Asolo TPS 520 GV
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $269 on sale
One of the best backpacking boots out there. Great for heavy loads over rough terrain, these boots are totally waterproof, fit like a glove, and if you're like me and need ankle support, these boots are the ones you've been looking for!
- Great arch and ankle support
- Perfect for heavy loads over long distances
- Warm in the winter
- Good looking (yeah, I know - superficial)
- VERY warm in the summer
Let me get the cons out of the way so I can get to the good stuff.
First, these boots are heavy - over 3 lbs. If you're looking for lightweight hiker, then keep looking.
Second, as almost anyone who's familiar with Gore-Tex knows, it can be very warm. I broke them in snowshoeing in temps as low as 0 F (with a liner and SmartWool socks) and my feet never got cold. I've also backpacked in them in temps as high as 95°F (liner only) and they're the first thing to go when I make camp.
Third, I've seen other reviews which mention poor laces and they're right - I replaced mine within a couple of months. Finally, at nearly $300 ($289 retail), they're on the expensive side but when it comes to outdoor gear, experience has taught me that you almost always get what you pay for.
One last thing that I'm not listing as a con, but other reviews have mentioned it - there is no rubber toe guard and you will scuff the leather on the toes. So what!
Okay, now for the reasons you need a pair... They are COMFORTABLE!!! I've had Vasques, Merrells, The North Face, and several other brands of boots, and all of them have required a longer break-in period. I've always purchased backpacking boots in the late Fall and break them in snowshoeing, and these Asolos were broken in after my first snowshoe trip.
Hands down, these are the most comfortable pair of backpacking boots I've ever owned. The fit can be dialed in by the way you lace them. I've worn them with liners and SmartWool socks during the winter, and liners only in the summers and have never had an issue with hot spots. Do yourself a favor though - regardless of the boot you have, get some really good insoles (Superfeet are my favorite).
These boots are waterproof. The gusseted tongue comes up high enough to keep out both water and trail debris, and I've never had a leak during creek crossings or snowshoeing. Don't let water go over the top though because just like any Gore-Tex boot, they'll hold the water and will take forever to dry out.
The Vibram soles are sticky enough to give you great traction on and off trail and have held up great in spite of what some reviewers have said about them coming apart. The only caveat is that they can be a bit slippery on a wet, rocky trail, but I've never had an issue with slipping during stream crossings.
Overall impression: These are easily my favorite backpacking boots so far. I’ve had them for 2-1/2 years and have probably put about 200 miles on them by now. Even the cons seem pretty insignificant compared to all the pros, and when they finally reach the end of their life (no signs of it so far) I’ll gladly shell out another $300 to replace them.
Leather upper is fully waterproof. Soles have shock absorbing technology and are replaceable. Hiked for over 10 hours without stopping and these boots were comfortable throughout.
- Shock absorbing soles
- Lacing eyelets are very sturdy
- Insoles are so-so, upgrade for better experience
I'm a big guy and I like to hike so I wanted a boot that would withstand a beating and stay comfy. These boots do not disappoint! The soles are super supportive and have three shock absorbing points per foot. The lacing system is also well done. I greased these boots a few times for extra waterproofing and man oh man, keep on trekkin!
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $220
Probably some of the best boots on the market. If you plan on hiking/backpacking a lot, they are worth the investment.
- Water protection
- Ankle support
- Laces can loosen over time
I've taken these boots all over North America and the longer I have them the more I appreciate them. I purchased these boots as a relatively new hiker. Many reviews I read said they were very comfortable and didn't give many blisters. However, if you are in the same position, you should probably know that many hiker's feet are probably tough and calloused over, which prevents some blisters from occurring.
Anyway, for quite some time these boots did give me some blisters (mainly on my big toe and the back of my heel) after miles of hiking...though they do feel very comfortable. Once your feet become accustomed to a sturdy boot, these boots will be perfect for your feet. In the meantime, wear sock liners along with your wool socks in order to prevent blisters. With sock liners, the above mentioned problem is hardly a problem at all. You can also buy a better pair of insoles which can help also.
These have great ankle support. With a pack at 50lbs+ I have nearly rolled my ankle many times but these boots have allowed me to "catch myself" with no injury. They very waterproof. You can step into a stream that comes up above your ankle without any seepage.
