We’re branching out into non-cycling territory a bit, but I figure most readers of the blog are active, outdoorsy people–or at least pretend to be…
In the coming months, I’ll be covering some of my favorite outdoor gear, including Arc’teryx jackets, MSR camping equipment, and today, Asolo boots.
These are the full leather, goretex lined hikers. My path to them was long and winding. For 20 years, I wore either Raichle leather hikers, or the REI knockoff thereof, with great results, until those boots were both discontinued. At that time, I looked and looked, and ended up with a well-reviewed set of Asolo hikers with a leather bottom half and fabric upper, with. Goretex liner. After 2 years, the fabric of the gusseted tongue had completely failed. I called Asolo and sent them the boots. They were kind enough to replace them with the 520s. Here are the boots:
Full leather, including the fully gusseted tongue. Goretex lined, supportive heel cup and shank, very durable, tractive sole. They are totally waterproof…you can dunk them at will.
The good: they’ve proven to be very durable thus far. 1 year in, with a lot of hikes, walks, camping, etc., and they look like new. They are warm, they keep your feet dry, they have great support for heavy loads (including 40# kids on your back), they are attractive, etc. they broke in surprisingly fast for such a well-made boot, and have been comfy from day 1. They run true to size, with enough adjustment to permit thick or thin socks without hot spots.
The bad: they’re not very breathable. In hot weather, your feet will sweat. Wear wicking socks, and you’ll be fine. They’re full leather with an aggressive sole, so they’re not super light. That’s a trade off for their durability and construction. They’re not cheap, but they’re a very high quality piece of equipment.
In summer, they’re great alone. In winter, if you’re active, they’re plenty warm for any temp hiking. (For stationary activities, they’re obviously not enough). Add gaiters and they’re great in deep snow. They’re subdued enough that I can pull them off with a pair of khakis in the office when the weather is bad.
I plan on having these for a very long time. They’re a great piece of gear…the kind of boots you look forward to pulling on and lacing up. Highly recommended.