Good While they lasted
I bought these boots last april, so it has not even been a year.(im 22 weigh 170-175 lbs on avg) Over the course of april, march, and may I wore them casually a few days a week as i went around the city of Boston, and on a couple day hikes up in Maine and down In North Carolina. For the style and type of boot I would think they should be good for all the uses described, and they were just not in the long run. Starting in june i worked trail maintenance in the colorado rockies. wearing the boots everyday hiking 3-10 miles a day on average (carrying 25-50 lbs) about 6 days out of the week. and what ever time not spent hiking was still walking around out on the trail construction site The outer leather may have taken a beating from some of the rock work we were doing but by october their sole had worn down considerably but was still good. Then i finished trail season and started hiking and hitch hiking the west coast for a month and half or so. After that they started to get a little less use between mid nov till early dec. Now in colorado again i wear them for my ski bum job and despite the goretex lining when working the lifts and mucking around in the snow my feet get soaked. The sole by this point is literally only a good month hike away at most from losing a good half of its tread surface. For the price these boots do not last the long haul. Although I do have to say they are really comfortable, and with that little bit of time spent wearing them in, i only got one blister all trail season. For how long they last they are not worth the money.
I have a pair of Asolo boots (either they are Asolo TPS 520 GVs or they're in the same model line), purchased in Australia in early 2010 and used for trekking in South East Asia between March and October of that year. During that time they remained in very good condition, despite substantial treks through hard country in hot weather and a few times where they were waterlogged with both fresh and salty water. On my return to Australia, they appeared to be in excellent condition in every way. Since then, I have worn them rarely, mainly to ensure that the leather upper remained pliable, and have regularly maintained them.
In the last week, I put the boots on again as my everyday work shoes were being repaired, and I noticed that the soles of the shoes were severely damaged. This damage affected the the rubber cushioning material between the Vibram outsole and the insole, but only became visible as wear forced the cushioning to collapse to the extent that the welt disintegrated.
All other parts of the boot are still in excellent condition. The boots are even still comfortable to walk in, although are now unsuitable for trekking.
Not sure if this is a defect of the cushioning material in the boot, but I am surprised that while the exposed parts of the boot still have much life in them, an internal part of the boot has completely fallen apart.
I think that these were excellent boots and would definitely look to buy similar Asolo boots in the future, but would need to be assured that normal conditions during treks in tropical areas would not result in this sort of damage.
I wanted to love these, but......
I tried and tried to love these boots. The felt great in the store, and I wore them all over town and on short hikes trying to break them in. They felt good on those, but every time I went on a longer hike with a pack on the uphill I would notice my heel slipping out of the heel box. I had these boots for a couple of years and I made sure that I wore them extensively around town and on short hikes to break them in.I finally couldn't take it anymore and after I hike in a remote range of Northern Utah where I had to deal with thick forest, downed trees, and to top it off my heels heating up and blistering I decided to return them. I think that for most people if they get the proper fit these boots are awesome, but I ended up trying on about 9 different boots and I decided to give the Vasque Breeze a try. Even with blistered heels I was able to treat them and go on a pretty good overnight hike with no wear near the trouble in the heels.
I like the shoes. They have good support both in the arch and around the ankle. I really like the lace eyes. They let you cynch it up tight without the risk of breaking a lace. The tred holds a lot of mud in it but it falls out easily. Better than some shoes I have had with nice tred. They never let go of the mud.
I have a really narrow foot with a high arch. I usually wear an A width. Don't be surprised if you have never heard of it. Not many people make boots in A width, or even B width for that matter. I thought I would give Asolo a try to see if I can make them work. These shoes fit fine in the heel up to the arch but then the toe feels like it splays out and there is nothing there. I had to put a small in-sole in them to make them fit. They are still a little large in the toe area but I think they will work for me.
Bought these boots 3 years ago and waited before writing review to give it a fare shake. Very disappointed with product. First off, if you are a sweater like me, forget these boots without some sort of sock for wicking out the sweat. When hiking on hot rainy (muggy) days, my feet were as wet as if I had not been wearing them. Second issue, traction was very very bad on wet surfaces. Can not stress this enough for anybody who would wear these for back packing excursions. Walking on wet grass or rocks was seriously like walking on very smooth ice. Fell once on a climb and have been very cautious since then. I wish I would have bought the Asolo fugitive GTX series like I did for my wife 2 years prior. In fact she told me I should buy them before I bought these. She has always braging about them. Wish I would have listened. They are great back packing boots.
