Hardy, durable, as advertised.
This boot has served me well in a variety of environments, while hiking with and without heavy loads and equipment. I probably have well over 300 miles logged on my pair since I got them.
Stability - Unparalleled - I have yet to so much as roll an ankle in these, and a vast amount of hiking in my line of work is done at night under NVG's in rough terrain. Carried heavy loads - typically 65 pounds or more while on duty - no issues at all.
Traction - Small pebble-sized loose rocks underfoot on a steep descent are the only times I can remember slipping in these. Otherwise, I've been supremely confident on all terrain, from snow to rock, to scree, to mud.
Waterproof - Absolutely. Have forded tons of streams, and walked in feet of melting snow and mud, and stayed dry as a bone. Granted, I tend to work more in arid climes - 3 days of straight rain might change this assessment I suppose.
Lacing system - works well, easy to tighten the entire boot at once, even with thick gloves, and the laces actually stay tied. Minimal problems with loosening - usually more to do with my feet swelling and/or shrinking as I go.
Toe: Definitely not scuffproof - you'll get scuffs and scars on the front almost immediately, but it doesn't seem to affect anything, and I don't really care as a result. Performance matters more.
Fit and break-in: I have a fairly high arch and and I over-pronate. The boots fit like a glove and required next to no break-in when new. Sometimes I get hotspots when descending quickly, but I can't recall ever actually getting a blister in these, despite wearing them for 36 hours or more without taking them off on occasion.
Rigidity: Nice blend of stiffness and flexibility. Moderate scrambling and non-technical climbing is no problem, yet they flex just enough to keep walking and running comfortable. Minimal foot and arch fatigue, if any.
Weight - fairly heavy as hikers go, yet all the other stuff makes up for it in my opinion.
Breathability - As long as you wear the right socks, these do okay. You can't expect to not sweat in extreme temperatures, yet I've found that my feet are never soaked or overly hot - if they didn't breathe, I'd have been getting blisters all this time most likely.
Ankle and foot protection: Nice and high, without restricting movement. Padding on the ankles is just about right. Toe is nice and solid, though not steel-toed. No issues on this front.
Durability: The shoelace eyelets have begun to rust after 4 years, and the boot is pretty scuffed up at this point. Traction on the sole is finally beginning to look like it might be wearing down a bit (for a couple years I began to wonder if the soles would ever look used). Still, they are more than serviceable - just hiked the Teton Crest Trail in them, and they continue to deliver the performance I've come to expect out of my go-to hiking boot.
Bottomline: I wish the military would issue these - best boot I've ever owned or used, period, and I've used quite a few over the years.
These Boots ROCK!!!!!
When I first bought these boots my mentality was, "If I'm spending this much money on a pair of boots they had better last FOREVER and go ANYWHERE!" And the latter is definitely true! I've only had these boots a couple of months, so I cannot yet comment on how long they last. However, they are waterproof, and they do go anywhere.
I did a two-night hike which included going over Roan Mountain, TN; descending into Hughes Gap; and descending into Iron Mountain Gap where I put these boots through snow, ice, mud, leaves, pine needles, roots (both wet and dry), rocks (both wet and dry), dirt, gravel, grass, and every combination above--and I do mean EVERY combination. To top it off, I did all this with my dog tied to the hip belt of my pack and pulling me up the climbs and down the descents. These boots held their own! They didn't slip on anything. Even on slick, wet, rugged descents when my dog yanked the leash right as I took a step, these boots kept great traction.
If you face the same dilemma I went through where you can find the TPS in stores, but you can't find a store with the Power Matic in stock anywhere, this is my advice to you: The TPS is the same sizing as the Power Matic. So, go into a brick-and-mortar store and try on the TPS. Once you know what size fits you in the TPS then order the same size in the Power Matic. The Power Matic is definitely worth it!
Another thing to note about this boot, the arch support is noticeably more prominent in the Power Matic than in the TPS. This being said, the way the arch support is constructed in the Power Matic will force your feet into a proper gait and stride--especially with YOUR TOES POINTED FORWARD! If you walk with your toes pointed inward (pigeon-toed) or if you walk like I used to with your toes pointed outward (duck-footed), then your feet will throw a fit. Once you point your toes forward and assume a proper gait and stride then these boots will be one of the most comfortable boots you'll ever wear.
The micro-pulley system is great for keeping even pressure around the foot, and it does wonders in helping you get your foot in and out of the boot on cold mornings when the leather is stiff.
