Vasque added some sustainably minded upgrades to the 2022 Breeze, without sacrificing the hiking boot’s functional, comfortable design.
I kicked volcanic mud off my Vasque Breeze hiking boots in the snow alongside the path. Anywhere I stood, the ground was wet. Avoiding the steaming streams and puddles of hot water was a challenge. It was impossible not to squish and slide with every step.
But I was unfazed by the trail’s conditions. I motored past others as they took careful, timid steps, hiking around the soggy geothermal hotspot. My boots were dirty, certainly. But they were handling the conditions well.
Even in this mud, I still had traction. Even with the water, my socks were dry. And more importantly, my feet were extremely comfortable as I made my way.
In fact, my feet had been comfortable all week long. Hiking through swampy marshlands, across wet, rocky beaches, into gorges, along snowy mountain ridges, and onto glaciers, I’d felt supported and my feet hadn’t felt suffocated or pinched at all.
I’d been wearing these boots non-stop since I’d left for Iceland. And every day I grew to like them more.
In short: I tested the 2022/23 Vasque Breeze Extensively in a wide variety of conditions, on hikes that ranged from mild to intense over a 9-day trip. They blew me away. The breathability, durability, stability, and comfort provided by the Breeze are hard to find in any single pair of boots.
And on top of all that, they’re designed with a host of recycled materials from top to sole.
The Vasque Breeze: A Boot With a Reputation
The original Vasque Breeze dropped in 2004 and made a splash when it did. It was one of the lightest-weight and most breathable boots on the market at the time. According to Vasque, it change the game. The company has sold over a million pairs in the years since.
And the 2022 version has some notable upgrades. But before we get into all the new stuff, what made these boots so special in the first place?
First, is their breathability. I noticed this as soon as I put the Breeze boots on. My feet run notoriously hot in hiking boots (in any boots, for that matter). But in the breeze, they were notably cooler than normal.
That probably shouldn’t have surprised me — Vasque named them “Breeze” for a reason. But I was also taken aback by the fit. Not often do I find a pair of hiking boots that comfortably fit my wide feet.
Usually, I have to spend a few painful days or weeks breaking a pair in before they stop pinching on the sides. My dogs do a lot of barking in new hiking boots.
Not so with the Breeze. Right out of the box, they were comfortable to walk around in. They were also light enough that I didn’t feel weighted down at all.
I was agile while navigating boulders, rocks, and other obstacles on the trail. And the ample padding underfoot provided good shock absorption and protection on more rugged trails.
The Breeze also offered a level of durability and protection that continually surprised me. Kicking around on rocky beaches or hiking up into wet stone gorges, they kept water out and took a beating like a champ.
I purposefully splashed through creeks and streams and stomped around on jagged scree fields. I was rough with these boots. And with the exception of a few superficial scratches, they held up well — and my feet stayed dry the entire time.
By the end of the trip, I understood why these have become one of Vasques’ flagship hiking products.
What’s New in the Breeze?
Following the biggest trend in outdoor gear, Vasque designed the 2022 Breeze using as many sustainable and recycled materials as possible. The collar lining and upper webbing are made from 100% recycled material.
Then the upper mesh is 75% recycled material, the heel contour is 60% recycled, the VasqueDry waterproofing is 25% recycled, and the EVA midsole is made from recycled sugarcane.
Vasque designed the 2022 Breeze to be as sustainably sourced as possible, without compromising the boot’s reputation for durability and longevity. You can wear them and rest easy knowing that your boots are contributing to a circular economy.
Vasque also added the proprietary Vasque Trail Strider Outsole to the 2022 version of these boots. That’s a big part of why I felt so stable, no matter what kind of terrain I was on or how steep the trail got. It provides multi-directional traction and stabilizes the heel for a controlled descent. I was able to confidently jog downhill on loose gravel without worrying about losing my footing.
I was doubtful of the waterproofing at first. The VasqueDry waterproofing is now made from 25% recycled material, so I was unsure how it would perform. But I shouldn’t have worried. The waterproofing held up on long days hiking in the rain, on damp beaches, and along and over winding creeks.
Of course, waterproofing wears out over time. So, I’ll be interested to see how it holds up over months and years — but for the 9 straight days I tested them, wet feet were never an issue.
Style-wise, these boots get high marks in my book. I like the colors Vasque offers this year (both for men and women). I never felt weird going into town or out to eat in my hiking boots.
They’re casual enough that you can wear them in most settings without drawing looks, which can’t be said for some of the comparable, flashier-looking hiking boots out there.
My only real gripe with them was a minor one: the laces they come with felt a little too short. Maybe I just like long laces, but every time I tied and double-knotted them, I found myself wishing for more slack. Luckily, replacing laces is an easy fix.
Vasque Breeze Specs
- Fabric/Material: Recycled Polyester Mesh
- Waterproof: VasqueDry Waterproof
- Footbed: Dual Density EVA
- Midsole: Enduralast Bio EVA
- Outsole: Vasque Trail Strider
- Leather Type: Nubuck, Waterproof
- Stated Weight: 2 lbs., 8 oz (1,120 g)
- Price: $160
If you’re looking for a functional midweight hiking boot that’s comfortable and reliable on almost any terrain, you should check out the Vasque Breeze. By the end of my 9-day test, I’d thoroughly broken in my Breezes, and they felt as comfortable as any pair of hiking boots ever has. I liked how they looked, and I liked how they performed.
I’m also a big fan of the improved sustainability Vasque designed into the 2022 version of the Breeze. The recycled materials that Vasque used didn’t compromise any aspect of the boot’s performance.
It’s a good-faith effort to reduce waste and improve upon the circular economy of use. It’s also an attractive marketing point for environmentally conscious buyers.
And for $160, they’re comparable to almost any performance mid-weight hiking boot out there. Vasque also covers this boot with its 12-year warranty. So if anything does go wrong, repairing or replacing them is an easy ordeal.
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