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Published on September 13th, 2012 | by Greg


Vasque Breeze GTX: Breathable Boots

Hik­ing and back­pack­ing boots are se­ri­ous in­vest­ments. You don’t want to get stuck out in the wilder­ness- or even a bit in­to a na­tion­al park- and re­al­ize that your footwear is sub-par, un­com­fort­able, or falling apart. By the same to­ken, you want a boot that breaks in quick­ly, that of­fers good pro­tec­tion against the el­e­ments, and that won’t leave your feet feel­ing as if they’ve been com­pressed all day. For short­er trips that might in­volve rivers or lots of boul­der­ing, you prob­a­bly want a toed shoe; and for beach con­di­tions or trekking through alpine con­di­tions, you may want to find some­thing with a bit more in­su­la­tion. Ev­ery­one else, though, should take a care­ful look at Vasque.

We con­fess to not be­ing as fa­mil­iar with the brand. But our first look and tests of the Vasque Breeze GTX Men’s Hik­ing Boots im­pressed. And on a few ad­di­tion­al trips through Cen­tral Park and more se­ri­ous back­woods hik­ing in the Adiron­dacks, we con­tin­ued to like these. There are a cou­ple of down­sides, which we’ll dis­cuss in a minute, but we’ve now be­come en­thu­si­asts of Vasque footwear.

For starters, they look great. Lots of boots look a lit­tle cum­ber­some or plain; these are avail­able in a cou­ple of styles that stand out. Ours were taupe with or­ange de­tails, and the on­ly thing we could com­ment on aes­thet­i­cal­ly is the lack of much re­flec­tive sur­face- it’s not com­mon in hik­ing boots, but can come in handy. If com­fort was the on­ly con­sid­er­a­tion, these would be com­peti­tors for our warm fuzzy slip­pers- they’re snug and firm and stayed this way even dur­ing hours of wear. The Vasque Breezes use Gore-tex, and felt quite breath­able with plen­ty of ven­ti­la­tion ar­eas, even around the toes. On the flip­side, they aren’t quite as wa­ter­proof as some; we don’t rec­om­mend im­mer­sion, but rains were kept out nice­ly and it was on­ly deep­er pud­dles that proved dif­fi­cult.

The sole of these boots are from Vi­bram, which make some of the bet­ter, rugged ones out there, and it per­formed great on slip­pery trails. There is ex­cel­lent trac­tion on paths and even on sand- but we did no­tice that wet sur­faces were in­cred­i­bly slip­pery. In fact, we slipped sev­er­al times while walk­ing around dur­ing rains- enough that it’s hard to rec­om­mend these for any­one who in­tends to use them where wet, slick con­di­tions are com­mon. Forests and trails were nev­er an is­sue- it was on­ly the ur­ban set­tings that made us slide around a lit­tle.

Seams and stitch­ing seemed well made and durable, hold­ing up through our tests. Plus, we ap­pre­ci­at­ed that the com­pa­ny of­fers nar­row and wide ver­sions of these boots! And, at 2.9 pounds, they are rea­son­able for a hik­ing boot, a bit less heavy than many. Siz­ing seems fair­ly ac­cu­rate, though we do rec­om­mend try­ing them on if pos­si­ble or mak­ing sure to buy from a re­tail­er that al­lows easy re­turns, since you do need a good fit for hik­ing footwear es­pe­cial­ly. Com­fort­able, breath­able, and on­ly a lit­tle slick when wet- en­joy the Breeze GTXs for around $120-$150.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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