Good boot, just not for me.
Tried a pair of these after my old Vasques gave out after 5 years and hundreds of hard miles and after reading all the great reviews, I gave them a shot. I went about 2 miles in my first break in walk and barely made it back to the house. I understand they are a stiff boot with a long break in but the way the ankle support is set up, they had me hobbling back to my house. Gave it a rest for a few days and tried it again and barely made it a mile before I was done.
Sent them back and got a pair of Lowa Terek GTX from the discount side of REI and even though these shoes are stiffer in the lowers, I loved them. Logged 8 miles and could have gone 20+ right out of the box with a stiffer boot than the Asolo's which seemed like a good boot but just not for me.
Stiff and ankle twisting
I bought these because of the reviews I've read and I was seriously disappointed. I put over 800 miles on these boots and turns my ankle 5 times, once a serious sprain. they are nice boots comfy, waterproof, but the sole is too stiff for those that like barefoot. Step on a rock in these boots and your ankle is going to regret it. The sole is like a wood plank, step on anything round and you will have an accident.
I have done hikes in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, N Carolina with these boots and they are NOT good for rugged terrain. I May be wrong because I prefer barefoot hiking and I wanted a boot for cold weather. I returned these with no problem, and still looking for a boot for cold weather that is more of a barefoot feel.
For those of you that like the feel of the trail on your feet, don't buy these boots.
I bought this boot after wearing my FSN 95s for 3 years and finally wearing through the sole. Wore the boot up Mt Hood, backpacking in the gorge and a few other hikes. 3 months after getting the boots, the sole completely delaminated from the right boot. After looking online, I saw this was a common problem with ASOLO boots. Contacted customer service and they told me to ship them back, at my own cost, and wait a month for processing. I work outdoors and need gore tex boots everyday for work, so it is extremely inconvenient to be without my boots while ASOLO decides whether or not they will honor their warranty. Customer service not helpful at all, between the cost of shipping and the processing time, I will just buy some epoxy and fix them myself. I don't think I'd ever buy another pair of ASOLO boots, La Sportiva is better quality.
Did not meet expectations
I received the Asolo TPS 520 GV boots as a Christmas present last year. I wore them doing yard work around the house after realizing they are too heavy for hiking! "A pound on your feet equals five pounds on your back." They feel a half size too big. After a year my boots still look new and the trade mark imprints are still visible on the bottom of the treads.I never wore these boots with weight on my back. They have great quality leather and water resistance.
Bottom line, my boots have less than 100 miles use, I weigh 178 LBS,and the tread is coming off the bottom of the boot! A lot of people are experiencing this same problem with these Asolo boots. I have never owned a boot that fell apart this quickly. Avoid Asolo boots, they do not quality attach the soles/tread. This is a known issue.
Not the boot to buy
I bought these with the intention of using them for a thru hike of the Colorado Trail. I found them to be uncomfortable at first but told myself they'd break in and be better. I wore them everywhere for 3 weeks and went on several 4-6 mile day hikes with them during this time. At the end of the 3 weeks I loaded up my gear with 40 pounds and went on a 12 mile day hike. I had on smartwool socks and silk liners, and I stopped and adjusted the laces several times during the hike. I ended up with blisters on both heels and feet hurting so bad I took them back the next day. I ordered the Zamberlan viox GTX (my REI doesn't stock them) and couldn't be happier. They feel great straight out of the box and I can't wait to get on the trail with them.
