A bit of a quick round-up of the new models due out from Asolo this spring 2011, with two new technical mountain boots and a couple of walking boots due out in the shops shortly from the Italian specialist.
Before we start, we'd just say that we've been very impressed with the Asolo kit we've used and even if you're not familiar with the brand, they're definitely worth seeking out and trying for fit.
Asolo Broad Peak
First up is the new Broad Peak, the one in the pic is the women's version, but it comes in a men's fit too. Effectively it's a fabric version of the established Lhotse boot and has the same sole unit with a Vibram Everest outsole, triple-density TPU cushioning and a fully, clip-on crampon compatible chassis with attachment points front and rear.
The main change is that while the Lhotse uses 2.2/2.4mm leather, the Broad Peak has a fully synthetic upper using a mix of polyamide fabric and a microfibre. The resulting weight difference, according to Asolo's figures, is around 160g per pair with the new boot a claimed 1740g for a set of size 8s. Price will be £210.
The Sherpa is a slightly less technical model and a bit more traditional looking with a full Perwanger leather upper with rubber rand and Vibram outsole. It has a recess for a heel-clip crampon, but no toe bale ledge, so you're restricted to crampons using a cradle-type front fitting.
Weight is claimed to be just 20g per pair more than the synthetic Broad Peak, which tells you everything you need to know about the other boot's heftier chassis we suspect. Looks handsome, retails for £200, graded B2 we think.
Also brand spanking new is the Imperial, Asolo's take on the traditional leather walking boot. It has proper, thick – 2.5-2.7mm one-piece, full-grain, water-resistant uppers with a Gore-Tex waterproof liner.
The outsole's Vibram and there's some dual-density mid-sole in there too. It's a nice looking, traditional sort of boot with a bit of added carbon fibre-look bling thrown in for your £150.
But there you go, that's what it's called. It uses the same sole unit and chassis as the Imperial, but we reckon it's interesting because if has NO GORE-TEX liner. Instead the upper is just 2.2-2.4mm water-resistant, nubuck leather with a reinforced rubber toe-cap.
Why's that interesting? We know from our mail-bag that there are a lot of people out there who prefer a simple leather upper without a waterproof liner because it feels more comfortable in hot conditions and dries faster when it does get wet, so if that's you and you want a tough, leather mountain-walking boot, add the Fandango to your list. The price is £140, so it saves some dosh too.
Follow the links above for individual models, but full Asolo info at www.asolo.com. Note, if you're reading this in the US, not all these models are available stateside