These boots do take some time to break-in, but all boots do. If you need to treat them at all, use Sno-Seal.
Last but not least, before I bought these boots I read many reviews talking about how the toes scuff easily. The scuff marks don't change the functionality of the boot. If you are the kind of person who does not like to get your hiking boots dirty, these are not the boots for you.
Traction like Spiderman, Easy first Wear
FIRST OFF: Thanks to REI - they went out of their way on multiple levels to make the details of this order and its logistics (no problem with the boots, just the order/shipping) right. Very excellent service.
As to the boots ...
I did a lot of research. They really are comfortable out of the box. I'm a paramedic and chose to do a basic fit test during my 24hr 911 shift Saturday before taking them on the trail. My partner remarked how after 8 hours in my well-broken-in and well-liked duty boots, I'm always swapping into base slippers for comfort. I did 16 hours on the truck with the Asolos out of the box, no problems.
Then I took them for their virgin hike on about 14 miles climbing Whiteface and Passaconaway ... when I lost the Blueberry Ledge Cutoff, I loved their stability for bushwhacking and managing surprise rocks under leaves. On the ledge, as noted in my summary above, grip was like Spiderman ... could not believe to what and how well they held. I got no blisters though felt a little heel rub to be expected ... and, because of getting lost, I was hiking very fast and aggressive to make up lost time so they got a very intensive blister-test (used thick hiking socks with thin liner socks). Once again, the Asolo's helped there with their strong lateral stability and strategic flexibility.
No water testing yet, but Gortex is Gortex.
I'll keep my eye out for wear issues such as I've seen in reviews here and elsewhere, but no signs of anything but dirt on these. Oh, and the folks whining about scuffs ... REALLY?? It's a HIKING boot ... not club wear for young urban professionals. I'll report back on this after a few months more climbing. Only reason for 4-not-5 stars is I've only used them once, so durability and water have not been fully tested.
A note about sizing and my feet, since everyone is different:
SIZING: In distance running shoes, I wear a 10.5, and the 11's for Asolo fit perfect - with room for winter socks and lace-tightenability for thinner summer ones.
FEET: Mine are a trainwreck of past injuries from playing way too hard in too many sports, and having flat feet to start with. I have collapsed arches, have destroyed the cartilage on a medial malleosis, and cracked both large tarsals, as well as pulled both plantars. I used my green superfeet on top of the Asolo insole and they were awesome for support and comfort.
I bought these for an upcoming trek through the Alaskan range, so I needed something: waterproof, quick to break-in, and use in steep terrain. When I first tried them on, my average size fit like a glove; I immediately knew these were the boots for me.
I used these boots in addition to the SuperFeet soles found @ REI, along with medium wool socks and a liner. I hiked up steep (65-80 degree),uneven, grassy terrain and found these boots kept my feet in place; no rubbing at all! Going downhill was NO different, as my feet remained in-place and my toes didnt rub.
I never once needed to remove these boots during my 25+ mile, 2 day hike. My feet stayed dry the entire time (it was so foggy and wet we couldn't see more than 20 ft. ahead). When negotiation a steep, rocky climb (with trekking poles), I found these boots didn't grip the flat, wet rocks as well as they should have (but I never once fell). Also, when carrying my 75 pound pack (I'm a cinematographer) heading downhill over rocks, I found it difficult to dig my feet in to keep from gaining momentum (but that could just be my knees weakening from the steep climbing plus my pack weight). There were several times where I could have twisted my ankle while down-hilling steep, uneven, loose rocks; but, these boots saved my life and prevented my ankle from reaching the point of rolling over (also, trekking poles are worth the [$])
I tested these(on accident) through several shin high water-streams, and got water in the boot only once (from the top). Even then, the boots felt dry and normal after only 5 minutes. However, learning my lesson, I tied them tighter, and never had the problem again.
One of the only things that depressed me was a deep frontal scratch my righty picked up while stepping up onto sharp rocks; but, this is to be expected with all boots if you don't watch where you plant them. In retrospect, these boots are amazingly scuff and scratch resistant (or they would have more than just one).
It's the day after our return, and everyone is surprised I have ZERO blisters or sores. Not once during the trip were my feet ever achy or tired, but always full of energy and wanting to go further.
I would recommend these boots to ANYONE carrying a heavy load through steep, un-even, and wet terrain. Actually, I would recommend these Asolo's to ANYONE looking for a great pair of boots.
