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Asolo Fugitive GTX Review

   

Hiking Boots - Men's

  • Currently 4.1/5
Overall avg rating 4.1 of 5 based on 12 reviews. Most recent review: September 28, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $225 - $230 | Compare prices at 8 resellers
Pros:  Exceptionally waterproof.
Cons:  Unecessary components and flashy design.
Best Uses:  Winter hiking, backpacking.
User Rating:     
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 (4.4 of 5) based on 11 reviews
Recommendations:  90% of reviewers (9/10) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Asolo
Review by: Atherton Phleger ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ August 22, 2014  
Overview
The Asolo Fugitive GTX 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 200 might be good. 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

Likes
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.

Dislikes
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.

Best application
This is a great boot for dayhiking and backpacking. Because it is phenomenally waterproof, it works great for foul-weather activities and winter dayhiking.

Value
The Asolo Fugitive averages around $200. Spend $25-50 less on the La Sportiva Eco for a boot that will last longer.

Other Versions
The Asolo Stynger Gtx, $225, is the women's version of Asolo Fugitive.

The Asolo Bullet GTX and Asolo Bullet GTX - Women's, $260, are a mid-weight waterproof boot that are adequate to day hike in and can handle longer backpacking trips.

Atherton Phleger

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: September 28, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.4)

90% of 10 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
11 Total Ratings
5 star: 55%  (6)
4 star: 27%  (3)
3 star: 9%  (1)
2 star: 9%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 11 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Sep 28, 2014 - 03:20pm
Charlie · Backpacker · Illinois
I don't understand why this is being compared to a mountaineering boot, but I'm not a mountaineer so maybe I'm missing some specific cue that others might know. The construction is lightweight suede/nylon/Gore-tex, the same as most other hiking/backpacking boots of this sort. I've had a series of similarly constructed boots over the last 20 years that I use for day hiking, backpacking (w/ 50 lb pack) and general daily winter use. Within this boot-type it is just slightly on the stiffer/heavier side and correspondingly more substantial and supportive (comparing to other suede/nylon/Gore-tex boots, not heavier solid leather ones). Basically, it protects my feet and ankles when I take my (now too infrequent) trips to the high Sierra.

If I could hike/backpack as much as I wanted, I guess these would last 1 or 2 seasons just like any other similar lightweight boot. Sadly, most of the miles I put on these are on Midwest sidewalks going to and from work. But they are very uneven sidewalks ;). It's the Midwest so we get a bit of snow and ice and a whole lot of salt. My current pair is nearing end of life with the upper fabric now wearing through. I guess that is the expected point of failure given my usage. This pair is 5 years old now.

My main complaint (contrary to review above) is that these boots were no longer waterproof after about 1 season of use, which was much earlier failure of the Gore-tex liner than I had experienced with other boots of this type of construction. Maybe my expectation is too high, but my last 2 pair of Vasque boots could withstand standing in 3 inches of water for any length of time right up to the time that they were failing for other reasons. But, even if not totally waterproof, they are still water resistant, and maybe would be more so with proper maintenance (which I don't do).

On the other hand, these are the most comfortable boots that I have ever had, by a wide margin. I don't know what it is exactly, but I just want to put them on if it is rainy or snowy or cold outside. Of course, I want to take them off after about 15 miles on the trail, but less so than any previous boots I've had. Perhaps my feet just happen to match the feet of the Italians or Hungarians that Asolo uses for design testing - I don't know.

The remarkable thing is that they work so well even with my sporadic hiking/backpacking activity. I think these have been on only 3 decent east-side Sierra trips with 50 lb pack. But I can do that and feel absolutely confident that there will be no toe jamming, hotspots or blisters, ever, and my ankles are safe. I don't remember any trouble breaking them in.

Planning JMT next summer which will require new pair of boots. I will try some other lightweight hiking/backpacking boots recommended here, and maybe the slightly lighter Asolo Drifter (since I'm trying to go "lightweight"). I suspect that all of these are great boots and many would be appropriate for my trip. However, comfort level and reliability is just too good with my current pair. I'm going to be very reluctant to take a chance on anything different (I felt that way a little with my last pair of Vasque boots, but not nearly so strongly).

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Aug 22, 2014 - 11:59pm
Srbphoto · Climber · Kennewick wa
This is an awesome shoe! A great hiker. Why are they saying it tries to be a mountaineer boot? Asolo never makes that claim, they say it is a hiker. It probably isn't a very good running shoe either. Review it for what it is.

I have worn these for many years and I have fit many in them. I cannot recall anyone coming back unhappy. But I do remember a lot coming back for another pair.

