The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Asolo Falcon GV Review

A comfortable and supportive hiking boot that offers excellent waterproofness in a lightweight package.
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Price:  $225 List | $168.71 at MooseJaw
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Out-of-the-box comfort, high top support, lightweight
Cons:  Low profile sole pattern, durability concerns
Manufacturer:   Asolo
By Ryan Huetter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 16, 2018
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 15
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Stability - 20% 6
  • Traction - 15% 4
  • Weight - 15% 7
  • Water Resistance - 15% 8
  • Durability - 10% 6

The Skinny

The Asolo Falcon GV is a midweight hiking boot that offers full ankle protection and excellent waterproofing despite being much lighter than some of its direct competitors. These boots were comfortable right from the first moment we put them on and tackled a two-night backpacking trip with a peak scramble without causing our lead tester any foot pain or blisters.

While we were quite impressed with their overall performance, we feel that the Falcon GV's sole pattern is too light-duty to be useful in mud, snow or loose terrain. In these conditions, a more robust lug pattern such as found on their big brother, the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV inspires more confidence.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Falcon GV is a perfect representation of the advances in materials technology which have allowed footwear to maintain the same levels of support and stability while shedding pounds of weight off. While not the lightest boots in our review, they are remarkably protective for their weight, making them a model worth looking at.

Performance Comparison


The Falcon GV in their element: willing to tackle long miles over granite slabs and boulders.
The Falcon GV in their element: willing to tackle long miles over granite slabs and boulders.

Comfort


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 is still able to be laced securely enough to scramble over boulders confidently, 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.

The soft and flexible sole on the Falcon GV makes it most appropriate for on-trail hikes.
The soft and flexible sole on the Falcon GV makes it most appropriate for on-trail hikes.

Stability


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 boot such as the Scarpa Zodiac Plus, or even the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX, these boots are soft and pliable in the sole. This translates into better smearing ability on the rock, though more fatigued feet at the end of a hiking day and the ability to feel more pointy objects on the trail.

The tall and supportive ankle helps maintain control over when hopping over obstacles.
The tall and supportive ankle helps maintain control over when hopping over obstacles.

Traction


The Falcon 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, being more akin to the Moab Ventilator 2 than a typical pattern for hiking boots like found on the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX. This makes these boots quite useful on slabby rock, but limited in usefulness on loose or wet terrain.

While the Falcon lacked great traction on loose and wet ground  they performed well on smooth rock where the grippy rubber compound could best be evaluated.
While the Falcon lacked great traction on loose and wet ground, they performed well on smooth rock where the grippy rubber compound could best be evaluated.

Weight


With a verified weight of 2.48 pounds per pair of size 11's (US), the Falcon GV boots are on the light side of average, though this list includes the featherweight Hoka ONE ONE models that skew this rating slightly. For their ankle collar height, overall flood height, and waterproofness these boots offer a lot for their weight.

Water Resistance


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!

Perhaps the Falcon GV's best performance: submerged in an alpine stream! These let no water in even after 10 minutes of submersion.
Perhaps the Falcon GV's best performance: submerged in an alpine stream! These let no water in even after 10 minutes of submersion.

With a flood height of 5.75 inches, these boots provide as much protection as their big brother the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV. That alone makes these boots an appealing choice for those who encounter lots of stream crossings on their hikes but want to keep the weight on their feet relatively low.

Durability


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, such as the Zodiac Plus 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.

Best Applications


This is a great boot to consider if you value the high ankle support typically available in a much heavier boot. They are a good day hiking boot as they are light underfoot but supportive enough to take on longer backpacking trips provided you do not need the traction they lack on wet and loose surfaces.

Putting the Falcons through the paces in loose sediment in the Sierras.
Putting the Falcons through the paces in loose sediment in the Sierras.

Value


With a retail price of $225, these boots are objectively expensive when compared to a boot like the Keen Targhee II, which retails for $100 less, is lighter, and has better traction performance.

Conclusion


The Asolo Falcon GV is a high-end hiking boot that features lightweight materials. By shedding weight in the upper materials, the boot can extend higher up the ankle than other models and provide top-notch water protection. This is a premium boot that comes with a premium price, however, and so we suggest weighing out your needs, as there exist models with a better overall performance at a lower price.


Ryan Huetter