Vasque Breeze LT Low NTX Hiking Boots

Eve Flanigan 10.04.22

It’s no secret that Vasque, of Minnesota, makes some great outdoor shoes. When I mentioned to my 70-year-old mother, who is still an outdoor enthusiast, that I was testing out a pair of Vasque Breeze shoes, she practically lit up with memories of white deer chases in her Vasque snow boots. 1970s. “The best boots I’ve ever had,” she said.

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With that endorsement, it was easy to get excited about this latest Vasque essay. The Vasque Breeze LT Low NTX (phew! Can I just call them Sue?) hiking shoe arrived in a nice logo box that read, “We think we’re all better on the inside when we spend more time outdoors. It’s a pleasant reminder of Vasque’s founder’s goal to inspire more Americans to embrace an outdoor lifestyle.

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The color combo grows on me.

These are nice low top hiking shoes, available in both men’s and women’s. I chose brown, or Moineau as Vasque calls it. The dark brown upper contrasts with the bright yellow laces and bright lime sole. The combo manages to be eye-catching while remaining understated. I like it for hiking, but that won’t extend to a professional environment. As other reviewers have noted of Vasque’s color choices, I wish there were more subtle choices so I could wear these shoes more places. Male consumers take a break here; with brown on brown upper/midsole/sole tones. The Vasque Breeze women’s low-top trainers also come in a non-contrasting emerald green.

Despite this minor complaint, Vasque has done its usual job of mixing textures and patterns for a unique, appealing and interesting visual effect. The combination of smooth and mesh materials, with various complementary patterns, results in a shoe that looks exclusive and deserves the $159.99 price tag. What is amazing is the functionality they extract from the materials. These shoes manage to be lightweight, breathable and waterproof all at the same time.

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More so than previous shoes and boots from this brand that I’ve worn, the Breeze LT Lows felt stiff right out of the box and within the first 15 minutes or so of the hike. But it seemed to stabilize, or maybe I got used to them, soon after. The Vibram soles have fairly aggressive, cloverleaf-shaped, knobby traction bumps that work well on the steep, rocky woods where I first tried them. Living dangerously for a while, I walked in the shade of pine trees left standing after a fire swept through the area without warning in high winds last spring. It was a little comforting to know that these shoes are made of the same material as the boots of forest firefighters. If a hiker gets caught in a hot spot, foot comfort won’t be a concern with these or other Vasque shoes. Those who want good protection against juicy or flaming things on the floor will like these.

The Big Bird yellow laces on these shoes are round, and round laces have been known to unravel. So I tied them twice and they held up well. Truth be told, they hold up to cactus snags better than the flat laces on my other Vasque Satoru low shoes, a shoe I also like.

Vasque advertises these shoes with sizes ranging from 6 to 11, including half sizes, in regular and wide. I couldn’t get them in large and a search of the Vasque and Zappos sites also shows large as unavailable. I ordered a half size larger, and it gave my bunion feet a good fit. By lacing up to the furthest holes and using a lacing technique that a serious hiker showed me, heel slippage has been eliminated and my feet are as happy as can be. A friend who is a long-time Vasque fan says the brand is always true to size.

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With a bit of strategic lacing, I eliminated heel slippage.

These shoes offer limited flexibility with great sole protection and traction for anyone who prefers low-level hiking, which seems to be just about every hiker I follow on YouTube with envy. I like that they’re not very low cut as they don’t expose my socks under medium length pants, and the cushioned top provides a bit of a bumper around the ankle bones, something I thinks to be an excellent compromise between stockings and ankle-covering shoes.

The Vasque Breeze LT Low NTX hiking shoe is another hit from Vasque, in my opinion. Our Vasque representative informed AllOutdoor that the company recently relaunched the direct order feature on its website after a hiatus. Zappos is also a major distributor. Both sites price these shoes, for men or women, at $159.99 with free shipping. I’m proud to wear these sneakers to the beach, on the runway or to the store. They’re tough, but stylish, and a little style never hurts. Now, if they consider simplifying their nomenclature, that would be great. What makes sense in the office doesn’t always translate to good marketing, but who cares as long as the shoes are nice? As the old blues song suggests, I’ll call them the Breeze.

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Eve Flanigan

Eve Flanigan is a defensive marksmanship and armed security practitioner/instructor who lives in the American Southwest. She is the author of “Ready to Defend: Tips for Living the Armed Lifestyle” and contributes to numerous blogs and print publications on firearms.


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