Better than most boots
After hundreds of miles on the JMT/PCT, many conversations with other hikers, and comparisons of durability on-trail with others wearing different brands I suggest that these boots are superior to many other boots (or trail runners).
The soles, unlike Vibram which breaks off in chunks, have worn evenly and should offer a predictable lifetime. Slippage IS NOT an issue with these soles and after many, many miles over sharp rocks, the feet never hurt or felt bruised.
Every stich, seal, and glued piece remains in perfect condition... contrasting sharply with the countless other shoes I noticed with peeling toes, separating mid-soles, and/or general collapse.
Trail-runners, while lightweight and a favorite of the PCT, seemed to induce a disproportionate number of blisters, bruised soles, twists and sprains compared to boots in general. Exactly the opposite of what I had expected to see.
Asolo boots fit my narrow, highish-arched foot and talon-like heel out of the box better than any other make. I later added a third party insole as an extra luxury, but not of necessity.
The boots felt hot, but then again, everything was hot. Backpacking is exercise and mid-day July almost guarantees uncomfortable heat. During cooler hours/months I suspect these boot will continue to perform well.
DO take the time to break-in these boots. While they don't need as much time as some boots, you'll be able to form the insoles and zero in on the lacing that works best for you and your hike.
Highly durable and quality hiking boot
Thus far the boot has held up very well.
After about fifteen miles into my first hike along the AT the soles of my feet began feeling uncomfortable due the the high continuous impact and minimal cushioning.
Therefore, I purchased the moldable insoles which are also sold by REI to alleviate the discomfort.
Some minor blisters had also been developing, which I suspect is normal for any brand new boot on a mild length first hike.
Also note: When hiking I tend to wear Smart Wool Sock Liners and a mid-weight wool sock.
The tempature that day was ~70-80 which could have added to my feet's overheating/blistering.
In all, I would say these boot are great. Possibly a little heavy than some would prefer. But, they are certainly very durable and provide ample support.
Waterproofing is very good as well. Spent nearly two hours hiking in torrential downpours and my feet were no more wet than the result of my own sweat.
I'm excited to use these boots come winter and in combination with microspikes. I believe they may be a more appropriate boot for snow/winter conditions.
My other boots gave out while packing up for our weekend. I had not planned on dropping serious money on boots until the spring. Ran to REI, picked up these boots which I planned on getting anyway. No break in time at all. We went to Pedernales Falles in Johnson City, TX (live near Houston). Not a big trip but still long enough. Had about 40lbs. Put on about 6 miles total and they felt great. Had to adjust a little bit while walking but come on, that is expected with no time to adjust before hand. Weather was frigid hiking in and hiking out. 40s high and 20s low with 10 MPH wind. We were pretty much the only people in the park due to the weather. We went to the falls where the water was high mid-high 30s. I stuck my entire boot into the water and the water just beaded right off like it was never even wet. Wearing liners and wool socks my feet were also very warm even in the water. I hope they perform just as well for our week-long CO trip in May. No complaints thus far.
An all around solid boot for backpacking
The salesperson at REI recommended these boots as a rugged hiking boot. I'm very glad I got them. I'm a big fan of both Merrel and Asolo and needed a boot for a six month travel and hiking trip throughout Asia. These books are holding up very well and I couldn't be happier with them. I had no issue breaking them with some light hiking in the Delaware Water Gap and have used them extensively throughout Turkey and the Middle East. They are very rugged and the vibram soles are tough and sticky. The uppers are well constructed with layers of material. Very durable. The soles and heel offer very good support when navigating rocky trails. I also purchased green superfeet which add to the comfort. I've never used superfeet before in my boots, but I do believe they make a difference when hiking miles with a heavy pack. All in all these boots are light, rugged, and comfortable. Well worth the price and I would buy them again.