For the past 5 years I have worn my Vasque Wasatch hiking boots until they wore through on the sides near the ball of my foot. I spent a lot of time trying on different boots trying to find a replacement. The power matic 200 boots have great reviews so I ordered them online. I normally don't order boots without trying them on, but they were not available at my local store. I wear a regular width men's 13 in all of my footwear and that's what I ordered the power matic 200 in. When I first tried them on the right boot fit very comfortably, but the left boot felt too narrow. I wore them around the house for a little while, but it did not get any better. I thought it was strange that only one boot didn't fit correctly, so I ordered another pair to see if it was a possible defect. The second pair of boots arrived a couple days later and I had the same result. I returned the second pair of boots and decided to try superfeet insoles to see if they changed the fit of the boots. I purchased the green super feet and they completely changed the boots, for the better. With the new insoles, these are probably the most comfortable pair of heavy boots that I have ever worn. The original insoles are very thin and offer very little arch support. With the super feet, the boots feel larger around the areas of my feet that need extra space.
I immediately took the boots on a 7 mile hike without any real break in period and the boots remained very comfortable throughout the trip. The hike had multiple climbs and descents with lots of rocks and roots. The stability of the boots was great. I was only carrying a day pack, so I can not say how the boots feel under a heavy load, but I don't anticipate any problems. It was a cool day (~50 degrees F)with some light rain and my feet remained warm and dry. I didn't have any problems with traction.
Overall I am very satisfied with the boots. Its a shame that I had to purchase after market insoles to make them wearable, but the rest of the boot is bomb proof. I would not have kept the boots if I didn't like their construction and quality.
I love these boots
Before this boot I had the Asolo FSN 95 which I mostly used for day hiking. I moved to a new boot because the other non-Vibram sole wore out, but mostly because I wanted a more heavy duty boot for the backpacking that I was getting into. I bought this boot and the *essential* (in my opinion) Superfeet insoles and have now done about 100 miles of hiking/backpacking in the last few months in conditions from 50F and muddy to 95F, sunny and dry.
These boots are great! The break-in is not instant, as one would expect from full grain leather boots, but it not excessive either. Several day hikes and a short backpack trip and I feel like I'm most of the way there. My wife got these too (she loved the lace pulley system on my pair) and she's having more trouble on the break-in. Her feet are the kind of feet that get a little warmer and sweatier than mine, and she's blistering more on the heels. I'm getting hold of some leather conditioner to help her boots soften up a bit, and hoping her feet harden up a bit too. :)
There really is no substitute for a sturdy boot like this when it comes to backpacking with a decent load (say 35 pounds+) over variable terrain. My old boots had significantly more flex to the sole (they were a day hiking boot) which is not conducive to a happy foot when you arrive at camp. Also, the shock absorption of this boot is amazing - it really does feel quite supportive under the heel, while remaining stiff enough in the front so that you actually feel like the boot has become part of your foot. When arriving to camp in my old boots my feet would be sore all over and I would throw off my boots. Now, I'm not bothered at all by the boots and often just leave them on.
The only issue is the one that others have mentioned. The lack of a big rubber cover on the front can make them scuff a bit after a while. This is purely cosmetic, and that should be way down on your list of concerns for a good backpacking boot. However, if Asolo is out there and listening, maybe they'll make this small improvement in the next generation?
Play date for my feet
Awesome Boot and Asolo got my vote. I. They are a more expensive boot however they seem to be worth the investment. Also Asolo has a one year warranty on these shoes and will replace them,Sweet Deal!I wear these shoes on a daily basis for work. Anyway they have a medium break in time about three weeks of continuous wear. As another member mentioned they scuff fairly easy at the toes, but that’s from tromping through blackberries. Over all pretty solid construction, the powermatic lace system is great that was one of the reasons I got these. Makes tightening simple and fast. Have had them for about 6 months and overall with continuous use on a daily basis they still look and function well. I would replace the typical insole and replace with the super feet green version. I am hoping to get many years out of these boots.Only flaw they mine pair is that were the boot meets the sole seems like the glue is coming apart. Also at times the place where my heel meets the back of the boot can get a little irritated, something is rubbing just the wrong way. But that problem could just be from my feet or the way I position my foot in the boot. They also run a little warm after a long day in the field, great pair with smart wool sock, I like the adrenalin hiking socks as a good everyday/hiking combo. As far as size goes I would definite try on before you buy. When I was shopping for these boots originally I have a burse on foot, and these boots did not make it feel the comfortable almost got a different pair, keeping your feet happy is probably one of the more important things in hiking. Anyway I typical wear a 10.5-11 in most all shoes, but with these boots I believe I am in a 10, I shocked me how big they run/feel. Again try before you buy.Great but if you are in the market for a new pair of boots, I would get these again and recommend them to a friend who was looking for a quality product.
