Vasque Inhaler GTX hiking boot review: waterproof, lightweight, and breathable for trail adventures in the South Outdoor Apparel

Vasque Inhaler GTX hiking boot

The Vasque Inhaler GTX is my go-to for a lightweight, breathable boot. With a grippy sole, waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX lining & mesh ventilation system, this boot keeps me moving through all types of terrain. Our trail-tested review.

I’ve been trekking throughout the South in the Vasque Inhaler GTX hiking boot, and after breaking them in, I’ve been thoroughly impressed. The Inhaler offers the lightweight, breathable, grippy durability that I’ve come to expect from a quality hiking boot. Weather conditions can change wildly in the South, and these boots have kept me dry and comfortable through rain showers, creek crossings and sky-high temperatures on many trail adventures.

Vasque Inhaler GTX: a lightweight, breathable, waterproof hiking boot perfect for adventures in the South

Each trip out on the trail is unique, and it can be hard to predict exactly what environment, weather and trail conditions you might run across. For that reason, I’ve loved hiking in this boot. The boot’s upper is wrapped in durable, coated leather and 3D mesh, giving the boot excellent breathability. The boot wicks moisture well, while keeping my feet dry and comfortable when splashing through creeks or getting caught in a sudden summer rain shower. The mid height boot offers impressive stability and keeps my ankle supported and protected from rocks and obstacles on the trail. I’ve worn these boots on wet trail adventures in the Cohutta Wilderness and scorching summertime mountaintop hikes on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina, and they’ve always performed well. And paired with a quality wool hiking sock, like the Darn Tough Micro Crew, this is one fantastic boot that’s ready to tackle the South’s technical terrain.

Vasque Inhaler GTX: our trail-tested review

Once broken in, the Inhaler GTX is light weight and comfortable. Right out of the box, though, the boot’s fit was firm, and until it was broken in, its wear grew uncomfortable on high-mileage days. The Inhaler’s break in period, for me, was about 15-20 miles until they started to loosen up and feel comfortable. I’ve found the Inhaler to be a narrower boot and, at first, I felt the pinch especially in the toe box.

Top waterproof hiking boots: the Vasque Inhaler GTX features waterproof GORE-TEX tech and a perforated mesh upper, offering great comfort on the trail, even on hot summertime hikes

The boot’s narrow, streamlined profile has made it easier for my feet to sneak through some pretty tight spots on the trail: on rocky, boulder strewn trails my feet don’t get hung up on obstacles like I’ve experienced with other boots. I’ve been able to scramble between boulders, rocks and tree roots more efficiently and keep my hiking pace and momentum up.

The boot’s excellent breathability and waterproof qualities are thanks to its GORE-TEX technology. This tech allows moisture to escape while preventing outside moisture from penetrating the boots inner layers. I’ve hiked in some seriously wet conditions and plenty of steamy temperatures and have yet to find my feet wet. The GORE-TEX layer pulls heat and moisture away from my feet and keeps them dry, and the waterproof membrane seals the boot from the outside, preventing water from seeping in. Stream and creek crossings are a breeze in this boot.

Our favorite hiking boots: the Vasque Inhaler GTX is waterproof, breathable, and features wide lugs and a grippy sole

The sole of the Vasque Inhaler is pretty amazing as well. The wide lugs and super grippy rubber keep my feet firmly planted on the ground, no matter the surface. I’ve scrambled over wet boulders, up steep, loosely packed dirt trails, over gravel, sand and tree roots and the boot has kept me sure footed and in total control. I’ve been uber-impressed with the traction these boots provide and have yet to feel a slip in the grip.

Vasque Inhaler GTX: review wrap-up

Now that they’re broken in, the Inhaler GTX currently holds the top spot on my boot shelf and is my go-to boot for almost any adventure out on the trail. I find myself wearing them on anything from in-town, urban hikes to deep-in-the-mountains hikes with equal comfort. The combination of comfort, stability, waterproofing, breathability and traction that this boot offers keeps my feet happy and me moving over just about any terrain the trail can take me through.

So where can I find them?


While we received sample boots to test, all opinions above are our own, and based on our own, trail-tested experience. Some links on Trailful are affiliate links, which means that the merchant might pay us a commission if you purchase a product after clicking our links. This helps support our work, at no extra cost to you. We only recommend gear that we personally use and love.
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Rob Sollie fell in love with the outdoors while growing up in Montana near Glacier National Park. Since he moved to Atlanta in 2001, he’s made it a mission to find great outdoor adventures in Georgia and throughout the South. Rob’s favorite trails include the Conasauga River Trail in Georgia and the Deep Gap Trail at Mount Mitchell near Asheville.