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Reviews > Footwear > Winter Boots > Vasque WT GTX Breeze Boots > Test Report by Brian Hartman

November 22, 2020



NAME:Brian Hartman
EMAIL:bhart1426ATyahooDOT com
LOCATION:Central Indiana
HEIGHT:5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT:150 lb (68.00 kg)

I have been backpacking for over 20 years throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and most recently in Western USA. In addition to backpacking I enjoy family camping with my wife and kids and being outdoors in general. I would describe myself as a mid weight backpacker. I use fairly light weight equipment and gear but still like to bring more than the bare essentials with me while on the trail.



Manufacturer: VasqueIMAGE 1
Year of Manufacture: 2020
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US $199.00
Listed Weight: 2 lbs 14 oz (1,294 g) per pair
Measured Weight: 2 lbs 15 oz (1,332 g) per pair
Available Sizes: 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 13, 14
Available Widths: Regular (D), Wide (E)
Size Tested: 10.5 Wide

Fabric / Material: Air Mesh
Waterproof: Gore-Tex
Insulation: 200g 3M Thinsulate
Footbed: Dual Density EVA
Midsole: ATC (All Terrain Compound) Midsole with EVA Cushioning Pods TPU Shank
Outsole: Vasque Exclusive Vibram Contact Grip with Megagrip Compound
Last: Arc Tempo
Leather Type: Nubuck, Waterproof
Leather Weight: 1.8-2.0mm
Color: Brown Olive

Vasque describes the Breeze WT GTX boots (hereafter called Breeze or WT boots) as their most premium winter boot, built to keep feet dry in snowy winter terrain.  They are, in fact, insulated waterproof hiking boots that are purported to be warm and comfortable.  I'm hoping for a winter boot that's supportive yet cushioned, and comfortable enough for long days on the trail.  The Breeze WT GTX boots are a new addition to Vasque's Breeze GTX current product offering, which includes the Breeze AT (All Terrain) GTX, and Breeze LT (Lightweight) GTX boots.  The Breeze WT (Wintertime) GTX boots add insulation to the mix. 

The WT boots have nubuck leather uppers and a Gore-Tex liner that allows water vapor to escape from inside the boots without letting water in. They also have 200g of 3M Thinsulate insulation, a dual density EVA footbed, an ATC midsole with EVA cushioning pods, a TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane) shank, and a Vibram outsole that features contact grip with Megagrip compound.  Finally, they have an Arc Tempo Last which is a tapered toe box with more vertical toe room for those with high arches.  The Vasque Breeze are made in Vietnam.


The WT boots arrived in a brown cardboard shoe box that had Vasque's logo on the top and sides.  My first impressions were positive.  The boots felt substantial and they exuded quality.  They look modern and sophisticated.  I also like the color choice, which consists of dark chocolate colored leather, with black soles, toe kick and heel guard.  When not backpacking in them, I think I could easily pull off wearing them around town with blue jeans.  They're not lightweight, but they're not heavy either, especially considering they're insulated.  And the fact that they're mid-cut and waterproof should come in handy for stream crossings and when hiking through snow.  


The Breeze WT boots are 7.75 in (19.7 cm) tall at the tongue, and 6.5 in (16.5 cm) from the bottom of the heel to the ankle collar.  They have solid construction throughout with no loose stitching, frays, or imperfections in materials.  They have leather and air mesh uppers and a gusseted tongue to keep water and debris from getting inside the boots.  The lacing system includes one set of metal eyelets at the base of the tongue, three sets of leather loop eyelets, and three sets of riveted lace locks at the top.  I prefer lace locks as they help keep the laces tight while tying the boots and they also help keep the laces from coming undone if they get caught by brush and unknotted.  The boots have pull loops at the tongue and heel to help get them on and off.  The Breeze WTs also have some of the nicest toe and heel guards I've seen, made of thick rubber that's molded to the boots.

The Vibram outsoles are made with a compound called Megagrip and the hangtag says they offer unparalleled grip on wet and dry surfaces, superior grip with rugged longevity, and an optimal balance of stability and flexibility.  Wow!  
I'm excited to try them out in the backcountry as they sound awesome.  Looking at the treads, they have a nice pattern, and the lugs appear to be durable, but they're only 0.18 in (0.32 cm) tall, much shorter than any other hiking boots or shoes I've owned.  I'm anxious to see how well they work.  Maybe the short lugs will help keep them from getting clogged with mud and snow, although that's just conjecture.

IMAGE 5The Breeze WT's have Nubuck leather and air mesh uppers that offer durability and breathability as well as a lightweight feel.  The midsole is made with a compound that Vasque calls ATC (All Terrain Compound).  It supposedly provides support and cushioning when traversing slick and uneven terrain.  Vasque also included 200g of Thinsulate insulation to ensure the insides of the boots stay warm despite what's going on outside.  After testing I'll report how well the boots cushion my feet and if they keep me warm.  Temperatures have been in the low 40s F (5.6 C) the last few weeks but they'll drop again after Thanksgiving, when I expect we'll see start to see below freezing weather.  That will be the true test.

