We’re always pleased to see more brands offering high quality and leather-free shoes. So we were stoked to try out a pair of Vasque Breeze LT GTX hiking boots. We were even more stoked to discover how comfy and light they are! Wanna know more? Of course you do! Read or watch for our Vasque Breeze review.
About the Vasque Breeze LT GTX
Now, Vasque has been making their Iconic Breeze line of boots for quite some time now, but the new Vasque Breeze LT GTX is the lightest model yet. But more importantly, it’s also vegan. That means there’s no leather or animal-based glues in these here shoes. And that’s a plus on the sustainability front.
Because factory farming, where leather comes from, is one of the largest, if not THE largest contributor to greenhouse gases on the plant (read more about leather production in this post). Plus, the chemical tanning process and everything that’s involved in turning cowhide into leather is incredibly toxic and water intensive, which is no bueno.
So yes, these boots are vegan, but you don’t have to be a vegan to wear these boots. But let’s talk deets.
For starters, the Vasque Breeze LT GTX boots are mid-rise, so they’re perfect for those who prefer a little ankle support.
They feature GORE-TEX waterproof tech to keep your feet dry, plus have a mega grippy, super light Vibram sole with nice, deep lugs. In fact, the soles are 25% lighter than other Vibram soles. Want numbers? The women’s weigh in at 1 lb, 6 oz. Not too shabby!
The upper is made of a synthetic, abrasion-resistant microfiber material and an anatomical–and very squishy–footbed. Plus they come in several different colors for men and women.
What Did We Think of Them?
They were very comfortable, that’s what we thought of them. Very squishy, supportive but not too supportive, they were practically the perfect hiking boot.
Josh really liked the ankle support during a long day of hiking because it kept him from rolling his ankle on long hikes, even after his feet and legs were tired. But it didn’t restrict any movement, which I was a fan of.
And for waterproof boots, they weren’t really all that hot. Most waterproof boots don’t breathe as well as non-waterproof boots, and yes, my feet got warm pretty quickly, but I’ve definitely hiked in hotter, stuffier boots. I certainly wasn’t miserable. But if you tend to like breezier hiking shoes, you might consider these boots for cooler temps.
That said, the waterproofing held up to testing. After being partially submerged, we didn’t detect any leaks, which shouldn’t really come as a surprise since they’re lined with GORE-TEX. Plus, the lounge is gusseted, which means even if water gets up over the laces the boots should keep it out and your feet nice and dry.
One complaint from me: I wish there was just a smidge more room in the toe box. I love shoes and boots that allow my feet and toes to move naturally, and there’s not much room for your toes to splay in these. It was hardly a deal breaker, but if you’re used to shoes with wider toe boxes, your piggies might feel a little cramped.
As for fit, we both ordered a half size up from our “normal” shoe size to accommodate for thick hiking socks, any swelling we might experience while on the trail, and room for toes so they don’t jam into the end of the boots on the downhill. They fit perfectly, making them pretty true to size. I usually wear an 8-8.5 in hiking boots and these are an 8.5. Likewise, Josh almost always wears a 9.5 in hiking boots and that was just right.
They’re not terribly wide, though. Josh has average-sized feet and I have narrow feet and we found them comfortable on long day hikes, but if you have really wide feet, they might feel a little snug as the boots run a bit on the narrow side. That said, several of the colors are available in wide widths.
One thing we both loved: how light they were. I typically prefer hiking shoes to boots because I like lighter, more breathable footwear, but these didn’t feel at all like they were dragging my feet down, even after a few hours on the trail. Neither of us felt like we were dragging or shuffling because of heavy boots, which was great.
Bonus: The Vasque Breeze LT GTX boots look good. We’ve definitely seen (and worn) uglier hiking boots.
- Comfortable footbed
- Supportive without feeling restrictive
- Less breathable than non-waterproof footwear
- Not super roomy in the toe box
- May be most suitable for average to narrow feet
Long story short, we will definitely hike and backpack in these again. They’re comfortable, supportive, have solid tread, are waterproof and lightweight, and they’re vegan. So yes, the Vasque Breeze LT GTX is a winner in our book. Check out the women’s Breeze LT GTX here and the men’s Breeze LT GTX here, then get out there and wander on.
(And if you’re looking for even more vegan hiking boots, check out this post!)
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Alisha is a freelance writer and photographer based in Austin, TX. She loves her tiny house, vegan food and experiencing the community of travel in far away places. She’s also pretty sure she’s addicted to coffee. alishamcdarris.com