Usually, I like to depart my last ideas a few piece of substances till the tip 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 comfy hikers I’ve ever worn. Not simply comfy—they’re badass hikers. They climb. They grip in filth, on rocks, in mud, and within the snow. They assist. They preserve water out. Greater than every other boot I’ve used, these merge the assist of a boot with the consolation and lightness of a path runner. Like, for actual. They’re spectacular.
In fact, 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 may be a bit extra subjective in my floppy-footed case. I’ve additionally owned Vasques that I adored at first that regularly grew to become toe mashers later (and many extra that at all times felt nice). However I don’t anticipate that being an issue with the Breeze LT GTXs. They’re extra comfy than my two-year-old Vans. It looks like I’ve worn these boots on daily basis for a decade.
Vasque has made the Breeze line of trainers for happening 15 years now, a reliable sequence 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 preferred. 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/mountaineering low just like the Brooks Cascadia.
That lightness seems to be because of the Vibram Litebase outsole, a comparatively new outsole materials that may be discovered on a couple of completely different hikers, Scarpa, for instance, makes use of it on a couple of of their path runners. It purports to chop the load of a typical outsole by 25 % merely via making it thinner; as a lot as 40 % 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 count on however with the identical grip.
Midsole really feel is comfortable with loads of rebound. For a shoe this mild, 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. Mountain climbing with a 40-pound pack didn’t stress my ankles or foot assist with these boots the best way path runners typically can. Downhill sections didn’t end in toe crushing, uphills didn’t see any heel slippage. My dimension 12s are dead-bang true to dimension.
The uppers are mild and, um, breezy, with microfiber panels that really feel a bit like suede and are abrasion resistant. A stiff rubber toe cap gives extra safety than path runners, however can’t evaluate to a beefy leather-based boot. You gained’t need to kick a granite boulder flush together 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 assist too.
I stood in water crossings. Planted my ft in snow. Traipsed via 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 comfy. Actually, you may be tempted to interrupt right into a path run in these—okay, effective, I did—they usually felt proper at residence.
Again to these caveats. There’s a lightness right here that doesn’t precisely scream longevity. I’ve no cause to imagine the Breeze LT GTXs gained’t be round in my gear closet for the subsequent few blissful years, however till I’ve had them for a whole season, it’s laborious to say for certain. The footbed might morph too, I suppose, however I believe they’d find yourself feeling much more comfy at that time. Onerous to seek out any fault with these. I even assume they appear fairly cool.
In the event you’re a boots-only hiker, you’ll discover rather a lot to love right here. A path runner devotee? You’ll be shocked at how pure these really feel. I first noticed these finally summer time’s OR, and dutifully bided my time till they hit the market and I might give them a attempt. It was definitely worth the wait.
$170 • BUY
Different tremendous mild 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 operating shoe. In the event you 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 one of the best 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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