The Asolo Power Matic 200 GV is the most rugged, heavy-duty boot that we featured in our Best Hiking Boot Review. It most closely resembles the traditional hiking boot that many grew up wearing and have worn for years. The Power Matic 200 performed well in some metrics, notably in water resistance and durability, but poorly in weight and comfort.
A day hike with stream crossings and talus piles was no match for the Asolo.
We awarded the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV a score of 6 for overall comfort. This is a heavy-duty boot that Is adequately padded around the ankle collar and has a good amount of cushioning in the ankle bone itself, locking the foot into place securely, but did not have as much ankle comfort as the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX. The included footbed is one of the flimsier ones we found in any of the boots - the Best Bang for Buck winning Keen Targhee II has a much better quality insert - so we would recommend an aftermarket Superfeet brand footbed to replace it with.
We liked the lacing system, with the eyelets made of micro pulleys, it is easy to get a secure fit quickly. With a medium weight wool hiking sock, we were able to attain a good, snug fit for a medium volume foot, and Asolo does make this boot in a wide version for those with wider feet.
What we found least appealing, however, was the required break-in time to make these boots genuinely comfortable on long hikes. This is a stiff boot with full-grain leather uppers that needs to be treated with a leather softener. It's also necessary to walk in this contender for many miles before expecting them to loosen up. Users should not presume out of the box comfort that you would find in a modern model like the Hoka One One Sky Kaha
For the casual afternoon hike the stiffness of the Asolo might be too much.
With a score of 9, the Asolo boot tied our two other award-winning boots, the Quest 4D and the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX. Support is this boot's strong suit, and in addition to cradling the foot with a high ankle collar and an excellent lacing system, the Power Matic 200 has a stiff sole, which provides a stable platform in rugged terrain. The Power Matic synthetic shank provides long-lasting stiffness without the metal of years gone by, and the thick leather upper provides rigidity to the boot as well as protection for trail crews, construction workers, and others who want the comfort and quality of a hiking boot for days on the job.
Hiking through boulder fields was no problem for the Asolo.
The Power Matic 200 GV earned a score of 7 for traction. We appreciated its rugged, durable Vibram sole, that features heavy lugs for providing excellent traction in mud, snow, and scree. The stiff sole delivers a solid platform when kicking steps in firm snow or edging on rock. For scrambling performance, we felt the stiffness hindered its ability to smear, especially when hiking on rock slabs, and we preferred the Scarpa Zodiac Plus for its better functionality.
Walking through slippery creeks and on snow was not a problem for the Asolo.
We gave the Asolo boot a 9 in water resistance, which tied it with our award-winning Salomon Quest 4D 3. The full leather upper is an incredible barrier to water, and it can be treated year after year with aftermarket waterproofing products like Nikwax or Sno-Seal. In addition to the simple leather outer that has very few seams, Asolo uses a Gore-Tex Performance Comfort waterproof/breathable membrane, ensuring your feet stay dry. With a measured flood height of six inches from sole to the top of the lining, this has the highest waterproof depths of any boot in our review, and the addition of a suitable gaiter could efficiently increase that height.
Durable and waterproof, the Asolo has the tallest collar height in our test, though needs to be treated with aftermarket products like Sno-Seal to keep shedding water.
Alas, all of these features, waterproofness, durability, and stability come at a price, and that is the weight. With a measured weight of 4.15 pounds in size 11, these tipped the scales at the heaviest boots in our review by a healthy margin, outweighing the Best Bang for Buck Award-winning Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 boots by close to two pounds. An extra pound on each foot adds up over the miles; we would recommend a more durable, supportive boot for novice backpackers (over a lightweight model like the Hoka One One Sky Kaha) and would only grab this boot for trips where we would benefit from the increased stability (along with the support it would give us).
The two tallest boots, the Asolo on the left, and Salomon Quest 4D on the right. With very similar support, the midweight Salomon weighs a full pound less than the Asolos.
Durability was another metric which the Asolo excelled in, scoring a 10, the highest in the review. This is a boot that should be able to last for many seasons with the proper upkeep, namely, treating the leather outer on an annual basis. Asolo gives users a two-year warranty against defects, similar to the Salomon models but better than all the others. The lacing eyelets are all metal and should not fail, though some users did note that sole delamination and crumbling of the EVA/PU material in the heel was also noted.
With so many modern options for good quality boots that are comfortable out of the box and do not require a lengthy break-in time, most backpackers have moved away from the traditional full-grain leather boots with stiff soles. Those who are still dedicated to these heavy-duty boots are foresters, trail crews, construction workers and other people who work in the outdoors as well as recreate in them. These people, and those who desire the stiffness and support for hiking with heavy loads will appreciate the quality craftsmanship and durability found in the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV.
With a list price of $345, the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV is one of the most expensive boots in our review. We feel that it is a quality boot, and it is worth the money for top-notch construction, though the Editors' Choice-winning Quest 4D 3 is a better overall boot for over $100 less.
Durable, rugged and very water resistant, the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV is a top notch, quality boot that will last its owner for many seasons of heavy use when properly cared for. This is a boot best for those seeking the dependability and support of a beefy hiking boot like this one for work or for recreation.