Asolo Falcon GV Review
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Asolo Falcon GV
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|$114.98 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Out-of-the-box comfort, high top support, lightweight||Top-level hiking boot performance, excels in all metrics||Lightweight, comfortable, excellent traction||Incredibly lightweight, comfortable||Very comfortable, supportive|
|Cons||Low profile sole pattern, durability concerns||Expensive, not as great for hot and dry climates||Narrow fit, slightly small sizing||Less durable than heavier models, thin sole||Average waterproofing, fair traction|
|Bottom Line||A comfortable and supportive hiking boot that offers excellent waterproofness in a lightweight package||The gold standard of what a great hiking boot should be, and we heartily recommend it for those seeking the best possible performance on and off the trail||This high-performing hiking boot tears up technical terrain with maximum precision and is at home far from the trail||This mid-top hiking boot is ridiculously lightweight, though it offers excellent stability and traction for fast and light objectives||This super comfortable hiking shoe is one of our favorite budget-friendly models|
|Rating Categories||Asolo Falcon GV||Salomon Quest 4 Gor...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Salomon X Ultra Mid...||Merrell Moab 3 Mid...|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Asolo Falcon GV||Salomon Quest 4 Gor...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Salomon X Ultra Mid...||Merrell Moab 3 Mid...|
|Weight (per pair)||2.48 lbs (size 11)||2.90 lbs (size 11)||2.08 lbs (size 45 EU)||1.85 lbs (size 11)||2.36 lbs (size 11)|
|Boot Type||Lightweight hiker/day hiker||Midweight hiker/backpacking boot||Lightweight hiker/day hiker||Midweight hiker/backpacking boot||Midweight hiker/backpacking boot|
|Width Options||Regular||Regular||Regular, Wide||Regular||Regular, Wide|
|Waterproof Lining||GORE-TEX extended comfort||Gore-Tex||GORE-TEX extended comfort||Gore-Tex||Waterproof membrane|
|Upper||Water-resistant suede||Leather and nylon||AirMesh, microfiber, TPU||PU coated leather||Pigskin leather, mesh|
|Last Board/Shank||Asoloflex 00 SR||4D Chassis||Nylon molded flex TPU||Molded shank||Molded nylon|
|Midsole||Dual-density EVA||EnergyCell||Injection-molded MEMlex||SensiFit||Super Rebound Compound|
|Sole||Vibram MegaGrip||Contagrip||FriXion XF 2.0||Contagrip||Vibram TC5+|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Falcon GV is a perfect representation of the advances in materials technology that have allowed footwear to maintain the same levels of support and stability while shedding pounds of weight. While not the lightest hiking boots in our review, they are remarkably protective for their weight, making them a model worth checking out.
Our lead reviewer pulled these boots out of the box, slipped them on, and took off to guide a 3-day ascent of North Palisade in the Sierra Nevada. While not technically difficult, this route travels through trail and talus, up scree, and over rough passes. He found the Falcon GV to be immediately comfortable, requiring no break-in period, as the outer material is made from a combination of soft suede and nylon mesh.
The toe box is roomy but can still be laced securely enough to scramble confidently over boulders, and the TPU toe cap protects your toes. The lacing system is traditional, making it easy to replace the laces once worn out. We tested these boots in both hot and cool conditions and were impressed at how well they breathed even during high-output ascents.
With a relatively tall ankle collar, the Falcon GV snugly protects us from rolling our ankles while hiking over rough or uneven ground, situations where we are at our most vulnerable as hikers. These boots are more narrow than others, with a forefoot width of 4.25", which is generally speaking a liability, though we found their width to be appropriate and did not feel at any greater risk of rolling our ankles.
Compared to a stiffer model, these boots are soft and pliable in the sole. Though this makes for better smearing ability on the rock, it also translates into more fatigued feet at the end of a hiking day and the ability to feel more pointy objects on the trail.
The Falcon GV boots showed overall average performance in traction when considering all the terrain types we encountered. This boot features a quality Vibram rubber compound called MegaGrip, which has been used effectively in high-performance approach shoes and is certainly some of the stickiest rubber in this review. The sole uses a lower profile lug pattern than most. This makes these boots quite useful on slabby rock but limits their usefulness on loose or wet terrain.
We picked these boots up and immediately questioned their ability to withstand our 5-minute water submersion test due to the copious nylon used in the outer, but were blown away by how well the Gore-Tex Extended Comfort membrane repels water. Well after the 5 minutes had elapsed, we still had no signs of leakage, and only got out of the mountain stream we used because our feet were getting cold!
With a flood height of 5.75 inches, these boots provide as much protection as big leather boots do. That alone makes these boots an appealing choice for those who encounter lots of stream crossings on their hiking excursions but want to keep the weight on their feet relatively low.
We weighed these in at 2.48 pounds per pair in a size 11 (US), which is on the light side of average, though this list includes some seriously featherweight models that skew this rating slightly. With their ankle collar height, overall flood height, and waterproofness, these boots offer a lot for their weight.
We didn't put the kid gloves on when we took the Falcon boots for their initial test drive - we plowed them right through endless granite basins and kicked steps up loose scree gullies. Though we would tend to prefer a boot that has a full leather outer in these conditions, we were impressed that the supple suede and nylon upper was in as good of shape as it was at the end of that trip. The high-tenacity nylon showed no abrasion, while the suede around the heel cup was scuffed. These boots will likely last for a few years if treated kindly, and perhaps only a season if worn hard.
Should You Buy the Asolo Falcon GV?
The Asolo Falcon GV is a premium boot that comes with a premium price. It features lightweight materials and provides good water protection, but due to its price, we suggest weighing out your needs, as there are other models with a better overall performance at a lower price.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
There are many options that are lighter weight with far better traction than the Falcon GV. For example, the lightweight all-star Salomon X Ultra Mid 4 Gore-Tex bests this model in nearly every test metric and allows you to hang onto a significant chunk of change. The Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex is our favorite pair, and we also like the all-around solid performance of the Keen Targhee II Mid, which comes at a great price point and are excellent for those with wider feet.
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