Launched in 2013, Asolo’s Creek GV lightweight boots are one of the more distinctive designs out there and grew out of a close cooperative project between the Italian footwear brand and sole specialist Vibram.
The result is a boot that combines barefoot-type and more conventional features in a package that weighs in below 900g for a pair, but still manages to feel pretty tough and durable with it.
The boots are all about something called Natural Shape and were developed with Vibram in a quest for perfect fit. There is, and we quote: ‘ a widened area between the toes and the metatarsus and a redesigned sole with perfect anatomical fi’. All you really need to know though is that they’ve been designed to fit the shape of the typical foot really well and, probably, have more room aroudn the toes than previous Asolo models.
Underfoot it’s not quite barefoot, but not far off. Hidden inside the distinctive, curvaceous Vibram outsole is a thin cushioned mid-sole complete with a small fibreglass strip to add a smidgeon of mid-foot stiffening. So kind of barefoot plus if you like.
Performance So Far
Once you’ve got over the distinctive Italian, alpine looks – think rock boot meets walking boot – you’ll find that the Creek is – for us at least – a brilliant fit as promised. There’s plenty of toe room, but elsewhere things are snug and cushioned.
We also like the high level of mobility from the soft, padded ankle cuff that sort of cossets your ankle bones without constricting them. No complaints there at all then.
Where things get interesting are underfoot where there’s an interesting mix of low-slung stability, Vibram chunkiness and distinct lack of cushioning, which you’ll either like or not. The chunky sole gives a decent level of underfoot protection, but without much spring to it which can be tiring on harder surfaces if you’re not used to it, though the pay-off is lightness, precision and a natural rolling walking action.
One thing we do like is that while a lot of barefoot-esque shoes feel a little underbuilt, the Creek has a more durable sort of vibe going on, making it a good choice for minimalist footwear use in rocky, mountain terrain. Then again those are just the sort of conditions where a bit of cush is welcome too.
We’re in a bit of a quandary with the Asolo Creek GV. On one hand we love the glove-like fit and have a sneaking affection for the unusual looks and the low-slung stability and light weight also tick out boxes. On the other hand, we’d like just a tad more cushioning underfoot in the sort of rocky terrain where the design seems to make most sense.
That said, we suspect with more use we might simply adapt to them as our feet strengthen. For not though, the OM jury is out.
- UPPER Water-resistant suede mm 1.6-1.8 + polyester
- LINING Gore-Tex Performance comfort footwear
- ANATOMIC FOOTBED Natural Shape
- SOLE Asolo/Vibram Natural Shape (rubber-eva)
- FIT MM
- WEIGHT Gr 395 (1/2 pair size 8 UK)
- SIZE Man 6-13.5 UK
- MADE in EU