asoloflame01.jpg
asoloflame01.jpg
Price:

£120

Weight: 1400g (pair size

43)

Features

Lightweight three-season walking boot using Asolo's new

Matrix sole construction. Water-resistant suede and

hi-tenacity Nylon upper, Active Heel Support, Gore-Tex

waterproof insert, Micro Pulley lacing system. Vibram outer

sole.


What's It For? Asolo's Fugitive was a bit of a surprise

package in last year's three-season boot stakes, selling well despite

very un-British styling, now Asolo has upped its game further with

the new Flame GTX.

Like the Fugitive it's a lightweight suede and fabric-uppered

three-season walking boot with a Gore-Tex waterproof liner, but it

uses new technology to produce a boot around 50 grammes per pair

lighter, with better shock absorption and a grippier sole using

softer rubber.

asoloflame02.jpg
asoloflame02.jpg

The Fugitive is still available from some retailers though, so

while it's in the same niche, it's an addition rather than a

replacement.


The Techy Bits Asolo is owned by the company behind Lowe

Alpine, which means lots of resource going into R and D. The big

story with the Flame is what Asolo calls the Matrix sole unit. See

the chopped pic below.

asolo0701.jpg
asolo0701.jpg

There's an EVA midsole for cushioning which is encapsulated to

protect it from abrasion, backed up with a cunning heel unit made

from dual-density TPU which is soft in the middle, but stiff at the

edges to cup the heel. There's also an external heel counter to up

stability and a lightweight Vibram sole unit made from grippier

rubber with wider-spaced lightweight cleats.

asoloflame03.jpg
asoloflame03.jpg

Also present and correct are Asolo's Micro Pulley lace cleats

which allow the lace to slide easily both for precise initial

adjustment and to allow the laces to adjust to the changing shape of

your foot as you walk.

asoloflame07.jpg
asoloflame07.jpg

How It Works We're big fans of the Fugitive - it's a

nice-looking, comfortable, light-ish and effective boot - so we were

wondering if the new boot would be noticeably different.

To get a better idea we wore the boots back to back then finally

with a Flame on one foot and a Fugitive on the other. First off, the

Flame laces up nicely and neatly. Fit is medium volume and quite

Brit' friendly, but for some reason the forefoot felt slightly

narrower than the Fugitive's.

asoloflame06.jpg
asoloflame06.jpg

The older boot was obviously more broken in, but we immediately

noticed that the sole unit on the Flame is definitely slightly

stiffer and more protective. You feel pointy rocks less through the

forefoot for example. They also felt a little more stable and

supportive, possibly due to the new heel unit and the external heel

counter.

In normal walking use, we couldn't feel any real difference in

cushioning, but slamming the heel of the boot down on the road, the

Flame was noticeably less jarring. It's certainly not cushioned in

the way that, say, a running shoe is, but over the course of a day on

the hills, we suspect that it would add up to an easier ride for your

feet in cumulative terms.

asoloflame04.jpg
asoloflame04.jpg

We couldn't detect any difference in grip between the two

outsoles, both were dependable on both rocky and soft ground and

overall the Flames were a comfortable experience underfoot.

Initial Verdict

Slightly stiffer, slightly lighter and with slightly better

shock absorption on the big hits, the new Flame is, well, slightly

better than the Fugitive. It's also slightly more expensive by a

tenner. Like the Fugitive, we think it's an excellent, all-round,

lightweight three-season boot with neat European styling making it

stand out a bit in the shop.

What we can't tell you now is whether the new construction will

outlast the older version and whether the forefoot really is narrower

than the Fugitive's or if it'll give a little with more use.

Definitely worth trying on and we'd stress that as with all boots,

it's crucial to try carfefully before buying and find the brand that

fits your particular foot shape best.