Lastly, the shoelaces can loosen over time. It's not a big problem. However, the shoelaces' eyelets are quite small. So if you try to buy different laces (perhaps leather ones which grip better) you might have trouble finding some that will fit.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $250
Comfort, good traction, but moderate durability.
- Good traction on wet rocks
Boots last for 3 years but actually for 30 days of trekking — I used them once a year for advanced routes only. Boots perform well on wet rocks, that makes them outstanding from most of hiking boots on the market.
After 30 days Vibram rubber outsole disconnected from both boots.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $210
Very comfortable, but poor quality.
I bought the boots at REI in 2010 for $210 (after a 20% discount). The boots fit VERY GOOD. Almost no break-in was necessary. I took a few day hikes in different types of terrain and felt good.
The first multiday hikes in the Sierra Nevada in (JMT) showed some of the problems. The SCUFFING was a lot more that I would expect from a boot at this price, I was very dissapointed. The fit and support while carrying a 50 lbs plus pack was very good.
A month ago I went to Yosemite and began a multiday trip from the valley floor up Yosemite Falls. During this trip was my biggest disappointment. The SOLE BEGAN TO COME APART during the descent. This should not happen for a boot like this.
I found an REI in Fresno and replaced them. The return was painless, thank you REI. I also noticed that the price had gone up to $290 (This is a 16% increase in two years base on the pre-discount cost, what happen to the recession?).
I chose to exchange it since the fit is very good and I enjoy using them in the winter time since they are warm. I do not know if I can trust them for long hikes if they are going to fall apart.
I purchased these on the advice of an experienced retail outlet in the USA. I had particularly wanted something for WET mountain conditions, and these were highly recommended.
I have had them out on 5 trips now in my home area of western Norway, and am not at all satisfied.
These boots are hopeless on even slightly wet rock, even at mild gradients. Also they do not perform well on rock generally. I have lost all confidence in them and consider them a liability on anything other than areas of gravel or vegetation.
This is sad, as they are the most comfortable and waterproof boots I have yet owned.
My pair are being sent back to ASOLO via a local distributor hopefully for ASOLO to have a look at.
Since the comments in this list are so varied, ranging from "excellent" in clearly difficult terrain to the same experience I have with lack of grip in the wet, I can only suppose the is a quality control issue at ASOLO.
If you buy these, beware, and try them out on some wet rock quickly after purchase.
Price Paid: $25
Got these boots for $25 at at REI garage sale. Probably the deal of a lifetime. I'm cheap, and even I would pay at least $150 for these.
Amazing fit, amazing durability. I doubt I will have to buy another hiking boot for another decade.
Price Paid: Pro deal
Pros: Comfortable right out of the box. Good foot and ankle protection even when good-sized chunks of rock trap the foot. Require very little care. Last a long time. Good lacing system. Warm for snowshoeing and cold weather hiking. Very waterproof.
Cons: Expensive to have soles replaced. Most shops can't do it. As the person from Scandinavia wrote above, they don't have great traction on wet rock. They also don't bite into spring snow really well like my first Asolos did (Yukons). I wear Kahtoola Microspikes for those conditions and that works really well.
One guy wrote that they're hot. I wouldn't recommend them for warm weather hiking, but I tend to avoid warm weather as much as possible. Good socks (SmartWool) are a must.
Price Paid: $250
I have owned two pairs of these fine Asolo boots. Unlike many hikers, I am a large man...6' and 280lbs. I don't hike long distances, but I do hike frequently. I also fish just about every month of the year.
I live on a small ranch. The terrain on which I wear these boots varies from concrete to pasture land to heavily wooded forests and rocky lakesides. I frequently carry up to 60-70 lbs of gear, or ranch equipment. My oldest pair are about 9 years old, and they are still functional. In fact, I frequently wear them on the ranch, or a trip to Wal-Mart. They're just plain comfortable.
The newest pair are used for hiking, fishing (I frequently fish from the bank, and walk all around lakes and creeks) and working on my ranch. They have stood up to ALL the punishment I have given them, and with the Superfeet custom molded insoles, they're comfortable enough to wear for anything. I even wore them walking all day at the State Fair on concrete.
The place where they wear out for me the most is in the stiffness of the ankle area. I want that area to be really stiff to protect my ankles, and that area of the leather softens faster than any other.
