Asolo Power Matic 200 GV
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $250
The out-of-the-box comfort praises are true, and these things give me grip on rock faces and ledges like Spiderman! You can plow through the brush like an elephant with their support, or scramble up rock like a mountain goat with their grip.
- Comfort, minimal break-in
- Lateral stability/support
- No built-in GPS
- No trail-lighting mechanism
Note on my "cons" above ... I was just joking to underscore how little I could find deficient. See sizing/foot-type notes below.
I did a lot of research, and mostly made my choice based on the comments here. They really are comfortable out of the box. I'm a paramedic and chose to do a basic fit test before taking them on the trail during my 24hr 911 shift Saturday. 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 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 aggressive 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 Goretex is Goretex.
I'll keep my eye out for wear issues such as I've seen in reviews, but no signs of anything but dirt on these. Oh, and the folks whining about scuffs ... REALLY?? It's a HIKING boot ... not pimpin' wear. I'll report back on this after a few months more climbing.
A note about sizing and my feet, since everyone is different:
SIZING: In distance running shoes, I wear a 10.5, and the 11s for Asolo fit perfect — with room for winter socks and lace-tightability 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.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $300
These boot work well and are comfortable for my feet. I've only had them a couple weeks, therefore can't give data on how well they'll wear over time.
- Comfortable on first hike
- sole may not maintain aggressive bite with wear
These boots fit my foot perfectly on my first hikes of just a couple miles off trail; steep loose rocky terrain with lots of debris and brush to tangle around the laces and toe of boot, they worked well.
I recently had to stop wearing my Whites fire boots, which I used for most all outdoor activities, the logger heel was becoming to much for my knees to handle. Though I miss the stability the logger heel provides the Asolo boots work well and provided the relief I needed in my knees.
I am concerned the these boots will have a relatively short life as the soles are not very thick or aggressive compared to what I'm use to (the Whites and a well worn pair of Asolo Yukons). Both of which have been resoled more that 8 times combined.
If the Power Matic boots last half as well as the Yukons and the Whites I'll be happy. So far they provide the adaptations I need to keep on hiking.
Use: hiking, walking, rocky approach hiking
Break-in Period: 1 day (get the wet, it helps)
Weight: Very light and narrow
Price Paid: $195
I've had these boots for a week now and I needed them immediately for my hobby (outdoor photography). Now, we do not have the Sierras here in Indiana but we have miles of trails, some rocky areas and lots of mud, water run-off and general brack to trip through and in the last week I've put these boots through all of it and covered about 20 miles of trail and off trail hiking right out of the box. (I also do need to get them ready for my Southwest trip coming soon--Arches National Park, Utah.)
They were comfortable in the store while wearing them for 20 minutes and I was pretty sold right there. The "pully" lacing system in the lowers is sweet and the hardware is top notch, none of that cheap bent metal for the laces.
One other thing I like about these boots is that they are light and narrow vs. the large blocky boots that feel like sandbags. They are strong yet allow me to feel nimble getting up rocky faces and have great tracktion and good edges.
I went from shop to the trails and they were great. Initially I had a little leather binding on my right foot just above the big toe area (why not on the left as well I have not idea). However that passed after about the first mile. I got them wet and muddy by mile three and my feet were dry and warm and the boots loved the wet mud and broke in even more and felt great from there out. Once home, I just rinsed them off and let them dry and I have not had any binding problems again. I did about five miles that first day and have done about 15 since then.
Another great thing about these boots is the comfort around the ankle, great padding and very nice support forward and side to side for those with weaker ankles. I lace the top a little loose usually just for comfort, but I tightened the heck out of them (like I would for rocky terrain) and they were still comfortable. All in all a great boot and I am not a full-grain leather guy. I had a pair of full-grain Vasque boots that took forever to break in and they still left my feet sore daily. When I hit camp, I could not wait to get them off.
Enjoy, hope my opinion helps. By the way, I ordered several boots from differing makers online trying to find the right boot and sent all 5 pairs back after wearing them in my kitchen. Indiana is not what you would call the hiking boot capital of the world, so it is not easy finding anything great here outside of Timberland:). Low and behold there is an independant shop here called Extreem Outfitter that had these in stock and a great price.
Take care and happy hiking.
Price Paid: $250
This is probably the best all-around boot I have ever owned. I have hiked the West Coast Trail, a wet, insanely muddy trek on the west coast of Vancouver Island to the high Rockies doing fourteeners.
While my friends have to worry about hot-spots and blisters after we make camp, my feet were happy as they could be! My GTX 520's are great...but these are the best I have ever had...
Happy hiking folks!
