ASOLO FUGITIVE GTX REVIEW: BEST HIKING BOOTS
As you hike along, whether on the Appalachian Trail or just in your state park, contemplate the comfort, water resistance, and durability of the Asolo Fugitive GTX hiking boots. Notice the quickness with which they break in and conform to the shape of your foot. Take note of the Gore-Tex liner and water-resistant suede upper. Now, look at the long-lasting durability of the Fugitive GTX, seven to ten years of use!
Put that together, and you almost have a perfect hiking boot. No matter if you walk five miles or 80, you are sure to get the same comfort, water resistance, and durability, along with many other great features.
|Lining||Waterproof breathable membrane/nylon|
|Can Be Resoled||Yes|
|Average Footwear Weight (Pair)||3 lbs. 2 oz.|
The Asolo Fugitive GTX hiking boots have a spectacular upper which provides reliable and breathable waterproof capability that beats out other boots by a wide margin. It also has excellent durability due to the materials of the outsole, and the rubber toe cap protects your foot well. Metal eyelets make the lacing design more durable. Finally, the sturdiness of these boots means they are suitable for up to 30 pounds of backpack weight.
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The Asolo Fugitive GTX hiking boots have great comfort features. The first thing you will notice is that they conform to the contours of your feet very quickly. In fact, they may break-in within just a few days to a week. The lace-up design adds to this effect, further fitting the shoe to the shape of your foot.
On the trail, you will also note that your feet stay dry and cool in the warm weather and dry and warm in the cool weather. This is thanks to the Gore-Tex liner, which makes the shoe breathable and waterproof. Another great feature is the protective rubber toe cap, which will protect your toes from rocks and other painful objects, while also keeping your toe box open and wide to prevent squishing of the toes.
The toe box is quite roomy as well, allowing for plenty of wiggle space for your toes. While the footbed is not very cushioned (it does have some cushioning), there is plenty of room for an insole to be inserted, and you should be able to find a good insole at a budget price. With the polyurethane midsole and an additional insole, the foot bed will be very comfortable for your foot.
When you wear the Asolo Fugitive GTX hiking boots, your ankles will be fully supported without the feeling of constriction that some other products give. Snug and comfortable, the boot is six inches tall, allowing the boot to cover your ankle completely. However, other boots offer a higher ankle support, putting this hiking boot in the lower part of the height range.
Made of Syncro rubber and polyurethane, the outsole has a perfect balance of stiffness and flexibility, supporting the foot as you walk to help prevent turning or twisting. The heel support is made of a panel of thermal polyurethane for increased stability around your heel and ankle.
Though the traction seems slippery at first, this is quickly solved in a few hours’ time. After this period, you will be able to quickly scale rocky or rough terrain thanks to the flexibility of the forefoot and the tread.
The Asobrake design on the heel also lends to excellent traction, particularly on steep descents, because of the forward-slanted tread on that part of the hiking boot. These boots will also conform more to the rocks and other objects underfoot since the tread is soft compared to many other hiking boots. You will probably find that, after the first few hours, you have excellent traction on all terrains and barely notice the objects underfoot as you walk over rocks, nuts, and other hard objects that would usually make you slip and possibly even fall.
When tried on, the weight of the boots (3 pounds, 2 ounces) feels more like three pounds per boot. Their weight is greater than many other hiking boots, but this is because of a stiffer outsole, more rigid ankle support, and higher quality materials. You may have to use more energy to move your feet because of the added weight, but you will have a greater degree of comfort and support no matter the terrain you are traversing.
If you are the type of person to drag your feet, these boots won’t help prevent this problem as the heavier boots will mean you are more likely to drag, thus wearing down the forefoot and toe cap faster.
Thanks to the Gore-Tex liner, no water or mud will seep through the upper to soak your socks and feet. The water-resistant suede also helps prevent seeping and even keeps water from sitting on your boot to soak the outside of the upper. You will not have to worry about handling wet boots when you go to remove these.
The Fugitive GTX’s seams do not pop, even after years of wear, preventing problems with the waterproof capabilities of the boot. The only way water or mud is going to get in these boots is if it rises over the top of the ankle.
