Usually, I like to go away my last ideas a couple of piece of drugs till the top of a assessment, however I’ll say it proper up entrance with this one: The model new Vasque Breeze LT GTX ($170) boots are essentially the most snug hikers I’ve ever worn. Not simply snug—they’re badass hikers. They climb. They grip in dust, on rocks, in mud, and within the snow. They help. They preserve water out. Greater than some other boot I’ve used, these merge the help of a boot with the consolation and lightness of a path runner. Like, for actual. They’re spectacular.
After all, there are caveats. I’ve solely put about 35 miles on these since I’ve had them, so I can’t converse to their sturdiness but. I’ve lengthy, very flat ft, so consolation relating to boots is perhaps a bit extra subjective in my floppy-footed case. I’ve additionally owned Vasques that I adored at first that regularly turned toe mashers later (and lots extra that at all times felt nice). However I don’t anticipate that being an issue with the Breeze LT GTXs. They’re extra snug than my two-year-old Vans. It seems like I’ve worn these boots day-after-day for a decade.
Vasque has made the Breeze line of trainers for occurring 15 years now, a reliable collection of light-weight, easy-wearing boots meant for all-around efficiency. The latest iteration is an enormous departure from the Breeze IIIs, which we already favored. The Breeze LT GTXs weigh just one pound, 11 ounces per pair (claimed weight for males’s 10). That’s a pound lower than the Breeze IIIs and on par with a path runner/climbing low just like the Brooks Cascadia.
That lightness seems to be due to the Vibram Litebase outsole, a comparatively new outsole materials that may be discovered on just a few totally different hikers, Scarpa, for instance, makes use of it on just a few of their path runners. It purports to chop the load of a typical outsole by 25 p.c merely by making it thinner; as a lot as 40 p.c or so thinner than most Vibram outsoles. The tread isn’t affected (Vasque makes use of the Vibram Megagrip outsole for these), it’s only a lighter than you’d anticipate however with the identical grip.
Midsole really feel is soft with loads of rebound. For a shoe this gentle, they don’t have the marshmallow really feel that some path runner-based hikers, like a few of the bigger choices from HOKA ONE ONE do. They really feel assured, snappy, and supportive on the path. Climbing with a 40-pound pack didn’t stress my ankles or foot help with these boots the best way path runners generally can. Downhill sections didn’t end in toe crushing, uphills didn’t see any heel slippage. My measurement 12s are dead-bang true to measurement.
The uppers are gentle and, um, breezy, with microfiber panels that really feel a bit like suede and are abrasion resistant. A stiff rubber toe cap offers extra safety than path runners, however can’t evaluate to a beefy leather-based boot. You received’t wish to kick a granite boulder flush along with your toes, for instance, although, why you’ll ever do that’s past me. There’s simply sufficient of a stiff rubber cup on your ankle/achilles to offer backfoot help too.
I stood in water crossings. Planted my ft in snow. Traipsed by mud. Ft stayed good and dry the entire time. For boots lined with Gore-Tex, they breathe pretty effectively. I’d contemplate sporting these on heat climate hikes truly, they’re that snug. In actual fact, you is perhaps tempted to interrupt right into a path run in these—okay, high-quality, I did—and so they felt proper at house.
Again to these caveats. There’s a lightness right here that doesn’t precisely scream longevity. I’ve no purpose to imagine the Breeze LT GTXs received’t be round in my gear closet for the following few pleased years, however till I’ve had them for a whole season, it’s onerous to say for positive. The footbed might morph too, I suppose, however I feel they’d find yourself feeling much more snug at that time. Onerous to search out any fault with these. I even assume they appear fairly cool.
If you happen to’re a boots-only hiker, you’ll discover lots to love right here. A path runner devotee? You’ll be stunned at how pure these really feel. I first noticed these ultimately summer time’s OR, and dutifully bided my time till they hit the market and I might give them a attempt. It was well worth the wait.
$170 • BUY
Different tremendous gentle boot choices
Even lighter than the Vasques, the HOKA ONE ONE Sky Kaha are an astonishing 1 pound, 1 ounce, waterproof, and really feel just about like a HOKA working shoe. If you happen to like a shoe with an enormous drop and a spongy-soft really feel, these are your hikers. $220
The Salomon X Extremely three Mids are a go-to for a lot of hikers who need the perfect of each worlds, light-weight and with a boot’s ankle protection. Only a couple ounces heavier than the Vasques. $170
They’re burlier and heavier, however the Scarpa Zodiac GTXs are true boots that stride the lightness/toughness line higher than most. $269
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