Materials: Leather and Gore-tex
Use: Everything, Every Day
Break-in Period: 1 Day
Price Paid: $230
I have had these boots for 3 years now and they are still going strong even after putting a gash in the toe of my left boot with a chainsaw (OOPS).
These boots were perfect right out of the box. One day of wearing and off to the trails with no soars or any other problems. I carry from 50-80 pounds when I hike and the boots have held up great. I wear these boots just about every day, summer and winter, for both work and play. I like the good ankle support and well formed foot beds, very supportive.
I like the roller eyelets, I am still on the original laces with a couple of minor fixes. The Gore-tex is still keeping my feet dry, (after repairing the gash). All and all GREAT BOOTS.
My only quibble, the soles are a bit slippery on wet surfaces and icy surfaces. I would imagine this to be the rubber compound because it wears like iron.
5 stars, highly recommended!
Price Paid: $168 (thanks REI Sale and dividend combo)
Fresh out of the box, I used these boots to climb up the "hardest trail" on Mt Washington in NH - the Huntington Ravine Trail. The entire up and down resulted in about 9 miles and I was carrying a pack weighing 22 pounds.
At first, I was wearing Smartwool light hiking socks. I started developing hotspots on my heels after about 4 miles, which actually was expected of the new boots. However, after putting on liner socks under the Smartwools, that issue was completely neutralized, and I did not have any further problems.
Other than that, these boots were extremely comfortable through the entire trip, and scrambled very well up the wet, nearly 50 degree slabs.
Materials: full grain leather with gore-tex liner.
Use: hiking backpacking
Break-in Period: 1 day.
Weight: 3.5 lbs
Price Paid: $219
If you want a waterproof, full grain leather boot that is comfortable with a capital C, then this is your boot. I searched far and wide and did lots of homework before I got these. This is one of those times when I got what I paid for, which is a highly versatile great looking boot that performs. This boot is true to size and only took one day to break in. The power-matic lace system is also an added bonus. Some say this a wide foot boot, but I have very narrow high arched feet and have no problems. Highly recommend.
Use: rough trail with heavy pack
Break-in Period: little or none
Weight: 3.75 lbs
Price Paid: $225
Very solid boot bought for a 2-week Philmont Scout Ranch trek. Probably overkill for that use as these boots are pretty heavy-duty, but I was often very glad I had these because we had some very rough and rocky terrain to cover.
A friend's boot blew out on the same trip and Philmont replaced them with lighter weight Vasque Wasatches, which he was happy with (he asked for minimal break-in boots since we were already halfway thru our trek). I had fewer foot problems than others. Note that 3 of 4 people on the trek had issues with REI branded boots (hardware failures and/or severe blistering).
I found the sizing challenging. I normally wear size 9. I bought these in 8.5 because I felt I was sliding around too much in 9's, but I think they were too small after changing out the wimpy footbeds that come with the boot. My advice is to bring along the footbeds and socks you'll wear with these when trying them on.
These boots are stiff, as they're designed to be. They soften as body heat warms them up, but they never become flimsy. Weight is about 3.75lbs. Not light, but not ridiculously heavy, either.
Break-in was minimal. I never had blister issues during five months of training, but on steep trails with 3500' elevation change and 50 lb pack at Philmont I did get some hot spots and rubbing on the heels, I believe this was due to the coarse internal heel stitching. Nothing major, but it was there.
The rubber toe cap should be bigger. The leather toes on mine are scraped and peeling from rocky Philmont terrain, but some might think that lasting sign of hard effort is kind of cool.
Waterproofing was flawless and highly valued as we had a very wet trek and had to cross a lot of streams.
I got these at REI with my 20% member discount in March for about $225. I will continue to use these as an all-around work boot and on hiking/camping trips. They are a solid boot that will probably last me to my grave.
Materials: Leather with Gore Tex
Break-in Period: 2 days
Weight: I weigh 225 lbs, not sure what the boots weigh
Price Paid: $248
Boots were true to size and width. Very comfy out of the box, but I did not have enough time to break them in before hitting the trail.
1st day out with a 50 lb pack we basically went straight up hill for 1200 feet of vert. Noticed that my heels were rubbing a bit, so I put on liners and put a piece of duct tape on the sock liners over the hot spot forming. This helped a lot. Not necessarily the fault of the boot as I was going uphill with a pack on and my heels were jammed in the back of the boot.
2nd day was up and down and kept the same liner/sock/duct tape configuration and had no hot spot issues. Most of the day was spent walking on snow.
3rd day was all snow and mud and wet alpine bogs. No problems with same setup and absolutely no leaks in the boots. Dried out quick at the end of the day. Put 9 miles on em that day.