Heck, even Les Stroud wears them :)

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   May 23, 2014 - 01:06am
freedog907 · Backpacker · Anchorage, Alaska
Everyone I know that raves about these boots all point to one thing..FIT. For some reason these boots just fit a lot of different feet, JUST RIGHT. Comfortable right out of the box..no break in period for either pair I've owned. And yes, they do have a little extra flash and they do look a bit like a mountaineering boot and I see that really offends the reviewers, but..wait for it..THAT'S MARKETING. I really like the look of these boots and welcome the extra touches as these are a pair of good looking boots.

Now, on the real merits of the boot….my first pair was resoled twice before I finally broke down and purchased a new pair, 8 years later…and not one stitch, not one eyelet had been broken or compromised. And I hike a lot in rougher terrain and with a backpack throughout Alaska.

The only issue was that the material in the heel (that grey stuff) finally gave way and basically crumbled. As mentioned, the uppers were still going strong.

These boots are perfect all in one..they are relatively light, excellent support, a little bit stiffer sole yet so comfortable. I wear mine on day hikes or 10 day backpacking trips and they definitely do the job..Again..FIT, COMFORT, QUALITY.

Buy these, you won't be dissapointed.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 28, 2014 - 11:32pm
Benjamin · Backpacker · Houston, Tx
I bought these "very slightly" used boots(I paid $120), and so far so good. - Haven't really pushed them yet, but on a recent 35F fairly flat backpack (50# pack) for 2 days, my feet felt good. I'm 6'1" & 230#: Good support, good fit, good sole stiffness vs. flex.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 28, 2014 - 09:59am
spauldeagle · Backpacker · michigan, florida, georgia, seattle washington
This boot has been my go to and almost every day use over the last 8 years.. I am an arborist and climb, hike, camp, and travel quite a bit. I've lived all over the country from michigan, florida, georgia, and seattle. Ive been through about 5 pairs over the 8ish years. they are my light weight 3 season boot.. sometimes (when snowshoeing) as well. breathable, water proof, and solid. they have saved my ankle from rolling quite a bit. I've hiked with as much as 65lbs of gear, on extended hikes. I chose this boot initially because asolo tends to fit narrow feet better. By all means I'm not saying this boot is the end all be all, it suits by needs and has stood the test of daily function and durability in a demanding career of climbing and recreation. I also have the leather asolo 550 gtx.. much enjoy the leathers as well. a bit more classy look with quality construction.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Dec 20, 2012 - 01:27pm
Patrick Caulfield · Hiker · CANON CITY
I have used them going on a year, only here in Colorado. This is my back-up boot. It is a hiking boot vs. the Asolo Powermatic, which is a backpacking boot and my go to boot.

Its a very good boot, but after a day of carrying a load your feet will feel more tired vs. the Powermatic. The sole is more flexible (better for hiking, but not for rough off trailing with a pack). The support is also less then a full on packpacking boot. Lighter then a full leather boot as you would expect.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Sep 12, 2012 - 12:11am
Other posters have posted about this not being a mountaineering boot. That it is not. I did take this boot up Mt. Olympus with crampons and it did not fare so well. Wished I would have had my Millets. Nonetheless, this has been my favorite pair of hiking boots that I have owned. I like the style compared to other full leather boots, and boy these things stay dry with the Gore-tex liners. I have never had a pair of boots stay so dry. My only complaint is the the soles seem to wear a bit more quickly than other boots, but the tradeoff is that it seems to be a sticker rubber, so good for scrambling/etc on rock. These are very well constructed, have a very short break in period, and even though I have replaced them with a new pair, they still get worn quite a bit as I can't seem to part with my first pair of Fugutives.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Sep 4, 2012 - 09:25pm
Ron Anderson · Climber · USA Carson city Nev.


Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Sep 4, 2012 - 09:25pm
Ron Anderson · Climber · USA Carson city Nev.
My review of these boots is the same as the first. Too soft to be a mountain boot- a nice hiker for sure, but not equipped to be climbing much. The flaring of the edges past the welt makes them sloppy on the edges also.
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   Sep 4, 2012 - 08:49pm
SeriousTool · Climber · Kennebunk, ME
Have done Kings Peak, Mt. Peale, Mt. Washington (and others in the Presidential Range), Katadhin, Tumbledown, and numerous low level hiking trips in these since I bought them in August 2011…. Really like them. Very quick break in period. Waterproof through the winter, and minimal blistering on Very long hikes like the Henry Fork Trail in the High Unita Wilderness of Utah. Sure the styling is a bit overboard, but who buys boots based on styling?

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jun 12, 2012 - 02:14pm
ericq99 · Climber · Austin
agree with writeup that these are not mountaineering boots, but they sure are a great, flexible (comfortable out of the box) waterproof backpacking/hiking boot that I use for light winter use (mild snow and ice).

Compared to waterproof Montrail and Merrell boots I've owned these are much more comfortable for all day wear and handle great on rocky terrain.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Asolo Fugitive GTX
Asolo Fugitive GTX
Credit: Asolo
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