Asolo Lothar GV
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The Asolo Lothar is a light mountaineering boot. Very…
Materials: Leather, nylon, gore-tex liner
Use: light moutaineering
Break-in Period: not much
Weight: stated weight is 641 grams per boot size 8. That's very light for this category!
Price Paid: $200
The Asolo Lothar is a light mountaineering boot. Very light - at just 641 g per boot - Lighter than any other mountaineering boot I've ever owned. Overall, I'm quite happy with them so far for hiking, approaches, peak bagging, and scrambling.
Overview - a leather/nylon upper with a gore-tex lining. Rubber rand almost all the way around the boot. Vibram sole. A pretty stiff, full plastic midsole extends to the back of the heel with a little platform. This, in combination with the rubber rand on the toe area allows for support for 'new-matic' crampons. Lacing extends down towards the toes. They are high cut, but perhaps not a high cut as some other boots. What's light mountaineering? In my opinion it involves trips with hiking, scrambling, and some easier technical snow, rock and ice climbing. Light mountaineering (in my opinion) does not include extended periods of difficult technical climbing. I would never expect to use these boots, for example, for any kind of extended front-pointing on vertical ice.
These happen to fit my feet quite well. They are a bit on the narrow side, but not radically so. I find them very comfortable compared to other mountaineering boots I've owned. They are probably pretty consistent with other Asolo boots. If you have a history of fitting well in Asolo boots, these will probably follow suit.
The goretex liner has worked well enough - certainly as well as the w/b liner in other boots I've worn. I've had no problems with leaks. I've exposed these to wet conditions in the form of exposure to rain, stream crossings, snowfields and snow climbs.
I will raise one issue with these boots compared to other mountaineering boots that I've owned: Sole Design. I'll use another boot as a direct comparison - the Kayland MXT. Overall, these two boots have very similar designs. One key difference is the design of the sole. The Asolo Lothar's sole has quite a bit of rocker. The Kayland MXT has virtually none - it is almost dead flat. This is a design decision with trade-offs. The sole with rocker provides a much more natural walking gait on trails. The flatter sole is designed to provide more rubber contact with rock/snow/ice. So - you might want to take this into account when thinking about the boots you choose for the trip you're doing. My Lothars can be used as regular hiking boots. They are very comfortable on the long hike into the peak and back to the car. There are occasional times when the highly rockered sole does not give me as much friction on rock slabs (since there's simply not as much rubber in contact with the rock). My Kayland MXTs, on the other hand, are not as comfortable for the long hike (I notice it most on the way out after a long day - my feet feel pretty beat up after long walks on trails). However, the flatter soles on the MXTs seem to give me a more predictable 'feel' on technical rock climbs and kicking steps in snow. Note that the sole design will also have an impact on the crampons you use. Some crampons are designed to fit a rockered sole; others will work better with a flatter sole. Just one more thing to pay attention to when buying your equipment. Overall, the differences are not super dramatic. I am still happy with how the Lothars climb rock and snow; and, I can still hike in my MXTs. But the sole design, in my opinion, does present a set of drawbacks/benefits one vs the other.
So, I do highly recommend these boots for light mountaineering trips that include a lot of mileage on trails to get to the peaks. However, if my trip involves more technical climbing and less time on trails, I'll probably choose my Kayland MXTs.