I am a professional field biologist, so I spend all day, every day on my feet hiking over uneven terrain in the mountains and deserts of Arizona, California and Nevada as well as in the New World Tropics. Brush-busting kicking my way through dense chamise, tromping through cactus, grinding them down granite boulders, hiking 6 to 20 miles per day 6 to 7 days a week for 6 months out of the year from Spring to Summer, which is my work season. That's a lot of miles and these boots are the most comfortable I have ever owned. I have narrow, wimpy feet, weigh 215lbs and hike with a lightweight daypack all the time, but these boots allow me to keep hiking all day, all season without major foot pain and never a single blister with midweight wool socks over a thin moisture-wicking liner. They last me one year, and by the end of summer the toe box is blown out where the sole wraps up over the toe, having been super glued back together several times at the end of the day before putting them back on the next morning. I always buy a new set of Superfeet green and toss the insoles that come with these, as they are not great. I also break one pair of laces and have to replace them before the boot wears out, so I buy a second set of laces with each new pair and put them in my pack so I'll have them when the first set breaks. I have used these boots in the jungles of Ecuador from the high Andes to the lowlands of the Amazon basin and have never regretted chosing this boot for my daily use on the job and for my adventures abroad when the work season ends. I am on my 3rd pair and hope they keep stocking these for the rest of my career! I am buying 2 pairs now just in case they get discontinued. By the time the sole separates at the toe, there is almost no tread left on the sole of the boot anyway and they are soft like a slipper, but still provide great support. The stitching has never blown out anywhere on any of the 3 pairs. They grip the rocks, provide plenty of support, are not overly weighty. I wear through boots quickly with all the hard miles I put on them. The metal tabs for the top few loops of the laces have never broken, even though I have bashed them into boulders more times than I can count, even bent them closed and had to open them back up with a screwdriver to get the lace to come out, but they always hold up. In my job, one pair of boots a year is outstanding. I am getting about 1,200 to 1,500 hard miles out of a pair of these boots. And this is the only boot I can say has been able to stand up to that much abuse that I have ever owned - the only pair that has ever lasted me a year. They run narrow, which is perfect for my feet...so if you have normal to wide feet, buy the wider ones.
Second Pair, Wore out the first
I have been hiking in the Cascade Mountains for the past 10 years. I bought the first pair of these boots after I could not get my Vasque boots to stop giving me blisters. I went to REI and they fitted me for my first pair of these and I loved them. My feet are a size 13 and really narrow and I am 6'5" and weight about 210. The pair I purchased are size 13 with a medium width and they fit very well. I used these to climb Mt. Adams with crampons and Mt. St. Helens. I have hiked 20+ miles in one day and although my feet were tired (who's wouldn't be) I had no blisters. I probably put about 1000 trail miles on these boots before I wore them out. They do require some breaking in and to do so I wore them frequently around town and also when I was coaching little kids soccer. :)
I have used these for many different types of activities: hiking, snowshoeing, backpacking, and just around town. I am the Scout Master of a local troop and I always tell my Scouts to get a good pair of shoes. They will last you a long time and allow you to enjoy the outdoors rather than complain all day. Of course I also recommend that if you are buying this high of a priced shoe that you actually go to REI and try them on. They will fit you for a boot. Each person's foot is shaped slightly differently and your foot will work better in a certain brand of shoe. For those who can't get to the store, these are a great boot for those with a little narrower foot. I am tall and lean and they fit very comfortably, can deal with the miles, can hold up to snow, rain, and heat. They do sell a wide width, for those who need it.
Lastly, let's talk about waterproofing. I wore these boots for about six years and I would chose on small streams just to walk right through them. I took these boots snowshoeing in very wet snow and they did not leak a bit. I climbed Mt Adams with my feet in snow all day and my feet were prefectly dry. I was in a heavy downpoor on the side of Mt St Helens and although I was soaked to the bone, my feet were still dry. Of course you must wear gator when in the snow otherwise you will kick snow up onto your leg and it will melt down into your shoe and no amount of waterproofing on your shoe will help this.
