Asolo Flame GTX Boot | First Look
First impressions of Asolo's new three-season, lightweight with er, Matrix technology.
|Weight: 1400g (pair size |
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
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
The Fugitive is still available from some retailers though, so
while it's in the same niche, it's an addition rather than a
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.