I have NO complaints with the durability of the soles. These boots stand up really, really well for a guy my size. The only areas I don't like to wear them are wet/slippery surfaces or mud. Mud just cakes up in these soles.
If you buy these boots, prepare to have very happy feet. I'd really recommend Superfeet insoles as well.
Use: Bushwhacking, Farm Work, Scree Slopes
Price Paid: $34
My review might be a bit skewed, as I did not purchase these boots new, but was lucky to find a pair at an REI scratch and dent sale in my size.
That being said, these boots were simply amazing. They lasted for a little over 2 years of what I would call severe duty hiking and farm work. The weak spot seems to be the sole, as I have a friend who has these same boots and his soles blew out as mine did. I am now looking into getting them resoled as the uppers are still in excellent shape.
I have owned several pairs of hiking boots, including many lighter ones, but my problem with the lighter ones is that they lose grip after a couple months of wear. This is very important to me as I do lots of bushwhacking and scree running. These boots maintained a comfort inspiring amount of grip even until the bitter end when the toes blew out on the soles.
I have always been a stickler for "you get what you pay for" so I was not surprised to learn how much these boots cost brand new, they are worth every penny. I will be buying another pair if my current ones cannot be resoled.
Materials: leather, gore-tex
Use: multiple week expeditions, day hikes, heavy load backpacking trips, all year usage
Break-in Period: 30 miles
Price Paid: $205
I must say that these boots are awesome. I've had my pair for about 3 years now.
No issues except one: There is no toe cap. Why would you ever want a boot without a toe cap? I ended up solving my problem by making my own cap.
Other than that no complaints. You can read the other reviews to get an idea of their warmth and performance.
Use: Generally rough terrain, light to moderatly heavy packs.
Break-in Period: A few weeks of on-and-off wearing.
Weight: Heavyish but reasonable for a boot this solid.
Price Paid: 250$
I've owned these boots for about a year now, and I've used them for everything from winter snowshoeing trips to summer ascents of Mt. Washington. They've proved to be durable, comfortable, and all around just good boots. They provide plenty of support, very good traction, and an excellent ability to repel water.
My only issue was with the lacing. Early on, I used all of the eyelets on the front of the boot. The last set of eyelets on the front/bottom of the boot (the D-ring shaped ones) pulled in the leather around my narrow foot, and created a spot where the leather kinked inwards and irritated my foot. I resolved this by propping the kink outwards with a small stick and soaking the boots in a tub of water (partially submerged only). This softened up the leather and formed it back into a comfy shape. Then I tied a square knot to isolate those last two eyelets.
Other than that, these are excellent boots, and that is the only negative I can find about them. Since this is really just a personal fit issue, I would recommend them to a friend.
Materials: Leather gore
Use: Long hikes
Break-in Period: 1.5 weeks
Price Paid: $185
Amazing boot! Has held up for nearly 3.5 years. I walk approximately 7 miles a day in them.
The only issue that I did have was in extremely cold Cleveland weather they were not as warm as some of the other reviewers had said they were. Other than that they were nearly indestructible until the sole blew out yesterday. They held up extremely well In almost 5 inches of water with absolutely no leaks.
Great shoe for what I paid but a little sketchy about paying full price. Aloha.
Materials: leather, Gore-tex
Use: Witer hiking w/ heavy pack
Break-in Period: Two weeks working/ 50 + miles on trail
Price Paid: $ 248.00
All and all a solid boot. A little hard to break in though, I wore the boots two weeks to work in and still were not comfortable enough for a two or three day hike. The soles have no grip on slick wet surfaces, rock hopping a creek can easily become a quick swim. Now with those two minor cons out of the way I have to say this is an excellent boot. They are warm while hiking in snow even after a dip in the creek. I have had no issues with blisters, it is a well fitting boot.
Me and my Asolo TPS 520 GV's on the Beech Creek Trail in the Southern Nantahala Wilderness.
Materials: full grain, gore tex lined
Use: backpacking, on/off trail
Break-in Period: minimal
Weight: on the heavy side
Price Paid: who cares, it's great
Footwear is very personal I find. You can read about how this and that gets the Editor's Choice Award on Backpacker mag, but that's their feet, not yours. I (unhappily) went through a few boots before I found these Asolo, and I am so glad I did.
