Ode To My Boots
Boots. Of all the tools, technologies, and gear used by traveler’s one’s boots are the most pivotal. A perfect sidekick who caries you from adventure to adventure never complaining, never needing to stop to rest, eat, or sleep. You never need worry if they snore or will get too drunk and need to be taken care of. Much better than a human companion they are always ready for the next step, protecting you from all the obstacles along the trail. It is with this acknowledgement that I bid adieu to the best boots I’ve ever owned. A constant companion, who has accompanied me from the streets of Paris to the jungles of Costa Rica. My Vasque Breeze Model 7482’s.
I must admit I’m something of a boot snob. Taking care of my feet was drummed into me in early on in Boy Scouts, and later in the Army. So, it was with suspicion that I looked upon these humble little Vasques, sitting amongst potentials piled around me in a local Louisville, Kentucky outfitter shop. Most of the other suiters where more expensive, been featured in the likes of backpacker magazine, and made promises of being the lightest, strongest, most breathable. However, once my foot slid into the Vasque 7482’s the others shimmer faded and I only had eyes for them.
The Vasque Breeze 7482’s is a mid-height boot, with a Gore-Tex liner, moisture wicking ventilation, and Vibram rubber soles with aggressive treading. However, the technical specs are not very important here. What is, is how they’ve performed over the nearly three years of adventuring they’ve seen me through. I know, most hiking boots should be put out to pasture long before the three-year mark. However, the Vasque 7482s have held up much longer than I ever expected. Especially, for the price point. They have been on countless trails in the backwoods of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana. They have kept my feet completely dry after being almost completely submerged while fishing in Tennessee, and fared well treading the sandy trails of Indiana Dunes State Park. Once, they even protected my feet while I waded into a wetland to provide first-aid to a girl, who fell from an observation tower. In Costa Rica the aggressive tread kept my feet firmly planted while I hiked along the slippery rocks of the La Paz Cloud Forrest. Paired with a good pair of wool socks they are warm enough for the North Indiana winters while afield. I have never had a boot which has inspired the kind of confidence these have.
Oh, did I mention they are comfortable. They truly feel like a tennis shoe. I have walked hundreds of miles with them. In Paris, Emily and I walked the equivalent of two and half marathons. They have also clad my feet while hiking near Ludington Michigan, touring Washington D.C., and traveling in Mexico. I have even recently used them as my daily driver at work. I’m an Environmental Health Specialist who spends most of my time in the field conducting inspections.
After three years of wearing the hell out of these boots, I can confidently say if you are looking for a new pair, the Vasque Breeze 7482’s will serve you well. I’ve been beyond impressed with their quality, durability, and comfort.