The quality materials that make up this boot will give it a long-lasting durability. Some users have reported long lives of up to 10 years, with the average being about seven years. However, the tread will not last as long. Because of its softness, it will likely last about 500 miles, less if worn on paved paths or roads.
The seams hold up very well, with no popped seams after many years, and as long as you keep performing maintenance on them, the waterproof liner will hold up very well for many years to come. If you buy a used pair of Fugitive GTX hiking boots, be sure they are not from 2012, as the company had a bad glue patch that year. Other than the boots from 2012, the glue on these hiking boots holds up very well, with no part of the shoe coming unglued in the many years that most users have them.
If your pack is heavier than 30 pounds, you may want to consider a stiffer hiking boot. Because the Fugitive GTX are so bomb-proof, they do not allow you to feel the terrain beneath your feet. Thus, they are best for bad ground, and you may want to wear a more agile boot otherwise. Another limitation of these boots is that the ankle support only goes to just above the ankle and may not provide enough support for some people. In this case, you might want to consider a higher boot.
While these hiking boots do great on paved trails, they are best used for mixed, muddy, rocky, or unstable terrain. This is because the Fugitive GTX hiking boots excel at this type of terrain with their waterproof capability and robust but flexible outsole. Also, these boots are best suited to use with a backpack weighing 30 pounds or less.
For the high-quality materials and many features that you get in the Asolo Fugitive GTX hiking boots, these boots are a great value. More specifically, the waterproof Gore-Tex liner, as well as the rubber toe cap and quick break-in time frame make them worth the price. Another great thing about these hiking boots is their durability. Some people have claimed up to 10 years of use, which makes the footwear well worth their price.
The Asolo Fugitive GTX are men’s hiking boots. If you are a woman, you can still wear these, provided you convert your size over, but you are likely going to be better off with the women’s version. The women’s version of the Asolo Fugitive GTX are the Asolo Fission GV. There is no difference in features or quality of material between the two. They are the same boots, save for the difference in sizes. There is a slight weight difference also, but this is due to the Fission GV hiking boots running rather smaller than the Fugitive GTX.
Since the Fugitive GTX can be lace-eaters, you will probably want to find replacement laces to keep on hand. You can get extra laces directly from Asolo’s store. Just select the size of your shoe and the color shoelaces you want, and they’ll ship them from their warehouse in New Hampshire. Asolo will also resole your shoes when the tread wears out, allowing them to last for longer than expected.
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(At 2 pounds, 7 ounces, the Salomon Quest hiking boots are significantly lighter than the Asolo Fugitive hiking boots. You can truly feel the difference when you wear them. Other than weight, many of the features are the same.
The Quests boots have a Gore-Tex liner for a waterproof seal, leather and nylon upper, and a polyurethane midsole. The outsole is significantly different, however. Instead of the Fugitive’s stiff rubber and polyurethane outsole, it has a full rubber one, bringing more flexibility to the forefoot and providing more grip on rough terrain, particularly on steep inclines. Finally, the Salomon Quest has a higher ankle support, which some may find more beneficial to preventing injury.
Where the Asolo Fugitive GTX have leather and polyurethane uppers, the Danner Mountain hiking boots have all-leather uppers. This means that the Danner Mountain boots will take longer to break in and will stretch over time. Because they are all leather, the Mountain boots are five ounces per boot heavier than the Fugitive boots. This means you will have to put even more energy into the Danner Mountain boots than the Fugitive GTX. Some of the features they share, on the other hand, are a Gore-Tex liner, stiff outsole, and long-lasting durability. Unlike the Asolo Fugitive GTX, which tends to run long and narrow, the Danner Mountain run true to size most of the time.
In an age when everyone seems to be locked to their small blue screens, I am vehemently passionate about getting more people outside to enjoy the wonder of nature. I grew up with the outdoors on my doorstep, and when I headed off to university I picked a degree in geology that allowed me to spend a lot of time outside on field trips! Over the last 30 years, I have camped or hiked through the wilderness on 5 continents. I hope my posts are informative for both the grizzled veteran and the complete novice alike.