The fit is superb, it wraps my feet like second skin. The comfort level is off the chart. Support is incredible. For a week in the Sierra through rocky terrain with 50lb pack and grade 2-3 climbs, on 7 hour days... my feet just kept marching on in these boots with minimal fatigue and no discomfort what so ever.
The grip is excellent also, never slipped on rocks, even on a grade 3 climb (w/o a fully loaded pack), it stuck on the rock face, no problem. I would buy another pair any day. Haven't worn it in the summer, so not sure how breathable these boots are in the heat. Break-in time for me was surprisingly minimal... like almost none!
Remember though, boots are a personal thing, go try them on before you buy. These boots are available pretty much anywhere.
Use: treeplanting, rough trail w/heavy pack, short day hikes, wet trails, early winter day hikes, school
Break-in Period: it was love at first step
Price Paid: $230
My boots just broke down this summer and I am holding off buying new ones until I can get this same make and brand again.
First off, I am a tree planter and so these boots were put through some of the worst abuse possible. The average life of planting boots is in my experience is less than a full season. I got two out of these boots.
They were always incredibly comfortable, took almost no time to break in at all. They suited my hiking during the rest of the season and I even began wearing them to work and school at any opportunity because they were simply that much more comfortable and provided so much excellent support for my feet.
After the two years of hard abuse, I ripped the toe very badly and the inside fabric around the heal area became worn and ripped.
I also had a friend with the same boots and he too noticed that the inside material began to tear around the heal area at about the year mark (also a tree planter).
Materials: FG Leather w/Gore-tex
Use: day hiking and backpacking
Break-in Period: Essentially none
Weight: 4 lbs
Price Paid: $230
I use these boots for day hiking and backpacking. My previous boots were the Merrell Wilderness, to give my frame of reference. I had the Merrells for more than 20 years, and I've had these Asolos for about 3 months/roughly 60 miles on trail.
I love almost everything about these boots. They fit my feet extremely well, they took essentially no break-in time at all, they feel quite light compared to the Merrels, and not to sound corny, but they put a spring in my step. My feet seem eager to go up and forward with these boots on. I haven't had them long enough to comment on durability, but no warning signs yet.
The one thing I really dislike about them is how soft the tongue is. There are two heavy leather pads on top of the tongue, but a large space between them where the laces cross over the instep in two places. To me, this is the most important place to have the laces tight, to ensure the heel stays in the heel cup. The tongue in this area is very soft, thin leather with very light padding. When I tie the laces tight like I prefer, the laces feel like they are cutting into my instep.
I would recommend these to someone who does not like to tie his or her boots tight, but I really see this as a big weakness. Sometimes you need to really cinch them down, like on a steep, prolonged downhill, or if your socks are wet. I had to do this on about a 5-mile steep descent, and it was a very uncomfortable walk.
I miss the heavy tongue on my old Merrells, and I may be returning the Asolos because of this weakness.
Materials: leather gore-tex
Use: back country hiking, short hikes, every day wear
Break-in Period: relatively short
Price Paid: 230 USD
Hands down these are some of the best boots I have ever owned. In the past I have always had Vasque Sundowners but replaced them a year ago with Asolo 520s due to the better fit and comfort. I also was put off some by the newer Vasques being made in China while the Asolos are still made in Europe (Romania).
I live in Mid-Norway and wear these boots probably 360 days out of 365 for everything from getting to work and around town to back country hiking and have not once been disappointed. We get a lot of rain, wet snow and ice here and my feet have always stayed dry and warm when paired with a good set of Thorlo or Smart Wool socks.
For some people the weight might be a deterrent, especially if wearing them all the time. But I am used to it and prefer boots over shoes any day. Even that being said though, the weight and support is just right for back-country use. They strap tight to your feet and give a lot of support to the ankle.
While a bit stiff at first, they broke in quickly and the overall fit is great. I used to have a pain in my arch from other boots that seemed to persist no matter what I wore. After a month in the 520s it disappeared. Given my experience with them I suspect that when I eventually wear these out I will replace them with another pair.
Price Paid: $180
Pros - very good waterproof uppers (assisted with some Nikwax(TM) treatments). Comfortable, no break-in required for my high arches. Large enough to fit my custom orthotic insoles.
