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Shopping for new hiking boots can be a daunting experience. Different brands, prices, features, and sizes make finding the perfect hiking boot a chore that many people do not look forward to undertaking. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that difficult thanks to one of the best mid-weight hiking boots available.
Vasque, a leader in outdoor footwear, introduced the first Breeze hiking boot in 2004 and changed the world of hiking boots in the process. Based on the success of the original Breeze, Vasque introduced the Breeze 2.0 GTX hiking boot in 2013.
An improved version of the original Breeze, the Breeze 2.0 is much lighter than the original boot and is much more breathable thanks to a Gore-Tex breathable waterproof membrane.
The best way to describe the Breeze 2.0 is to think of it as the perfect cross between a trail running shoe and a full-fledged mountain boot.
The design is lightweight, agile, stable, and will protect your feet from water while tearing up the trail. For a more “traditional” hiking boot from the same company, check out my review of the Vasque Sundowner that I posted here.
The Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX hiking boot is available for both men and women. Both versions of the boot include the following key features:
The Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX hiking boot excels at supporting your weight whether you are enjoying a brisk walk along a trail or tackling steep terrain with a large frame pack.
The cushy midsole does an excellent job of absorbing pack weight and trail hazards (due to the TPU plate and high-quality EVA foam under the heel).
When carrying heavy loads over rough terrain, the padded ankle and easily cinched metal lacing hooks provide superior ankle support no matter what kind of terrain you’re taking on.
The large mesh vents on the forefoot, tongue, sides, and ankle provide exceptional air flow. When combined with the breathable Gore-Tex lining, excessive foot perspiration is a thing of the past.
The patented Vibram sole has a large heel brake and large rectangular and oval lugs that maintain traction even when traveling over mud, rock, or other slippery surfaces.
A pair of these boots only weighs 2 pounds 9 ounces (men’s) and 2 pounds 6 ounces (women’s) make these one of the most durable, yet lightest weight hiking boots on the market today. The lightweight design of this boot cannot be overstated.
If you’re current hiking boots are a little on the heavy side, you will be amazed by how much less fatigue you feel when moving along the trail wearing a lightweight boot such as the Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX hiking boot.
Designed to maximize breathability while moving over varied terrain, the Breeze 2.0 is extremely comfortable to wear for long periods of time (even with a heavy backpack). It’s worth noting that the design of the boot seems to be most comfortable for hikers with narrow, low volume feet.
For hikers with wider feet, it may be advisable to check the Vasque St Elias GTX hiking boot. Although slightly heavier, the St Elias is better suited to larger feet.at
Despite the fact that the Breeze 2.0 includes a waterproof Gore-Tex liner, the amount of mesh present in the boot can result in wet feet depending on how much moisture is present.
Although some hikers complain about getting wet feet while wearing this boot, this is the unfortunate trade-off that occurs when mesh is used to reduce weight and improve airflow.
In normal circumstances, the waterproofing of the Gore-Tex liner is adequate enough to keep your feet dry but if water splashes onto parts of the mesh upper, water can (and will) get into the boot. IF waterproofing is a big issue, I’d look into the pure Gore-Tex waterproof version here.
The Arc Tempo technology used in the Breeze 2.0 GTX is also noteworthy. By tilting the foot forward in the boot, hikers gain additional leverage with every step taken. This feature works very well and is generally well-received by people who have tried the boot.
One thing to note about Arc Tempo, however, is that the forward tilt of the foot tends to push the toes into the toe of the boot. Sometimes, this can be uncomfortable so it is best to try on these boots before purchasing whenever possible.
Many people have found that they prefer to wear this boot ½ larger than a normal shoe to prevent the toes from being forced into the toe. Just something to keep in mind when ordering the Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX.
Aside from the toe issue mentioned above, the Breeze 2.0 GTX is an extremely comfortable boot. It is lightweight and breaks in quickly. After only two hikes totaling about 30 miles, the boots were almost fully broken in.
Any minor discomforts around the collar of the boot will work themselves out during this time and the boots definitely become more comfortable as they are worn more often.
Durability is also a concern for hikers – especially when investing a significant amount of money into a new pair of hiking boots. This isn’t a problem for the Breeze 2.0 GTX. Even after hundreds of miles of use, this boot shows no visible signs of wear despite kicking more than a few rocks.
The Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX hiking boot is available in assorted colors for both the men’s and women’s model. Whether you are an avid backpacker looking to replace a pair of worn out boots or you are a novice outdoor enthusiast looking for high-quality footwear for your next excursion, the Breeze 2.0 is up to any task.
Pricing can vary wildly for these boots. They tend to be pretty high (unless special deals are going on) in traditional retail box outlets. I ordered mine from this listing for about $165, significantly lower than the $200 I was quoted locally.
Still not decided? Check out our buying guides below.
Best Hiking Boots for Men: The top 3 recommended hiking boots for men.
Best Hiking Boots for Women: Same as above, expect specific recommendations for female hikers.
Sam Hardy is an outdoor enthusiast with a penchant for survival skills. He writes about the great outdoors and his favorite equipment here.