Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Review of My New Boots

Recently, I took a big step as a hiker and decided to replace my hiking boots. Jill and I have been consistently hiking for just over a year now and the set of Merrell's I purchased last summer have taken a beating and believe it or not, they are already starting to fall apart. So, I started the search for a new set of boots this past April. After reading many reviews and conferring with my buddy Matt Reitan (an extremely experienced hiker), I decided on a pair of Asolo TPS 520 GV's. They were a bit more than I wanted to spend, but Matt's Asolo 500 series boots have lasted him 11 years, through many, many hikes. This pretty much sold me, even at the high price.

I got them at EMS, where I still have a student discount (still part time trying to get my Masters) of 15%. So when all was said and done, I think I got a good deal on them. To start out, they were extremely stiff. I've heard that this is a characteristic of a good boot. In the case of this boot, the stiffness is a product of a really good, hard shank. This is something that is a necessity on a rocky, uneven trail. I found early on with these boots, that the tightness of the laces were very important in order for them to be comfortable on me. Too tight and my ankles and foot started to hurt, too loose and I felt my foot slide back and forth. I know this sounds obvious, but with these boots, there was a very small window between too tight and too loose. I found myself adjusting a couple times on the trail before finding the sweet spot.

The first hike with these boots wasn't bad on ascent, but my feet started to ache a bit on the descent. I could easily tell it was due to the stiffness of the boots. After hiking in them a few more times, this stiffness started to subside and the comfort level for these boots increased drastically. To improve the comfort even further, I replaced the factory insoles with SoreDAWG insoles. I went with the "Expedition" model insoles because they had the lowest arch of all their products (I have flat feet). The SoreDAWG insoles made the comfort of these boots even better.

So, I give these Asolo boots a high score. I would give Asolo a 10 out of 10, two thumbs up and five stars. I highly recommend them to any peak baggers, backpackers or day hikers out there that may be in the market for new footwear.



  1. I recently replaced my old pair of Asolos -- which lasted me about 7-8 years of solid hiking -- with the exact boots you purchased. I couldn't find my old model, and found I actually had to go to a man's boot for width comfort. They do take more breaking in than some, but so far, they rock! And anyone I know who wears them say they serve well on the trail. :))

    Happy Hiking!
    Deb (Hiking_Yogini)

  2. Way to go Karl, I'm currently on my third pair of Asolo and doubt I'll ever buy another type of boot again as long as they keep making them. 11 years though? Mine average 3!

  3. Deb/Dan and Meena,

    Thanks, you're helping to reassure me that my money was well spent on these boots.

    Yes, 11 years was a long time and unfortunately, the soles finally fell off my buddy Matt's boots during his northern Presidential traverse two weekends ago. He had to literally duct tape them together in order to hike out. My guess is he'll be investing in a new pair of Asolo boots very soon.

    Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. Come back and visit again soon!


  4. I tried these same boots on at EMS a couple days ago. I forgot how stiff and rigid a new pair of boots can be, but once you wear them in, they are truly an extension of the foot.

    I miss my Asolos...They were a great partner!