The WT boots have Thermoplastic polyurethane shanks for addition support and foot protection.  The shanks make them slightly stiffer and less flexible but that's a tradeoff I'm glad to make when I decide my trip requires hiking boots versus lighter weight shoes.

The inside of the boots are soft and supple and the tongue is made from synthetic material which appears to be nylon.  A Gore-Tex lining encases the rest of the inside of the boots.  I was excited to see this as the Gore-Tex lining should allow the insides of the boots to breathe while remaining waterproof.


Two small hang tags were attached to the boots, one from Gore-Tex and other from Vibram.  Unfortunately, no care instructions came with the boots and I was unable to find anything on the manufacturer's website.  Consequently, here are some general recommendations I follow regarding care of leather boots.

    Before storing, be sure to get all mud and dirt off by rinsing in warm water and brushing with a soft bristled brush.
    Apply a wax or cream to the leather to keep it from drying out
    Apply silicone to the leather to maintain waterproofness


The Breeze WT boots came pre-laced up to the lace locks, so all I had to do was finish lacing them and tie them.  When putting them on they initially felt tight so I grabbed a thinner pair of socks and that seemed to help.  They provided great support while I walked around the house and they didn't slip at all.  I did notice the top of the boots digging in slightly below my shins but they're not broken in so hopefully that goes away.  For reference I ordered size 10.5 wide and normally wear size 10 shoes.


So far, I really like the WT boots.  They're well constructed with top quality workmanship.  They have lots of great features including Nubuck leather uppers, Gore-Tex lining, Thinsulate insulation, and Vibram outsole.  They feel stable when walking and I like their mid-cut design that comes above my ankles for added protection.  I'm anxious to put some miles on these boots during the next few months and test their capabilities.

This concludes my Initial Report for the Breeze WT boots.



IMAGE 1During Long Term Testing I wore the WT boots on two backpacking trips and twelve day hikes, totaling approximately 45 mi (72 km). Weather conditions varied from sunny and breezy, to snow, sleet, and rain.  Temperatures during testing ranged from 6 to 37 F (-14 to 3 C).

My first trip was to the Charles Deam Wilderness in Southern Indiana (IN), where I camped for three days. This area includes over 12,000 acres (50 km2) of dense forests and 36 mi (58 km) of hiking trails. Skies were mostly cloudy during my stay with occasional light snow showers overnight.  Daytime highs were in the upper 30s F (3 C) and 
overnight temperatures dropped to near 30 F (-1 C). I hiked approximately 9.5 mi (15 km) on this trip, both on and off trail.

Location: Charles Deam Wilderness
Type of Trip: Backpacking, both on and off trail
Distance: 9.5 mi (15 km)
Length of Trip: Three days
Backpack Weight: 33 lb (15 kg)
Weather Conditions: Most cloudy
Precipitation: 0.5 in (1.27 cm)
Temperature Range: 30 to 37 F (-1 to 3 C)

My second trip was to Franklin County in Southeastern IN where I hiked approximately 5 mi (8 km) during the course of three days. Skies were clear and sunny most of the time and temperatures were cold.  On this trip I set up shelter near a creek and large forest where there was plenty of wood available for a camp fire.

Location: Franklin County, IN
Type of Trip: Off-trail hiking
Distance: 5 mi (8 km)
Length of Trip: Three days
Backpack Weight: 35 lb (16 kg)
Weather Conditions: Clear and breezy
Precipitation: 0.0 in (0 cm)
Temperature Range: 22 to 28 F (-6 to -2 C)

In addition to overnight backpacking I did some day hiking at local parks and walking trails as noted above.



The Breeze WTs performed well in all five of my test categories during the past two months of Field Testing. Below are the results of my tests for comfort and fit, warmth, traction, waterproofness, and durability:

Comfort and Fit: These boots fit well. I ordered size 10.5W and had plenty of room in the toe box and no heel slip or rubbing against my ankles. They broke in quickly after only a few miles of hiking, and I didn't get any blisters (or hot spots) or experience any discomfort while wearing them. Thanks to their smooth interior lining the Breeze WTs were easy to put on each morning and they came off easily at night.  Once tied, the laces stayed snug throughout the day. The footbed provided decent arch support so I didn't have to wear orthotics and the midsole and shank were firm enough to give me a stable base while hiking, so I felt comfortable carrying my 35 lb (16 kg) pack throughout the day. 

The WTs are relatively lightweight for insulated, waterproof boots so even after hiking on and off trail for hours I never felt fatigued. They fit well and flexed just enough that I had no trouble climbing steep terrain or traversing side hills.  Overall, they were supportive while still being comfortable to wear. At the end of my trips, they were easy to clean off, and then I simply let them dry out in my basement before putting them away.

Warmth: I wore lightweight merino wool socks with the WTs and together they kept my feet nice and toasty.  Never did my feet feel cold or clammy.

Traction: The Breeze WTs provided great traction on snow and slush, and although not perfect on ice, they didn't slip nearly as much as my trail running shoes. The boots were surefooted and the lugs never lost their grip regardless of where I stepped. I also never worried about rolling an ankle since the WTs provided excellent ankle support on uneven ground. 
While hiking off trail in the Charles Deam Wilderness the Vibram lugs ate up the rough ground and allowed me to climb over downed trees, cross creeks, and walk over wet slippery rocks without concern. Once again kudos to Vibram, and their Megagrip Compound, for a wonderful pair of outsoles.