So, I'm in the minority on these it would seem. Much like some other reviewers, I ALWAYS get heel blisters no matter what I do. I also get blisters under both big toes. This is after owning them for 3 years and about 250 miles on them. Oh, they're broken in...they have to be by now. And like another reviewer mentioned, casual wear isn't a real issue. The issue is, I didn't get them for casual wear.I'm doing all the right things. I tried them on at REI and did the rock walk before I bought...they're a perfect fit. I powder my feet first, wicking liner next, wool hiking socks on top. And I get blisters every time I hike with them. I've done 50 miles in the past month, and blisters every time.Contrary to what some have posted, it's not a matter of building callouses on my feet. Here's where I'm on the fence. I sweat, a lot, and my feet sweat a whole lot. If non-Gortex boots were available in my teeny weeny size, I'd have gotten them to try to help with airflow, but they weren't. So...if someone can tell me how I can build callouses on my always wet feet, I'd love to hear it. Yesterday I did 6 miles. Within 1 mile I had to put molepad (skin doesn't cut it) on my feet, and my feet were already soaked. (Usually I start w/the molepad on, but someone suggested trying just wool with no liner, so I wanted to try au natural.) Wet feet tear like crazy. Just ask me, I'll tell you. So, I'm on the fence because maybe it's a personal issue and maybe the other reviewers that feel like me also have the same issues. I don't know. I do know that even when I start out with molepad on, I still blister. The skin softens, so it doesn't matter what rubs it..it's the rubbing that causes the blisters and molepad rubbing is the same as boot rubbing.The love part comes in the fact that my feet don't fatigue. Previously, good ole Rocksylvania would put such a hurting on the bottoms of my feet that I were tire very easily and quickly. The thick soles make carrying loads a breeze, and these puppies are like little tanks on your feet. Fully waterproof and nice tongue. So the toe gets scuffed..big deal. I think these will last me another 5-8 years, at my current pace. The question is, can I take the blisters that long?I'm on the fence about returning them. Since these are my first pair of real backpacking boots, I'm afraid I'll return them only to have trouble with the next pair I get. Every time I read the negative (or neutral) reviews on here (and I do frequently trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing wrong) I reallllyyy want to take them back.For now the burning and blistering is the trade off I make for being able to go much longer. Unfortunately, every step hurts.If ANYONE had any ideas at all, please email me [@] I'd really love to hear what I could possibly do to end the pain.Just previewing my own review makes me want to take them back...maybe I just should.
Over two weeks ago, I wanted a pair of water proof, durable boots for the upcoming two backpacking trips scheduled in September. My requirements were 1. my toes will never touch the front of the boots, 2. I want them in wide. Besides that, I didn't really expect much, other than what I had read in the reviews here on the REI site. Overall, this model stood out and give them a go. Of course, I personally went into a Santa Monica location to try them out, and they fit perfectly. However, the problem began when I put them on for a not too difficult hike on the following day. The ankle support is way high, I wasn't comfortable with it although I really thought the high cut would provide an amazing support. It is one of those things where your personal preference dictates. I strongly thought that it ain't for me. Next, because I had been told at the store before I made the purchase that REI has recently changed the return policy on the shoes/boots. No more break-ins are allowed to return. So, I was extremely careful walking in them. And let me tell you. These are really durable boots, but also very stiff and rigid in a way that you wish you were wearing something else. I ended up having two blisters. One of them was just a matter of getting used to the boots, but the other was a serious issue. Basically, the part where one of the hooks was attached was pushed in a slightly and started pinching my right big toe. I was in pain half the hike, which took probably not even 3 hours in total. So, I ended up returning the boots in the following evening. And while at the store, I tried out a pair of Asolo Fugitive GTX, which also came in wide. And a week later, I just finished a long hike in them this Labor Day weekend, also part of the training for the backpacking trip next weekend. This hike was over 9 miles and the elevation gain of 2,740 feet, and guess what? My feet were in heaven! I love my new boots. Asolo Fugitive GTX is here to stay!
