from 43 to 80 F (6 to 27 C) mostly sunny skies except
for a thunder, rain, and graupel storm our first afternoon.
The trails were mostly dirt, rock, and wet rock down the Mist
Trail. The trip was approximately 20 mi (32 km). The starting
elevation was 8,600 ft (2,621 m).
Mammoth Lakes Area, California: The
boots were worn at Mammoth Lakes, exploring a ghost town, and
on day hikes around Mono Lake. The elevation at the ghost town
was 8,375 ft (2,553 m) and the elevation at Mono Lake was 6,382
ft (1,945 m). The high temperature was 84 F (29 C) with sunny
skies and I hiked approximately 3 mi (5 km) on this trip.
Performance in the Field
Over the course of the field
reporting phase the Vasque Breeze LT GTX boots were worn on
one backpacking trip and on four day-hikes. I have found the
boots to be very comfortable for day-hikes. They are lightweight,
breathe, and keep my feet dry. The Gore-Tex lining is holding
up well, even in the high flex/wear areas. During the long
term reporting the boots have seen the most water of the testing
period and they are still keeping my feet dry.
I am not a huge fan of these
boots for backpacking since they do not offer as much sole
support as my feet are used to for backpacking. Usually I
wear a stiffer boot with a thicker sole when I carry an overnight
backpack or completing long day-hikes. The soles of these
boots are thin like an approach shoe. I can basically feel
every rock and sharp edge that I am stepping on. When hiking
down the Mist Trail in Yosemite with a 25 lb (11 kg) backpack
there were rock steps and boulders. It got to the point that
every step was painful on the balls of my feet.
The boots are fitting me well
with heavy and mid-weight, wool or wool blend socks. I have
used various lacing techniques to lock my heels in place.
I encountered a blister on my fourth toe during my Yosemite
backpacking trip. This is not a spot that I have ever encountered
a blister and this is the only blister I had during the long
term reporting phase. The blister could have been from many
factors and I would not particularly relate it to the fit of
the boots. Earlier in the testing period I received blisters
and hot spots while breaking in the boots, however these were
isolated to the heel area.
The Vasque Breeze LT GTX boots
have excellent traction. In Yosemite I had to hike down wet
granite rock and I did not slip from lack of traction. Even
down steep trail sections and in river/stream crossings I felt
confident with my footing.
The boots have good breathability
and I believe this is because of the abundance of mesh on the
uppers. My feet are not abnormally sweaty after a long day
The boots have been easily cleaned
by wiping them with a damp cloth. The insides of the boots
do not stink even after hiking for several hours. There are
no frays or tears in the laces or the lacing loops.
I will continue to use these boots for day-hikes
and short single night backpacking trips. For longer trips
I will use a heavier boot with a thicker sole. These boots
are lightweight, very waterproof, have great traction, and
Things That Rock:
- Good traction
Things That Are So-So:
- A longer break-in time than what I am used
- Super long laces
- Thin, non-supportive footbed
my reporting on the Vasque Breeze LT GTX boots.
Thank you Vasque and backpackgeartest.org
for providing me with the opportunity to test this product.