Waterproofness: The insides of the WTs stayed completely dry on the trail thanks to their Gore-Tex lining. No water got in through the membrane and none seemed to penetrate the leather or stitched seams.  The Gore-Tex lining also did a great job of letting moisture escape as my feet never got wet or felt clammy while hiking.

Durability: The WTs have proven to be well constructed and durable. All the seams, both stitched and glued, are as tight as new with no signs of peeling. The toe and heel caps have minor scratches and there are a few minor scuffs on the leather 
consistent with trail wear, but given the abuse these boots have been through they are in remarkably good condition. The boot laces and eyelets have worked great and the laces have yet to come untied even though I regularly trample through briars.



Vasque did a wonderful job with the Breeze WT GTX boots.  They were warm and comfortable, provided excellent traction in slippery conditions, and offered great support while carrying a heavy pack. In addition, the Gore-Tex membrane did a fantastic job of keeping my feet dry in rain, slush, and snow. Vasque has once again hit a home run.  These are most certainly a great pair of boots that live up to the company's reputation of excellence.



IMAGE 1During Long Term Testing I wore the Breeze WTs for nine days and approximately 34 mi (54.7 km). This included two backpacking trips and four day hikes in a variety of weather conditions.  Temperatures during testing ranged from 6 to 67 F (-14 to 19 C).

My first trip was to the Hoosier National Forest in Southern Indiana (IN)
where overnight temperatures were in the 20s F (-4 C) and daytime highs reached 35 F (1.7 C).  Skies were sunny to partly sunny during my stay and there was no precipitation.  I covered approximately 11 mi (17.7 km) on this trip while backpacking both on and off trail.

Location: Hoosier National Forest
Type of Trip: Backpacking, on and off trail
Distance: 11 mi (17.7 km)
Length of Trip: Three days
Backpack Weight: 35 lb (16 kg)
Weather Conditions: Sunny to partly sunny
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 24 to 35 F (-4 to 1.7 C)

My second trip was to Brown County State Park where I hiked 6.5 mi (8 km) during the course of two days. Skies were overcast and temperatures were warm and breezy.

Location: Brown County State Park
Type of Trip: Off-trail hiking
Distance: 6.5 mi (10.5 km)
Length of Trip: Two days
Backpack Weight: 33 lb (15 kg)
Weather Conditions: Overcast
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 54 to 65 F (-7 to -1 C)

In addition to overnight backpacking I went on four dayhikes at local parks. Two of my dayhikes were at the beginning of this test period with the coldest hike in temperatures of 6 F (-14 C), and two of my hikes were at the end of this test period with the warmest hike in temperatures that reached 67 F (19 C).


The Breeze WTs performed wonderfully during Long Term Testing. They continued to fit well, were comfort to wear and warm in single digit temperatures, and they proved to be very durable.   

The weather was cold on my first dayhike of the test period with the thermometer registering 6 F ( (-14 C).  Five inches (12.7 cm) of snow had fallen the previous night and I woke up early so as to make the first footprints on the trail.  The sun hadn't risen yet so I brought a headlamp with me but never turned it on.  I hiked approximately 6 mi (10 km) at a brisk pace to keep my legs and upper body warm.  My feet however were toasty warm thanks to the Breeze WTs.  Traction in the snow was excellent and the two loops I made on the trail went by quickly.  On my trip to the Hoosier National Forest later in February the Breeze WTs once again provided great traction, especially when going off trail for a few miles, up several steep inclines and along the side of steep bank on my way back to camp.  I collected several armfuls of firewood during the day and then lit a fire around sunset while waiting for dinner to cook.  I felt chilled after the sun went down so was glad to have the fire for warmth. I spent the following day hiking around the lake and hanging out at camp.

On my trip to Brown County the Breeze WTs were comfortable to wear and did a good job supporting my low arches.  Looking back on this trip I did a lot of uphill and downhill climbing but my feet never felt fatigued as can sometimes happen when wearing heavy boots.  I also didn't experience any hot spots or blisters while wearing these boots.  At end of each day I brought them in my tent and set them next to the door before retiring for the night.

My last dayhike was in 67 F (19 C) weather and I wore the boots along with shorts and a long sleeve pullover.  I made several creek crossings to check their waterproofness, and my feet stayed dry.  In fact after hiking for an hour in warm weather my feet never felt damp or sweaty so I feel confident that the Gore-Tex lining allowed the boots to breathe.  At the end of the hike I took off the boots and knocked them together to get rid of any mud and dirt that was still clinging to them and then hosed them off and set them out to dry at my house.  



The Breeze WT boots performed fantastically during the last two months of testing. They were easy to lace up, supportive, and comfortable to wear.  They were also durable and provided excellent traction in all kinds of weather conditions.  

This concludes my Long Term Test Report and this Test Series. I would like to thank Vasque and for the opportunity to test these boots.

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