Not the Droids I was Looking for
I really wanted to love these boots.They are built like tanks, and made for backpackers who carry a lot of weight on their backs. After a number of urban hikes to help break them in, I took them for some day hikes, and then into some deep wilderness for two to four days camping trips. During one of my early adventures, I tripped on a small rock and sprained my ankle. How could this have happened with such fancy boots that supposedly have excellent ankle support? Well, the soles are rock-solid and highly inflexible, which helps to greatly reduce the impact of terrain upon your soles, but at the cost of a notable compromise to your stability and balance. Soft soles will bend along with the trail, but these soles do not give whatsoever. As a result, I found myself slipping a number of times and catching myself from spraining again and again, even with the other foot.At first I felt that it couldn't be the boot, but when I compared results with my other, softer-soled shoes, there was noticeable difference on the same trails. I never found myself slipping with other boots. The Asolos are heavy and clunky, and make for some awkward steps.That said, the boots are very well made (although after fifty or so miles the left heel began to squeak), waterproof, solid, and attractive. Backpackers who carry serious weight may certainly benefit from the hardness and stiffness to protect their feet. But you need to know what you're getting into. I bought these boots because of the rave reviews, and it is very surprising that few others have experienced the same doom as I. If you carry less than 30 or 40 lbs on your back, or if you stick to day hikes, these boots are really overkill. I give them 3 stars for the danger inherent in the design.Lastly, when I cleaned up these boots and brought them back to EMS eight months later, their staff was very understanding and issued me a full refund. EMS customer service is really top notch.Happy trails.
Not the Droids I was Looking for
I really wanted to love these boots.They are built like tanks, and made for backpackers who carry a lot of weight on their backs. After a number of urban hikes to help break them in, I took them for some day hikes, and then into some deep wilderness for two to four days camping trips. During one of my early adventures, I tripped on a small rock and sprained my ankle. How could this have happened with such fancy boots? Well, the soles are rock-solid and highly inflexible, which helps to greatly reduce the impact of terrain upon your soles, but at the cost of a notable compromise to your stability and balance. Soft soles will bend along with the trail, but these soles do not give whatsoever. As a result, I found myself slipping a number of times and catching myself from spraining again and again, even with the other foot.At first I felt that it couldn't be the boot, but when I compared results with my other, softer-soled shoes, there was noticeable difference on the same trails. I never found myself slipping with other boots. The Asolos are heavy and clunky, and make for some awkward steps.That said, the boots are very well made (although after fifty or so miles the left heel began to squeak), waterproof, solid, and attractive. Backpackers who carry serious weight may certainly benefit from the hardness and stiffness to protect their feet. But you need to know what you're getting into. I bought these boots because of the rave reviews, and it is very surprising that few others have experienced the same doom as I. If you carry less than 30 or 40 lbs on your back, or if you stick to day hikes, these boots are really overkill. I give them 3 stars for the danger inherent in the design.
Great fit, did have glue problem
I have been wearing this model of boot for a few years, and have put the boot to the test. The Gore-tex works great to keep the water out, the boot is very light, due to the running shoe-like midsole. The leather is great. I have used the water-based wax on them that was recommended.
The best way I can characterize the boots is that they are a very high quality leather and gore-tex upper on a mountain running shoe bottom, since the midsole is not rubber, but polyurethane. You could run in them if you had to, but don't think you could out-run a bear.
The problem I have had with this boot model in the past is the bottom un-gluing from the midsole. Two previous pairs I had of these barely made two years before delamination. Re-glueing the sole as a repair only works temporarily because it is difficult to get the Vibram rubber to stick to the polyurethane midsole, which gets crumbly in old age.
I read a few posts in various online forums that indicate this was a known issue that Asolo was aware of.
Certainly be careful not to dry them near a fire, woodstove, or heater.
I am hoping that Asolo fixed the glue problem with this current pair that I am wearing now, because everything else about the boots has been superb. So far, so good with this current pair, I have had them a couple months.
With REI's unconditional guarantee, one can't complain too much, but I don't like making the long drive to the store, and I feel a bit like a lizard when returning a pair of boots I have worn for two years.
I could see the leather and vibram sole on these boots lasting 5 years, easily.
Not all that great for the price...
I bought these boots based on reviews after a pair of Vaques blew out on me after only 4 back country trips. I'm an ultra-light minimalist backpacker, but I was looking for something that would last. I was wrong to buy these boots! These boots are not designed for rocky mountainous hiking.
Pros: They are waterproof, especially if you treat them yourself. Rugged, you're not going to wear these bots out soon. Fit is just perfect.