Cons - the TPS soles started falling apart :( within a few months of normal use (no trail hiking yet). Especially bad separation of the Vibram(R) outsole on the inside heels of both boots :( Unacceptable lack of durability.
Compare this with the last pair of Asolos I purchased 16 years ago, with the solid, one-piece Vibram(R) sole - these lasted and lasted, finally the sole wore through from a summer of road walking, so that there were no more sole tread and the inner grid reinforcement pattern started showing through.
I wish these new boots had the solid Vibram(R) outsoles - durability is a better feature for me than any "shock protection" provided by three different types of sole material, inexpertly bonded together that fall apart quickly.
Materials: Leather with Goretex
Use: 10+ mile hiking
Break-in Period: Very Short
Weight: 3 lbs. - 10 ozs. (without sweat)
Price Paid: $172*
*Paid $172 thanks to REI's 20% off sale.
A little of my boot history:
I had a pair of all-leather (inside and out) Italian made Fabiano Trioncs for 20 years. What great boots! After 20 years my foot dimension changed too much and I had to move on for the Fabianos could only form so much.
First the good:
Very comfy right out of the box.
Need very little break-in.
Well made and NOT from China.
Great to walk around in with a lively sole.
Nice quality full-grain one-piece leather as opposed to some other China feels like vinyl-leather boots that I tried on.
Ankle support. For a full-grain leather boot, I would expect a bit more support. I think the little cut-ot in the leather where there is padding impacts this. It's a trade - comfort enhancement for support. I just prefer the support.
This is not against Asolo but against all boot makers (the Asolo 520 GVs just happen to fall into this category)...Gore-tex + FULL-GRAIN LEATHER OUTERS = FOOT PUDDLES.
Folks, if you get a full-grain leather outer boot, properly treat it, it will be water resistant for anything but fly-fishing. Full-grain leather outers along with Gore-tex DOES NOT allow ones feet to breathe despite what boot makers say!
After 8 of 11 miles on the maiden hike, I started to get a hot-spot under my big toe. I sat down to address this and when I pulled the boot, my sock flopped over under the weight of accumulated sweat. When I squeezed the sock, my hand was full of moisture! This probably added an additional two ounces of weight to each foot.
Folks: Do not be suckered in by the Gore-tex hype with full leather boots! Gore-tex has its use, but not here.
REI is GREAT! I took the boots back, explained my dis-satisfaction and they credited me. I applied the credit to an ALL-leather boot (inside and out which very sadly is becoming more and more rare due to the Gore-tex monster) which is made in Germany and I LOVE THEM! I will always go with ALL leather boots.
Materials: Full grain leather uppers. Gore-tex lining
Use: 10-20 mile hikes with 30lb pack in New England weather.
Break-in Period: less than a week
Price Paid: 200 usd
These are good boots with a couple small issues for me.
1. No toe cap. This makes them look a little nicer..at first.. but I did slice the first layer of toe leather open on some ice in the first two weeks I had them.
2. They are the most slippery boots on wet rocks and ice I have ever used.
1. 100% water-proof. Even with the hole in the leather, I stood in water up to a centimeter of the top for 10 minutes and had no leaks. (they had been treated with nikwax)
2. Very short break in period. They were comfortable out of the box. Just took a bit for my heel to settle in.
3.Great heel cushioning. I have had trouble for a long time with my heels,but these keep me hiking.
4. I like the lacing. It is easy and stays tied.
I've had these for less than a year so I don't know how the longevity will be, but the craftsmanship looks solid so I'm expecting good things.
Materials: Leather and Gore-Tex
Use: Backpacking, any long hike over rough ground.
Break-in Period: Minimal (wore them to work for a few weeks).
Weight: 3 lbs/pair?
Price Paid: $172
I'm compelled to write a review of these boots, 1) because I love them, and 2) because reading these reviews helped me in my purchasing decision and I want to give back to the community.
I can't praise these boots enough. I've worn them this year in as diverse of terrain and loads as possible. From Arches National Park in Utah with a daypack, to 14,000 feet up in Colorado's San Juan mountains with 50 pounds on my back, to the old stone of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Through heat, cold, mud, and water these boots have kept my feet comfortable and dry. The ankle support is superb, the grip on rock (wet or dry) is phenomenal. Break-in period was minimal.