talk about top of the shoe chain
I am very tough on equipment, and usually with a pair of boots or shoes i am lucky to get a year out of. I just punish them so badly. If i wear them they better be able to do it all. I have had these over a year, and they have two extreme hikes on them and countless day an all around adventures on them, and they feel like they are just getting broken in. Now these were a bit pricey. But with the pulley design on the lace supports they kept my foot bed in check and in place without binding me anywhere! all the pressure was evenly displaced and handled the pounding i could dished it, without wearing on top of my arch, or heels for that matter. I liked the way they are built so heavy duty and light wieght for how tough they are was another selling factor for me. I need a boot that will make it there and back and then some. We back packed in for a week and two days. all we had was on our backs, our packs weight almost eighty pounds. and the trail was rated out of easy to most difficult , you got it most diff. This hike in WA. State, up to Jerry's lakes and Jerry's glacier, and Crater lake. It is a very gruling ! but well rewarding once you get there. You need good boots, with that kind of weight on your back, and with that tough of a trail. Plus you never know what kind of weather you will get in the mountains, rain sleet snow. and if you loose your feet, your done period ! I had some brand "D" last year, and my feet hurt and got blisters, within the first three miles. Even with heel pads and liners. Last summer and last week we did this trip twice, with the Asolo's , and let me tell you it don't get no better than this, as the ole saying goes. Thanks so much Asolo and for suggesting them, well worth the buck when your feet are involved.
I ordered these boots while in Afghanistan. I've used them for every situation imaginable while here including: climbing mud walls, climbing rocky mountains, knee deep snow, water crossings on a frosty log at 3 am. I typically wear these boots while wearing roughly 80 lbs of armor, ammo, water and weapons. These boots provide the needed support for all of these situations.
As you can imagine, these boots have been pushed. Certain situations don't allow for proper care for these boots and they have been more durable than I initially expected. Some people have mentioned the lack of a toe cover and the scuffing that results. I have not experienced scuffing to the point it affects the functionality of the boot - merely character markings to remind you of the adventures.
The Gore-Tex lining has been a great feature since the winter months and snow has arrived, however, I do plan to buy the 250's which are nubuck and non-Gore for the summer months.
The pulley lacing system is a neat feature which seems to equalize the pressure of the laces throughout the system and I think it works really well.
The footbeds that come with the boot are pretty cheesy, but that's pretty much the standard for all boots. I use the superfeet blue.
I've also owned Asolo's FSN series and their Fugitive boots which were nice but they weren't near as nice as the Powermatic 200's. You get what you pay for.
I'll be honest, I normally don't get in to writing reviews about products because I sense that most people write them immediately after buying a product and they're fighting off buyer's remorse so they are trying to sell the product to themselves and therefore don't give matured and accurate reviews. However, after 6 months on these boots and countless kilometers, I feel the boots are worthy of some praise. I look forward to lacing them up each time. Cheers.
It was about time to buy new boots, and I do a lot of hiking around New Jersey, I wanted them ready and broken in for an annual 10 day summer trip I do (different location every year, usually in the Rockies). I picked up these after trying them on and reading mass reviews (my previous pair were Scarpa Mustang GTXs, and while a good boot, never quite got the fit right with the European sizing - Asolos are Italian, made in Romania, but have American sizes here in the States). Out of the box, they are not 'good to go' as some reviewers have noted... the guy working at the EMS store noted his Asolo 520s came very stiff as well. That said, these are obviously sturdy, well crafted boots. I have already stuck a new pair of green Superfeet in them - this is not a reflection of the manufacturer insole, but just more the fact I do it to every pair of hikers I own. Wearing around the house to begin the break-in process, they feel stiff, but to be expected with full grain leather boots. The lacing system rocks (Instead of d-rings, they have little 'rollers' - you pull on end of laces and it tightens quicker than any shoe I've owned. The first set of speed rings is designed tight to 'lock' in the lace.) - although I can see where I'm going to provide some extra care there, because I can see dirt and grime becoming an issue in the roller.
Anyways, feels like a great boot, definitely sturdy, and hopefully long lasting to match some of the reviews I've read over the internet.