Cons: Takes forever to break them in. Had these boots for 10 months and put 300 miles on them and they were still stiff in the foot area. The soul of the boot is so stiff it's like walking on a wooden plank. Twisting your ankle is easy in these boots. Get on a rocky trail and twisting your ankle is sure to happen MANY times. No toe-cap, scuff easily. Heavy as you can get. Heavy AND stiff? I'd rather go back to my old combat boots than wear these clunkers.
Don't waste your money on these unless you're going out for months at a time. I prefer to use gore tex trail runner shoes for all my hikes up to 2 weeks. I have Adidas tr 3 gtx that are light (less than a pound, 2.5 lbs lighter than these boots), waterproof, comfortable, and a lot easier to put on! 1/3 the price too.
Forget getting these boots. The reviews are over-rated, and outdated. Trail running shoes are the best way to go. Cheaper, lighter, flexible, and a lot more comfortable.
mixed review after 4 years of use
I have used these boots for 4 years in 4-season hiking. Break-in was easy, although I decided to eliminate the laces in the lowest 3 lugs to get more toe room. I have water-proofed them once a year, and they have kept out water in shallow stream crossings. They are good in cold weather, keeping my feet warm over 2-day winter hikes. They work well with microspikes (see picture), snowshoes, and strap-on crampons.
Drawbacks are three. First, the traction has decreased over the years. I think the soles harden and are less effective at gripping rocks. Second, the interior lining has worn significantly, so that I now gingerly insert my foot so as to prevent further damage (see photo). Finally, both soles separated from the boots this fall. Photo shows complete separation, which started in the middle. Eventually, I pulled off the remaining adhered part at the toes and reglued them with slow-curing epoxy, which seems to be holding.
Overall, for the price, I think these boots are nice, but I thought that they would hold up better. I continue to use them. If I was to buy new boots, I would choose another kind because I think they should have worn better.
Great boot, super fit, but not perfect !
I've bought this boot half a year ago and used them several times with a good outcome. However, on 2 serious hikes (one in summer - 6 miles, one in winter - 12 miles) I got big blisters on my heels. It might have been in connection to how tight I've laced the boots, what kind of insole I was using, if I bought the right "backpacking" boot size, etc. I really tend to say, that a great boot won't cause blisters whether you lace them tight or not.
I read above about another customer who has exact experiences like me, and getting those huge heel blisters. It could be the boot indeed, but I tend to say that the problem lays in the choice of socks. I also wore the Asolo boots with SmartWool hiking socks. I think these socks are not performing properly and I think they are the cause why I got blisters.
Next serious trek will be done with different socks and then I'll be able to say exactly if the boot is the problem or the socks.
Still on the fence...
I've owned these boots for exactly one year to the week. They took about 4 months of pretty solid use to break them in. Very rugged boots.
Things I like:
Waterproof beyond all belief. I live in the PNW and that's a must. Very happy with that.
Very sturdy tread, good grip, but slippery in the wet. Probably due to toughness/non-stickiness of the tread blocks.
Comfortable with my Superfeet (which also took a while to break in).
Things I don't like:
Rubber around soles to leather bond became unbonded in three spots on both boots.
Stitching is coming undone on the heel of one boot.
Gore-tex logo got torn off. No big, but now there's a hole in the leather.
I just returned them today. I wanted to get them repaired but they said it'd be six weeks and who know's what'll happen with the rest of the glue. I opted for new boots but now it will take 4 months to break them in and it's hunting season...
Fabulous but flawed
This boot is fabulous in every way except the key category of dependability. I love the fit and the way they walk over the protruding portions of granite baseballs on less maintained trails. HOWEVER, the sole is poorly bound to the boot and detached on my 5th backpacking trip. This is unacceptable for an expensive boot, and unfortunately, does not appear to be an isolated experience given the other reviews. Therefore, I will now shop for a different brand. If you own a pair, then be sure you carry some 1/8" diameter cord with you so you can thread it through the groves in the bottom of the sole and wrap the cord up and around the top of the boot to keep the sole and footbox together. This wrap-up got me back to the car which was 10 miles away when the sole departed.
To note, REI's customer service was great at addressing the issue after I returned. An internet retailer would have likely done nothing because technically the warranty had expired. You get what you pay for.