For the past two seasons I've had serious pain along the sides of my knees and shooting down into my calves while on long descents. I thought I would need surgery to get past this. But X-rays showed no deterioration of the bone. This year, with the Asolos, the problem disappeard. The $172 I paid (on sale) for them is a lot cheaper than surgery! They probably just lined up my anatomy better than the old boots.
For any hike where the footing may be uncertain, I can't recommend these boots enough.
Use: Heavy pack boots
Break-in Period: short
Price Paid: $220
I have really loved these boots. I have had them almost two years now, and have only just now seen a bit of a tare on the rubber on the left sole, but nothing some glue wont fix. This company has been good to me since I was 16, and I will never buy from another boot company.
If you decide to use these in the wet, get some gaiters so that they will be completely waterproof.
Use: rough stuff under heavy loads
Price Paid: $179
I had my first pair of ASOLO since 1998 - purchased for a trek through the Andes. They are a great fitting bomb proof hiker. I just retired them and replaced with the TPS 520 GV. - Only slight drawback is grip on slippery wet hard rock conditions or river forgings.
Materials: leather + gore-tex
Use: dayhikes, rough trails, multi-days trips, medium weight pack
Break-in Period: medium
Price Paid: EUR 170
Since I rely a lot on web reviews for choosing a product, I felt I have to give my 2 cents to the community.
These boots fitted my needs for my hiking and backpacking. Very sure-footed, good shock absorbtion. For some folks weight might be an issue, but I like them this way. Combined with CoolMax socks, they are even better in warm and mild weather.
The break-in period was not the shortest, for me, because I bought the same measure as for my street shoes (could not find the next measure at that moment).
Even on rocky terrain they get away with little scratches.
I treated them from new, and now at the beginning of each season with NikWax waterproofing and leather maintenance cream.
All in all, they get 5 stars on my scale!
Materials: leather Gore-tex
Use: rough trail heavy pack
Break-in Period: 1 week
Weight: 3 pounds
Price Paid: $210
I bought these and after a week break-in I went for a short 5 mile hike with a full pack to see how they were. GREAT idea after five miles my feet ached and I could barly walk the next day.
I ditched the insoles and bought Superfeet Green, no complaints since the except in freezing weather the boot freezes and becomes hard as a rock, but I fixed that by bringing a shopping bag and sleeping with them in my sleeping bag.
Use: you name it, day hikes, rough trails and heavy pack, or building a garage.
Break-in Period: As I recal they were stiff for 3 days to a week. not bad really
Weight: I dunno
Price Paid: $150 or so
I've had my Asolos for, oh, 10 years now. They are still trail worthy because of proper maintenance. A little saddle soap and some mink oil every few weeks, new vibram soles every year or three. Time for new laces now (the first change of laces to date!)
I'm in the market to buy another pair of boots cause I was mail bombed with the tax return bug, you can bet the next time you see me I'll be truckin' in another pair of Asolos.
Use: Backpacking rough trails with snow
Break-in Period: Quick
Weight: 880 g
Price Paid: $168
I bought these boots for 3/4 season backpacking trips. They were fine right out of the box with no blisters or hot spots. They were very dry without any signs of water leakage. I took them to the top of Mt. Washington at -26F in December without being even slightly cold.
But I do have one main problem with the boots. For some reason, the sole design causes me to roll my ankles outward. Because of this, I have had to purchase a new pair of boots.
Materials: Leather, Gore-tex, Vibram sole
Use: section hiking AT with heavy pack
Break-in Period: 1 week
Weight: don't know
Price Paid: $240
I love these boots. I have owned over 5 pairs since I owned my first ones over 7 years ago! They can hold up to anything. Camped out in -5 degree weather on the AT two weeks ago and everyone complained about cold feet...not me.
The only downside is that they are heavy and not too grippy on wet rocks, but since for it's the only thing I wear when I hike...it doesn't bother me anymore.
Price Paid: $205
Love these boots! Use them for everything and they feel like tennis shoes to me. I've got about 60 miles on my first pair and I am very pleased.
I have wide feet and didn't get the wide model so it took a few days to get the leather stretched out enough to be ultra comfortable. However, once the leather softened up, they were very nice.