Snug, highly responsive, solid, dry, boot. If you trust your feet and balance its a great product. I compared it to a similar pair of Solomon's and prefer the thin solidity of the Asolo's. This sole is more narrow than others which could potentially have less grip on rocks or sand if climbing. Needed very little break in - no blisters or hot spots ever. Needs more cushion though. After 90-100 miles I opted for a non-factory insert and happier for it. I would factor these into the boot price from the start. The sole is definitely not as solid as a Vibrom or similar brand, but has more elasticity for it. I've heard much talk of Asolo tread wearing out, but the sole of my last pair outlasted the leather - 10 years, including a Himalayan trek and journey around the world with them. Lastly, its a very warm boot. Perhaps too warm in the peak of summer unless you have many water crossings.
Great boot, but get the price matched!
This is a great boot. I recently purchased my pair to wear for a new years week trip to Paris. I knew I would be dealing with lots of walking in inclement weather. The boots handled the hours walking, and the elements perfectly. The boots fit perfectly, which was quite a relief to me. I'd never purchased shoes online before because I'm picky about fit. These fit well, and caused no discomfort.The laces take a little getting used to. They work well, but the bottom eyelets that you have to hook the lace into each time you tie them up tends not to catch the lace properly unless I am careful. Truly a small issue. I have only one complaint. I bought these boots from REI, and before I received them, I found them in stock from another internet retailer for [$]. Bottom line: I like them, and wear them every chance I get.
Excelent boots for hiking
I got a pair of these boots couple years ago at an REI in Dallas. I was looking for NF boots, and I got these, that were a return and were the only size available. I must have had all luck gods on my side that day, because they fitted perfectly. Next summer I take them to Patagonia, and there they proved to be amazing. They are the best for long hikes, with heavy loads (a 22 kg backpack), wet conditions, cold conditions, etc. These boots grab to the stone like an eagle to a rabbit. They perform terrific going up, and better going down, because of its brake system on the soil. If you are planning to have a more-than-2-days trekking trip, your feet will thank you for using these boots. In the world of mountain shoes, Asolo is one of the best brands. Don't doubt to get a pair of them.
Best boots i've ever bought!!
I usually take days hikes every to every other weekend and take often multi day trips into the backcountry. I was looking for an excellent all around boot for my needs, one that could be used for light hikes and extended trips with more rigorous terrain. These seemed to fit the bill. After extensive research on my part. they seemed like the perfect buy. Indeed they were, they are so resilient they can even be used for backpacking! Yet they are listed for light hiking. The Gore-tex lining was the icing on the cake for me. They fit amazingly well, have unbelievable traction and even look good. I had to buy the green Superfeet to take up some extra volume, which only added my being impressed. Overall these were an awesome buy. Price was well worth it considering what they can be used for. I will never by anything but an Asolo boot.
Great Pick for Philmont
I purchased Flames for both me and my son to use at Philmont Scout Ranch for 10 days of hiking in the mountains of New Mexico. We did several practice hikes and put alot of miles in before the trip. However, the boots really did not need any breaking in. Neither of us had any blisters or hot spots from the beginning. We then hiked 75 miles at Philmont with no blisters or even any hot spots. They felt light weight and stayed waterproof as we hiked through puddles and streams.
We had a couple people with us that were wearing Asolo Fugitives and they had some blisters. We got the Flames because they were higher rated than the Fugitives, even though REI only had Fugitives at the store. It was worth the extra effort to order the Flames.
I got Superfeet insoles for extra cushioning and arch support.
I purchased these boots for an upcoming trip my wife and I are taking to Mt Kilimanjaro. We haven't taken the trip yet, so I haven't put them to the true test, but I can say these boots exceed my expectations. The boots are extremely comfortable out of the box. They are as comfortable as my sneakers and I have been wearing them frequently to ensure they are completely broken in. The sole has ample support to keep me from feeling every rock or stick I step on. In addition, the fit of boot is such that I can tighten the laces comfortably if I am wearing a single pair of thin socks or a heavy cushion trekking sock with liner. I would highly recommend this product to someone who was in the market for a sturdy hiking boot.