4th day the boots seemed a bit more broken in and I considered not using a liner, but kept it in. Probably could have ditched the tape. Walked in a ton of mud that day, still no leaks and the boots cleaned up easy.
So after 20 miles, mostly with a heavy pack over snow, rock, mud and water, these boots were fantastic and had no leaks. I am to blame for not breaking them in. I do have sensitive feet and really need some better footbeds as I got some nerve shocks in my toes. Good grip in all conditions, even snow traverses. I scuffed the toes up, but that is what it is, doing stuff a mountaineering boot is better suited for, but this is a great all around boot and not all that heavy really.
Boot always dried quickly and I am anxious to see if I have now truly broken them in. May be a bit pricey, but I'd say my feet are worth it and I never felt like I had a heavy cumbersome boot on. No toe smash going down hill either. 4 days in mud, snow, rock, etc with dry happy feet. Great lacing system as well. Add a set of nice gators and you have a great boot to take on a lot of conditions.
Materials: leather w/gore-tex liner
Use: Medium weight hiking
Break-in Period: little or none
Weight: 785 gram = 1.7 pounds
Price Paid: $225
Excellent for what they're made for, medium load all around hiking. They are not beefy enough to handle heavy loads or really ruff terrain, but everything up to that they are sick. Extremely comfortable, little or no break in period, very durable, great traction.
Materials: 3mm Full grain leather uppers with a sealed gore-tex lining. Triple density midsole, Vibram dual density outsole.
Use: Mountaineerig and hillwalking mainly in the UK, moderate pack weights most of the time, occaisonally heavy. Everything from easy paths to grade 2 and 3 scrambles to moving cross country over bog and moorland
Break-in Period: negligible
Weight: 950g / half pair
Price Paid: 120 GBP (RRP 140)
These boots are about to embark upon their third summer with me, and since 2007 I have put them through most conditions that British Mountains can throw at them.
As a three season hillwalking boot they are superb. It is no boast for me to say that mine have probably got more than 1000 miles on them, including hard scrambles and winter walking. I have used them day in and day out for up to a fortnight at a stretch in absolutely foul conditions, and never had wet feet, even when the paths turn into waterfalls.
The traction and ankle support are first class on all rock types I have experienced, wet or dry and on soft ground too, although very slimy clay does present a slight weak point, although that can be expected. As long as you accept that you are confined to walking, they are tough enough to deal with the abuse that snowy winter conditions can throw at them as well.
I have never experienced any discomfort in these boots, the soft leather ankle cuff eliminating any rubbing on the lower leg. I have walked up to 30 miles in one go wearing these boots-in total comfort.
These have taken me to hundreds of wonderful places and I have enjoyed every moment of our time together thus-so-far.
Materials: full leather
Use: heavy packs; extend trips
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $200
I love these boots. I got them for a 14-day NOLS trip. The break-in time for this boot is little to none. Immediately they were comfortable. They are also durable as ever, mine have been through it all, rivers, rock fields, etc... and they are still kicking. They are also super stable when hiking through lose terrain with 50+ packs. The lacing system is great and makes putting on the boot fast and easy when you are in a rush. The only problem, if one, is the insole. Possibly look for an aftermarket one if you want more cushion.
Use: rough trail with heavy pack
Price Paid: $280
Training for upcoming elk hunt. Training consists of 3-mile hikes daily with 56-lb pack. I purchased Asolo boots and they are solid and provide good support. I leave Tennessee Sept 8th for Arizona. Upon returning I will cast my second review.
Materials: full leather Gore-tex
Use: rough trail with 20lb pack
Break-in Period: too long
Weight: 3lbs ? size 12
Price Paid: $230
These are awesome hiking boots. I have had mine going on two months now. They have seen about 65 miles of the App Trail and five miles or so of street use. They have great support and feel good. The pulley system for the laces works very well.
The only complaint I have with these boots was the break-in period. I had to wear these for over 20 miles! before I stopped getting blisters. I have had numerous Asolo hiking boots. I will say that these perform the best. The tread although very sticky on rocks ... seems to be wearing fast as well.
Use: backpack, rough trails
Break-in Period: tried for two months
Weight: 190 lbs
Price Paid: $229
This may be the most sturdy and immediately comfortable boot I have ever owned. However, the rigid heel cup resulted in severe blisters on every trip over 4 miles even after 50 miles of break-in and expensive leather treatment. I tried lots of stretching and pounding to get the heel cup to retreat so it didn't rub my achilles tendon area. No luck. Finally went back to the store and traded them in for Vasque Sundowner Summit (so far so good on those!). Hated to trade in the Asolos, but had no choice, the just wouldn't work for my 11 medium width feet.