I would recommend these boots to anyone.
Price Paid: $169
I completely wore out two pairs of Asolo boots model #AFX 520 GV. I ordered and just received Asolo’s more recent model TPS 520 from REI. The soles on the TPS 520 are considerably different than the soles on the older model. The new boots have a more aggressive arch support, and I am unable to wear them because of that. The boots fit my right foot ok, but my left foot fit is painful. Apparently the AFX 520’s are no longer available. I will have to return the TPS 520’s.
Materials: leather and gore-tex
Use: long slogs with a heavy back and dayhikes
Break-in Period: NONE
Weight: fairly heavy
Price Paid: $200 US
Best out of box fit ever! Backpacking with heavy loads in the Rockies is no problem. I have a serious mid foot problem and these boots allowed me to continue hiking. I inserted my custom orthothics and no looking back. I had my foot measured and the boot custom fitted by Frank Abissi at Higher Ground in Grand Rapids Michigan using the Phil Oren Fitsystem. I suggest you have a professional fit you. Your feet will thank you mile after mile.
Materials: Leather, Gore-Tex
Use: Work and play
Break-in Period: None
Weight: 3 or 4 LBS.
Price Paid: $210
Best boot I ever had. Mine are four years old and I have never treated them with any waterproofing. They do not leak, are comfortable and tough. Just a great boot. No break-in period. $210 is a steal for these boots. Get one size bigger than your normal shoes. All Asolo boots work that way for me, anyway. Iweigh 270 lbs and am a surveyor and put a lot of miles on these babies. The bottom is about worn off smooth, but still comfortable.
Use: Rough trail dayhikes
Break-in Period: Short for fit but they stay stiff a long time
Price Paid: $209
Great boot, only one drawback, the aluminum Gore-tex logo on the side. In the old 520s they used a brass/bronze?? logo and it was mounted at the ends, now mounted in the center so they break off leaving a sharp edge. Talked with the U.S. Asolo reps and hopefully they'll come up with a better plan in the next 520 rev.
Use: all manner of hiking, trails, training
Break-in Period: minimal
Weight: 4 lbs, 3 oz (1.905 kg)
Price Paid: $180
I fully agree with JFR's assessment of these boots. They're great. However, unless JFR has ususually small feet, the weight he quotes is highly optimistic. Mine are US 11 1/2 (EUR 46), and weigh 4 lbs, 3 oz (1.905 kg) as measured on a scale accurate +/- 1 gram. For those of us concerned with weight - who isn't? - this may be a consideration.
Price Paid: $200
Great boot for heavy loads. The support and fit are excellent. A bit stiff at first but break in time is very short. Most durable boots I have ever had. The downfalls are they are too heavy for use without a pack and traction suffers in wet; rocks or snow.
Price Paid: $210
Absolutely the best boots I've ever owned. I'm close to buying my third pair in a row which I can't say for any other boots. They are a great, comfortable, sure-footed, no blister, I can dish it out and take it, pair of boots. I use my old ones for caving trips.
Price Paid: $180
They fitted my wide-toes narrow heel foot well, and supported my ankles well. Break-in period is relatively short. Unfortunately, the boots are not breathable enough and my feet felt very hot in them at 50F hiking. I don't know if this is because of the gore-tex liner or smth else.
Materials: leather, Gore-tex
Use: hiking, climbing, and moderate weight pack
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $200-ish
Awesome comfort in rocky terrian and very warm in the winter. It stayed cool in mild weaher, too. The sole holds up nicely. The materials are superb. Worth every penny.
Use: 5-6 day backpacking, hiking, causal wear
Break-in Period: none to one hiking day at the most
Weight: they are a bit weighty
Price Paid: $150
These are the most durable and comfortable backpacking and hiking boots I've ever bought. They are also very nice looking... I even wear them about-town with jeans.
Use: dayhikes and overnighters
Break-in Period: o
Price Paid: $125
Found some barely used on Ebay. Couldn't be happier. Great boot. Not one blister yet.
Materials: Leather, Gore-Tex, Vibram
Use: Short dayhikes, everyday use
Break-in Period: About one week
Weight: 781 grams
Price Paid: $209
The support and absorption that these boots offer are superb. I love them.
Where to Buy
Compare prices from 8 outdoor retailers: