Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Great support, comfortable, durable.
Best Uses: Backpacking (particularly with heavy loads,) canoe tripping, rescue work.
The Asolo Power Matic is an extremely well built all-leather boot. We loved it for its snug fit, well-padded insole, and great support. If you are looking for a hiker to keep your ankles safe on any terrain, this is the one. It's also incredibly durable. After over three months of constant, brutal use, it carries only minor aesthetic damage. It's a lifetime investment.
Being all leather, these are rather uncomfortable for warm weather hiking. If you are mostly backpacking in summer climes, we recommend something more breathable, like the Moab Ventilator. They are also extremely heavy. If you want something lighter without totally compromising support, try the La Sportiva Eco, or eschew support in favor of the cotton alpaca cloud fluffy love-muffin comfort of the Keen Targhee. There are definitely cheaper options out there (the Asolo retails for nearly $300), but for pure burliness, nothing beats the Asolo Power Matic.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Of the boots tested, none could parallel the Asolo Power Matic in support. The interior is incredibly comfortable and the footbed and heel are well padded. One of the things we liked most was the tightening system. Every rivet is equipped with a tiny pulley, helping you get a fit a snug as a New Yorker in an 8 a.m. subway car.
Perhaps our favorite thing about the Power Matic was its durability. We dragged it through the woods of northern Ontario and Quebec for seven weeks of canoe tripping and it performed beautifully, suffering only minor aesthetic damage (scuffing around the toe). In similar conditions, the La Sportiva Eco lost a rivet and the Scarpa Kailash started falling apart at the seams. The Asolo's construction is unquestionably solid. Every rivet has been driven deep into the leather and all high-wear areas are seamless. This was the only boot we tested that we felt could legitimately last for generations.
Our only qualms with the Asolo Power Matic were weight and breathability. At three pounds twelve ounces per pair, they were the heaviest tested. They are definitely not for those concerned with weight. As for breathability, what can you expect? They are leather. Don't wear them on a hot day, don't wear them in the desert, and always bring a banana to a party.
We recommend the Asolo Power Matic for backpacking with heavy loads, lumberjacking, canoe tripping, working with heavy machinery, and unicorn hunting. These boots will protect your feet and ankles against twisting, rolling, axes, rocks, logs, horses, liberals, and/or unexpected holes in the ground. We recommend the Asolo Power Matic for anything that requires uncompromising protection.
Retailing for nearly $300, the Asolo Power Matic is among the priciest of the boots tested. That said, it can take more than its share of abuse and could last more than a lifetime. A worthy investment.
— Atherton Phleger
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: December 20, 2012
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