Asolo Fugitive GTX Review Facts
Hiking is not just a form of physical activity, there are other health benefits to it as well. Hiking can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. The outdoors provides a whole load of positive sensory pleasures including both the smell of the outdoors but also the benefits associated with breathing fresh air. Sight, which can be both interesting (improving congestive brain function) as well as calming effects. Sounds, which are also calming and encourages wonder. And feel, which again, helps keep the brain calm, distracted and interested. Hiking will increase cardio vascular activity and will therefore help provide a better sleep at night. Both due to the activity but also due to the relaxing atmosphere that hiking offers. It also helps strengthen bones and encourages positive blood circulation which helps those with arthritis and circulatory issues. Overall, the benefits of hiking outweighs other sports especially for those who cant handle high intensity cardio activities.
But without proper gear hiking can be both dangerous and detrimental to the body. It is important that the hiker is wearing a shoe that will reduce impact on bones and joints. As well as support the ankle and arch of the person wearing them. This article is a comprehensive review of the very popular brand Asolo, specifically their Fugitive GTX shoe. Asolo was founded in 1975 by an Italian family. Their boots were made of innovative materials for the time and the company quickly grew and expanded. Asolo was the first brand to use the Gore-Texd lined footwear which is a very impressive waterproofing material used to keep the insides of shoes cool and dry even in wet conditions. In 1998 the third generate of the Zanatta family took over the business and has since been running the company. Asolo is known as being revolutionary in their innovative designs as well as having quality customer service. Their warranty is interesting in that the supplier is liable for any malfunction within the first two years of use. They also have a 14 day return policy. So without further adeiu, here is our review on the Asolo Fugitive GTX based on personal experience with the product as well as other customer reviews and materials used.
The lining of this product is Gore-Tex which itself claims to have better breathability but in personal experience as well as stated by reviewers, this could be a little off. Typically waterproofing inhibits airflow through the boot. The airflow is usually encouraged by mesh and punctures to the back of the boot. This product is listed as being fairly breathable even with the Gore-Tex lining. Those who wore the boot found that their feet stayed dry and cool in the summer but also warm and dry in the winter which is positive. It does usually go both ways with this type of product. The top of the boot does not have the mesh that many boots do have so being able to be both waterproof and breathable is impressive.
This is made of the classic molded EVA and Vibram sole. They offer a good ankle, heel and arch support system. The stiff sole helps reduce pain in the balls of the feet as well which could be of some interest to those who often find the balls of their feet hurting after long hikes. This product, like comparable products, run a little narrow which can be especially frustrating to those with wider feet. It didn't mean those with wider feet needed to find a different boot but rather bought a size up to accommodate the width. Those who purchased this product did say that there was a very little break in time right out of the box which is a good sign as well. The insoles are also listed as being fairly firm rather than squishy like comparable models. Overall there were very little complaints about the comfort of this product.
Asolo was the brand that brought in the first Gore-Tex lined boot. Gore-Tex is an extremely popular name in waterproofing as it does the job well. The one downside to Gore-Tex, however, is that some find that the earlier models this brand used for lining lost a bit of their breathability as a result. This product uses a suede leather for their upper which is a water absorbing material, helping to keep the water at the surface rather than in the boot. Additionally, dries faster which helps with dryer feet as well. Those who wore the shoe confirmed that their feet stayed dry even in wetter environments. They also confirmed that despite the waterproofing the shoe was still quite breathable which is also positive.
The insole of this product works with the sole in order to provide some impact reduction. Asolo offers a four-layer sole which uses low-density polyurethane around the heel area in order to keep the heel in place as well as to reduce impact around the ankle. There is a micro-porous midsole with two different densities (discussed more below) which also helps absorb shock and increases the overall comfort level of the shoe. The insole also has a better heel hold in order to avoid the heel slipping around too much which can create blisters and discomfort. Those who wore this product confirmed that the product was quite comfortable and didn't require much 'wear' in order to be broken in. The one thing mentioned is that the sole is not squishy, but more firm which helped with both arch support as well as relieving ball and heel pain.
