Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Exceptionally waterproof.
Cons: Unecessary components and flashy design.
Best Uses: Winter hiking, backpacking.
The Asolo fugitive tries very hard to be a mountaineering boot. In some respects it succeeds at this. It is very waterproof, it has decent insulation, and all the styling of the La Sportiva Trango. But trying to style it as if it is a mountaineering boot is a bit like pinning a peacocks plume to a pigeon. Its gaudy, unappealing, and a bit deceptive. It isn't for mountaineering. It's not crampon compatible, and the sole is a bit too flexible to work well with strap-on crampons. And while it is plenty waterproof, the insulation simply isn't good enough for any serious winter use.
If you are looking for an option that might be able to take some heavy winter use, the Asolo Power Matic might be good. If you simply want a durable synthetic hiker, try the La Sportiva Eco. It's significantly cheaper and has all the functionality of the Fugitive, but without the frills.
The great tragedy of the Asolo Fugitive is that they've taken a good hiker and tried to dress it up as if it were something else. Overall, we liked it, but we expected something better.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Perhaps this hiker's greatest strength is its waterproofing. It began, and has stayed, completely impermeable. It doesn't hold any water; dew will bead up and roll off. This keeps it light and helps the interior dry quickly.
While not better than the La Sportiva Eco, the tread is excellent, and has no trouble sticking to wet, mossy rock and muddy hillsides. The sole is fairly firm, which is a mixed blessing. It helps a bit on talus slopes, uneven ground, and scrambles, but leads to an inevitably slower pace because your foot can't flex as it normally does.
Everything feels a bit cheap. The lower brackets are too small for the laces, so they are difficult to lace up and difficult to keep laced. The rivets are jointed, a flashy, pointless addition which contributes nothing but additional points of failure. There is too much material on the tongue, so getting a tight but comfortable fit is difficult.
We haven't had the Asolo Fugitive for long enough to break it, but boots with that sort of design will often fail along the inside edge, where the foot flexes.
This is a great boot for dayhiking and backpacking. Because it is phenomenally waterproof, it works great for foul-weather activities and winter dayhiking.
The Asolo Fugitive averages around $200. Spend $25-50 less on the La Sportiva Eco for a boot that will last longer.
— Atherton Phleger
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: January 28, 2014
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