Overall these are an excellent boot. I wore out my first pair after six years and went and bought another. So, would I recommend them to a friend. Of course, I went and bought them again. :) Get yourself some good shoes and go outside and play.
I bought these about a month ago at the Pineville store. The sales associate was very helpful and took his time helping me with getting a proper fit between three different brands of boots....Lowa, Merrel and Asolo. I tried the Solomons but did not like the evergreen color and that was all they carried in that boot.
After determining that my usual 10.5 D wasn't going to work in the Asolo, he brought out an 11 wide. This size fit me well but there was still some volume in the boot that allowed me to slide a little. He then gave me a set of the blue inserts. They took up the left over space and the boots then fit like a glove. They've been a little stiff, but over time, they have come to wrap my feet perfectly. Going downhill they have not allowed any toe bang and going uphill, my heels have stayed put. I've worn them in the rain and they have shrugged off any water. I have not, however, stood in any deeper water for any length of time, other than walking through some 1"-2" deep puddles. I'm hoping to take them on some overnighter's this summer with my daughter. I am hoping that I don't have the issues with wear on the sole that others have had, but then again, some people can wear out anything in a short period of time just by the way they walk or use their gear.
When I tried them on, I had a thin pair of ankle high socks and I pulled some midweight Smartwool socks over those. I've been wearing heavyweight socks with them and they have been fine. While wearing the midweight or lighter socks though, I've had to cinch them pretty tight or wear a thicker liner under them. I have not worn them while on my feet for an extended period of time either, so I can't say that my feet won't swell to fill them out later in my hikes either. Hopefully, with the coming summer, I will be able to go on longer trips as I have pretty busy days right now with the kids and the wife on different schedules from my own, different days off from theirs, etc.
All in all, I have enjoyed these boots and although I was hesitant to spend so much on a pair of boots, the 100% satisfaction policy at REI made it alot easier to do since I can bring them back if ever a problem arrises.
Iv'e spent a crazy amount of money on backpacking gear and after 6 months of regular use I have to say that these boots have been one of my best investments so far. I tried on several pairs of various brands in the store and these Asolo Fugitives were by far the most comfortable.
Since then I have used the boots on a weekly, sometimes daily basis and I love them. They fit great and are ultra-comfortable on my feet, especially after I discovered the perfect "sock system" to wear with them, which is simply mid-weight Lorpin merinos with Smartwool liners.
One of the reasons I bought this style of boot was that I wanted something lighter and more breathable. Last summer I wore full-grain leather Vasques and my feet were hot and sweaty all the time. With the Fugitives, my feet feel good. My socks aren't wet when I take the boots off. The sweat factor on my feet are drastically reduced. I don't think I'll ever go back to a full-grain upper again.
Case in point: I recently returned from a 4 day trek on the Olympic coast. My hiking partners who all wore full-grain leather boots were rotating out socks on lunch breaks. I wore the same socks the entire trip. They weren't even damp at the end of the day, which tells me that the boots are letting my feet breath.
The comfortability factor is high as well. Again on the same previously mentioned trip, my hiking partners complained of foot soreness. My feet felt amazing the entire time, and while my hiking partners chalked it up to "good feet", I am inclined to think that it was my lighter boots.
I can also attest to the waterproofness. I have hiked through swamps, marsh, tide-pools, and small streams, and have not had water penetrate the boot interior yet. As a matter of fact, one trip in early Spring left our boots all covered in mud. At the house afterwards we attached a pressurized nozzle to a garden hose and blasted our boots to get the caked mud off. My boots did not leak at all, even after spraying with high pressure from a foot away.
The only drawback I would say, is the tread. It doesn't seam to grip that great. Other then that, these boots rock, and are well worth the dough I payed for them.