The upper of this product is made of a suede leather which is both soft and durable. The benefit to suede as mentioned earlier is its waterproofing abilities as well as how quickly it dries after being wet. Unfortunately, this could affect the aesthetic of the shoe, however, this does not affect its function which is good. The upper also has self-cleaning lugs which help keep the shoe looking cleaner during the hike. They have a classic lacing system which stops right before the toes of the shoe. Some reviewers did complain that the eyelets of this particular model did come loose easily. They also complained that the laces themselves frayed fairly easily.
The sole of this product is made of Vibram which is an upgraded form of rubber which is both flexible and durable. The groove offers a better degree of dealing in order to keep the sole better attached to the shoe even in high impact environments. The sole of this product is meant to keep the foot in place especially when in stickier situations like when up on rocks while simultaneously holding the top of the shoe and the bottom of the shoe together. Those who wore this shoe did complain that the sole on the shoe isn't glued on well, there were about 25% of reviewers with this issue.
The mid-sole is made of a thermoformed EVA which is molded to fit the foot and support the heel properly. This will help keep the foot in place while providing a more comfortable fit. Molded EVA is a very popular material used in hiking boots, and for good reason. Molded EVA helps keep the foot more secure to the shoe and stops slipping, sliding, discomfort and blisters. Asolo takes pride in their 'natural shape' fit of their shoes. Their midsoles and insoles are layers to provide a better fit but are made of lighter materials in order to not weigh down the shoe. The natural shape Asoflex is interposed between the tread and midsole and hugs the foot closer to the sole and upper. It also provides adequate support to the arch and heel for more accuracy when stepping.
The traction on this shoe is also made of Vibram. It has a high degree of radio effect which helps seal the track to the surface it is touching even when moisture is involved. Asolo also has something called their Aso-brake system which is supposed to provide greater support and accuracy when stepping in order to help control the movement of the foot better. This helps not only add security to each step but also adds stick to each step. Those who wore this shoe didn't have much to say about the traction which gives us the impression that though there weren't issues with the traction, that it wasn't anything to write home about, unfortunately.
This boot looks like a classic hiking boot. They aren't very fashion forward but do look like something that a professional would wear. They are a little more complex in design, incorporating several different colors. They come in three different styles, all of which look a little 'busy. The upper is made of a suede leather which is an incredibly soft and flexible material and absorbs water for better waterproofing. The disadvantage of this type of material is that because it absorbs water and does not roll off the boot, the absorption can cause the leather to stain which could affect the aesthetic of the boot. Overall, though they are not terribly fashionable and would probably not double as a general walking shoe, this product isn't unattractive. It looks well made (it is made in Italy) and is made of quality materials. It will definitely look right in its place when out on the trails.
This product is a little more expensive in price. There are certainly more expensive hiking boots on the market but this product does run a little higher than other boots we've reviewed and those on the market. They are not made of materials that are very different from competitive models as well so the additional features and appearance of the shoe would need to be superior which it doesn't seem to be. They seem a little expensive considering the materials used and the technology included. One benefit of this shoe is that there were several reviews stating that those who wore these shoes out did so within the first 4 years which is a considerable amount of time. If looking at it in time value money, this product is rated as being long-lasting and that is where the cost could potentially be worth the value of this product. It is really hard to say. The shoe also comes with a two-year warranty which also can justify its price considering most comparable products have a 1-year warranty. For those reasons you could say the product is worth the higher price tag.
THE BOTTOM LINE
There were some pretty split reviews on this product. Some people found that the boot didn't even last them a year, that the sole disconnected from the top of the boot relatively easily. While other found that the boots lasted them up to 4 years. The materials of this product aren't in question as they are very popular materials used commonly in this type of product, the construction of the product sounds like is the issue. The boot itself is also not as attractive as more fashionable models and brands. Additionally, the product is on the expensive side despite being made of similar materials as competitors as well as having similar technologies. The one saving grace on the price is the 2-year warranty which is something a little more unique. Overall these boots are made of good quality materials, the warranty is good and the functionality is there, it just depends on if the buyer wants to go out on a limb and pay a little more for the boot.