Asolo Fugitive GTX

Tested

 
Price:

£110.00

Weight: 1404 grammes (pair size

43)

Features:

water-repellant suede and Cordura upper, Gore-Tex waterproof

liner, Duo Asoflex lasting, Asolo Synchro rubber outsole

with PU cushioining, reinforced toe-cap ,mens's, women's and

wide men's fits available.

Pros

Light, comfortable, cushioned and roomy.

Cons

Contental look you'll either love or loath.


The Concept In the 90s, Asolo were perhaps best known for

their plastic mountaineering boots in the UK, then, during a period

when they were owned by Beneton, they produced a slightly unreliable

range of boots which soured their reputation in this country.

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Since then though, things have changed markedly. The company is

now owned by the same Italian outdoor group who bought Lowe Alpine a

few years back and have made big commitment to using the latest

technologies across their range of walking, trekking and

mountaineering boots.

The Fugitive is their top-selling model in the UK. so we reckoned

it would be an interesting starting point. It's a lightweight suede

and Cordura boot with a distinctly continental look and intended as a

durable alternative to leather. It's effectively a 3-season boot and

we'd happily use it for walking pretty much anywhere below the

snowline.


Features The Fugitive uses Asolo's Duo Asoflex lasting system.

It's called Duo because the system consists of a stiffer unit to give

stability and anti-pronation qualities bonded to a softer,

shock-absorbing material to increase comfort.

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You also get a Gore-Tex liner - Asolo is one of Gore's oldest

partners in the footwear area - lightweight lace hardware and an

Asolo-branded outsole with PU cushioning for, erm, cushioning.


In Action As an Italian boot, we half expected the Fugitive to

have a narrow, low-volume fit. In fact it's surprisingly voluminous,

which should make it a viable option for a lot of us broad-footed

Brits. The lacing system with its pivoting rings worked well and we

found the boot comfortable straight out of the box.

We found the Fugitive's Duo Asoflex construction gave decent

torsional rigidity but with enough flex for comfortable walking and

worked well on both grassy low-level terain and on rockier paths. The sole seemed fine too.

They're not stff enough to edge with on scrambles, but then that's

not what three-season boots are intended for. Cushioning was adequate

too with dual-density PU mid-sole material doing its job. If you lift

the lightweight footbed you can feel the give in the mid-sole.

asolofug02.jpg

Where the Fugitive does score over most leather equivalents is in

its relative lightness. That makes it feel nimble on broken ground

and, over the course of a long day, ultimately less tiring. We can't

really tell you about durability, but you get tough reinforced toe

and heel sections plus Cordura, which makes up much of the upper is

known for its toughness and abrasion resistance, so we don't see why

it shouldn't continue to do the business, but only time will

tell.

Two aspects of the Fugitive are either love or hate. The Gore-Tex

liner is becoming almost ubiquitous these days, particularly in

fabric boots. It will keep the water out, but in hotter conditions

and particularly if you're a sweaty-footed person, you can end up

with hot, wet feet as the liner is unable to cope.

The other like or loath feature is the styling. It's terribly

continental, darling, and will either boil your beans or not. We

rather liked it.


Verdict

Light, comfortable and so far, tough with it, the best thing

about the Fugitives is that most of the time we didn't really think

about them at all, they just got on with the job of providing grip,

comfort and protection for our feet, which is pretty much all you can

ask for.

We reckon they're a good, lightweight alternative to a leather

three-season boot for use below the snowline. Some people will prefer

a torsionally stiffer boot for heavy pack use, but we found the

Fugitives fine and enjoyed the lightweight nimbleness of the

boot.

The Gore-Tex liner is down to personal preference, as are the

looks. Finally, even though we like the Fugitives a lot, bear in mind

that unless they fit your feet, they're useless to you and we'd

always suggest that you try and range of boots with the aid of an

experienced boot fitter before deciding. That said, the Fugitive's

shape should suit many UK feet.

Pushed for time

Light, comfortable and decently stiff Cordura / suede

boot that cocks a lightweight toe at the traditional

leather alternatives. We like the nimbleness and the styling

though that's a personal decision. Reasonable UK-friendly

fit too.