Excellent boot, out of the box
Bought these yesterday, after returning a pair of Vasques foolishly bought through mail order, and trying on about six pairs of boots. Thoughts before using them: these are a beautiful pair of boots, reflecting European design - unlike most of the American ([*]) brands, they look like real mountain boots, rather than trail runners on steroids, with an economical, precise sole without a lot of extra rubber sticking out the sides or up the sides of the shoe. And they are available in Wide. And they are nice and stiff (again unlike some terrible American shoes...) - I regularly hike in 5.10 approach shoes, and was looking for something with the same climbing-shoe-precise fit and responsiveness.Thoughts after using them: I felt confident enough in these shoes to take them up Baldy Bowl the first day out. 4200' vertical, about 9 miles, with the first 2000' gain snow-covered trail in bare boots and microspikes, and the remaining climb straight up a snow-covered face in strap-on crampons. The boots were either in deep snow, slush or running water for pretty much the whole hike. They were just fantastic. I never had to stop to adjust the boots, no blisters or discomfort, and they are stiff enough to feel solid front-pointing with the crampons (on steep snow mind you, not ice). Descending I felt confident enough in their ankle support to let my feet slide with the snow, and the soles were stiff enough that I knew exactly what was going on under my feet, with no discomfort or wasted energy. And my feet were completely dry at the end of the day.I'd say this is a suitable four season boot for moderate altitudes (under 11K or so) in California winter conditions (i.e. sunshine and temps above freezing for much of the day). I wouldn't take these out in January in NH, but for SoCal winter hiking they seem great.I think many of the people who complain about issues with the fit of these boots must not have got boots that fit. These fit my foot perfectly out of the box, and performed great. Time will tell of course, but if every hike in them is as good as today, I will be buying Asolo boots for a long time.
great solid boot, go italians! ha ha
so my review is based on the first trip out in these boots. i just got them a week ago so this was my trial run. to start out, my only real negative was my socks, tore the heal out putting them on. so i suppose new socks would have been a good idea. now the boots... my feet are never easy to fit. so for these boots to fit well, made me happy. i may need a lil more arch support, but that can be fixed with an in-sole. i was happy with the way this boot feels going up and down hill. great support. the stiffer shank really helps the boot stay solid on rough terrain. and we did a bit of off trail adventuring, also good comfort. traction was as good as can be expected. wet rock is wet rock no matter whats on your feet. now the best part that i enjoyed was the gore-tex (pic included) completely submerged under the creek multiple times, my feet never felt a drop of moisture. and it was a cool day so sweat didnt build up either. not sure how well they will breath in hot weather, but to be honest, unless youre wearing tennis shoes, your feet are gunna get a lil warm with any boot. i am very satisfied so far with these boots. i have many plans to abuse them and will update later on after some good testing. break in period is almost not necessary. although, personally, i would recommend trying to wear them around the yard or around town for a few short periods of time to get you feet used to them. that might be my odd feet talking. but it did help a little. if you are reading alot of feed back on here. i will say that about 50% of the negative ad's about these asolo boots are taken WAY out of context and reality. clearly some were written by people whos sole purpose was to be as negative as possible about anything they possibly can. go try these boots on. and others. if you get a pair that doest work, go get another one that does. hope that helps. ejnoy
Know what you're getting
I felt the need to write a review for this product due to a lot of conflicting reviews. I have taken 3 pairs of these to the ends of their lives. Boots are one of the most difficult products to recommend as they'll never fit two people the same way but the great thing about these boots is the zero break in period. They will break in a little over time but it's not necessary to break them in before heavy use. I've used them on two seperate trips across the colorado trail averaging 15-20 miles per day for a month with a 60lb pack and have never gotten even a hint of a blister or any type of irritation (though I did wear liner socks, which I recommend to anyone who has blister or irritation problems, regardless to make of boot). They are very comfortable (though it should be noted I have very wide feet) and I can't say they seem to be any heavier than any other boot I've owned, if anything their a little lighter my old Merrils. Also even very distressed pairs have maintained unbelievable water resistance (fully submerged for several minutes and there was still no leaking) The reason I didn't give them 5 stars is because the sole does tend to wear out quickly but it's important to know why. They make lightweight and flexible soles for better traction on uneven terrain, which works ( they do provide excellent traction when rock hopping or scree climbing or similar activities as long as the sole is still intact). This I enjoy as vibram soles last forever but are far too stiff for my liking. The downside to the sole being soft is it's lifespan. I've had a pair go on me in a single year (of very heavy use) so don't expect to get more than several hundred miles out of them before the tread is completely gone. As long as Asolo continues to make them, I will never wear any other boot.
Im hard on shoes and boots and I have done everything I can to destroy my Fugitives - but I cant. Ive owned them for 3 years and put at least 500 miles on them. Ive hunted, hiked, stood, backpacked, logged, worked and backyard used them [almost daily] for the entire time Ive owned them. Im amazed that with a good cleaning, today, they look almost as good as the day I bought them. Most of the time though, they look like they've been through war and then some.
I really cant say enough good things about these boots. Right out of the box they fit perfect and almost immediately I put them to the test. Two days after I bought them I did 12 miles on a Manistee National Forest trail. The next day I worked in them for 10 hours in a wet muddy field cutting logs and chopping firewood. Two weeks later I marched field after field in South Dakota on a pheasant hunt. These boots have never let me down!
Ive worn them around the house with the laces loose and snagged every lace hook on both boots. Ive bent a couple and bent them back, but never did one pop loose or fail. Ive nicked them with a chain saw and they're still waterproof. Ive repeatedly worn them on my ATV and after all the shifting and rubbing theres little sign of wear on the toe. Ive also hiked the LT in these and they performed flawlessly.
Hands down these are the best boots Ive ever owned and Ive owned a lot of high-end gear. From fit to function to durability you cant go wrong with these boots.
I consider my feet average in width and I have a neutral gait. I tried both the regular and wide fit and went with the wide - the regs were too narrow. I normally wear a 13 and that's what I wear in these.
Awesome go-to boot
I bought this boot after about two weeks of research, and trying on 4-5 other pairs. I kept coming back to this boot because it's been around awhile, has good ratings from a large number of people, and is a cross between a hiking boot and a light mountaineering boot.
My main uses are hiking and non-technical mountaineering (13,000-14,000 ft). They did take 3 full-day trips to feel fully broken in, but they also were fairly comfortable right out of the box, just a little stiff with a few hot spots.
I also found them to be a bit spacious, even with wide feet, so I bought some $20 athletic inserts which DRAMATICALLY improved comfort and snugness. The stock inserts are garbage---like styrofoam.
They are waterproof---to a point. They have taken submersion up to the upper eyelets at least 10 times and not leaked, but the leather does get wet and I have a feeling after a summer of use they may leak a bit. Nothing a spray-on waterproofer couldn't solve.
They aren't terribly heavy, but you do feel them at the end of the day, like any sturdy, reinforced boot. The best part about these is the hard plastic toe box and heel cup. This really adds structure and solidarity for rocky, unstable terrain.
They are warm enough for three seasons. Winter---I can foresee them getting quite chilly. A heavyweight expedition sock may keep you warm down to 15 or 20 with these boots, but don't expect a true winter boot here.
Overall these are a great go-to boot for everything from mild hiking to difficult non-technical mountaineering. Very solid, comfortable, and trustworthy. Good buy for the price.
Saved my ankle
After reading all the reviews on this site, I went in to the store determined to buy this shoe. Based on a review of my needs, the shoe guy recommended a more flexible boot with better traction (for less money), but after comparing the two boots exhaustively in the store, I went with this boot for its stiffness and secure fit. Plus, the other one began to rub my ankle in a couple places after standing around in them for a while.
On my first day out in these boots, I climbed to the summit of Mt Olympus in Utah, which is nothing but a relentless steep and rocky 3 mile climb of over 4000 vertical feet. The boots were wonderful. I was so glad I chose them. On the way down, however, I fell and twisted the heck out of my ankle. As painful as it was, I immediately got up and made sure I could still walk, which I could, but I could tell my ankle was swelling up and turning colors, so I hobbled back down the mountain as quickly as I could, using a hiking pole as a crutch. The boot was stiff enough to hold my ankle steady while climbing down the rocky trail. Once home, I removed the boots and inspected my ankle which was swollen and purple, and I noticed a long, straight bruise along the top of the boot. My guess is that the boot is so stiff that when I fell, instead of the boot flexing side-to-side, it pushed into the side of my leg, causing that bruise. I could only imagine what would have happened if I were in my previous pair of boots.