Asolo Drifter GV
These are great all-purpose hiking boots. Tremendous support and stability, while securing my narrow heel without slippage.
- Great lacing system for adjustable fit
- Very supportive footbed
- Vibram soles could have more grip
I am a large hiker, 6'4" and 210 pounds. I have also suffered a snapped Achilles on my right ankle and plantar fasciitis on both feet. I have rather narrow heels. All this means I am very attuned to finding boots that have great heel/ankle support and can be snugged to provide a slip-free fit.
After trying many different boots at REI, I finally settled on the Asolo Drifter and I could not be happier. Over the past three summers, I have hiked many sections of the Appalachian Trail in the boot. I have never had issues with foot pain or blisters and the boots provide tremendous stability for my heels and ankles. Even carrying loads of up to 40 pounds for 15 miles a day, my feet have held up without issue.
Even laced tightly to my ankles for support, there is no rubbing or chafing from the ankle pads. I did replace the insole with a pair of Superfeet inserts.
The Vibram soles did seem a bit slippery on some wet rocks, but that is a minor complaint on an otherwise solid hiking boot.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $200
The fit is great for a high instep. Comfortable straight out of the box. Good grip, but not for crossing streams on slippery rocks.
- Comes in wides
- Quick to break in for a stiff boot
- Nice lacing pattern to hold foot in
- Not an all around grippy bottom
- Might be too stiff for some
Rarely do I purchase any footwear without trying it on first, but I made an exception when I came across a deal online. From reading other reviews, I gathered enough info to base my current knowledge on that I'd need a wide size.
I bought a 14w and the fit was very desirable. I have a thin foot height wise, but a high instep which makes for a tricky fit. The lacing pattern helps my thin foot stay in place best with a medium weight sock. Which is perfect because I mainly wanted this boot for three season hiking use.
Comfort was spot on, firm, but cushioned. I usually don't like rigid boots because they tend to rub my shins wrong. These having a good fit changed that, so I'm glad I gave them a shot. Part of the comfort for me was the curved midsole in the boot. Some people call this support, I call it smart fitting. A foot has curves and your footwear should too.
No need for a footbed in these for me. Everything I previously mentioned also means no hot spots. I can see why some people would think this boot is narrow. Shapes are important and every foot has to fit a dynamic the Asolo tend to fit a athletic foot I'd say.
Another reason I wanted this boot was its Gore-tex lining. I wanted it to perform in spring and fall. Not a problem. Worn purposely on raining days with no gaiters and also crossed creeks which met my expectations of dryness.
On that note, while crossing creeks on slippery rocks, I felt a little give in the sole taking my confidence away for a brief moment. I didn't like that, but as far as wet trails, roots, gravel, they seem to answer fine.
I personally haven't had any issue with temp control in this boot, but I have in the past with Gore-tex products. One of the trials of this boot for me was to see if having a fabric versus a full leather shoe would breathe better. I'm guessing in this case the answer is yes.
I purchased this boot in March of 2015 and I used it for a couple hundred miles as it's not my go-to, but it suits what I wanted—a boot that is good all around for unexpected conditions that feels good no matter when I decide to wear it. I'm confident in saying that this boot will probably be in my closet as long as my Merrell Wildernesses which keep going even after 12 years. Asolos have my respect.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $123
Good summer hiking boot for loads under 30 lbs.
- Good ankle support
- Great traction from Vibram sole
Drifters are probably best for medium to narrow feet. Lacing system locks heel in very well, so no rubbing at all. Break-in time was about 5 miles and they felt like they were broken in.
Ankle support is excellent and the Vibram soles kept me from feeling rocks on the bottoms of my feet. Didn't go through any wet weather, but they appear to be pretty waterproof.
These are perfect for spring and summer hiking or backpacking. Don't think they would hold up in the cold though. Very lightweight with great support. Have had these for three months and have would highly recommend them.
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