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Reviews > Footwear > Boots > Asolo Freeland Series Boots > Test Report by Ray Estrella

Asolo Everland GV Boots
Test Series by Raymond Estrella
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - October 05, 2009
FIELD REPORT - December 23, 2009
LONG TERM REPORT - March 01, 2010

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Raymond Estrella
EMAIL: rayestrellaAThotmailDOTcom
AGE: 49
LOCATION: Orange County, California, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
WEIGHT: 210 lb (95.30 kg)

I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, plus many western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round in all weather, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I make a point of using lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. Doubting I can ever be truly UL, I try to be as near to it as I can yet still be comfortable. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring/chilling. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with brother-in-law Dave.


INITIAL REPORT

The Product

Manufacturer: Asolo
Web site: www.asolo.com
Product: Everland GV
Year manufactured: 2009
MSRP: N/A
Size: Men's 11 (US)
Sizes available: Men's 6 to 13.5 in half sizes (UK)
Weight listed per boot (size 8 UK): 16.6 oz (470 g)
Actual weight of test boot 18.5 oz (525 g)
Color reviewed: Cendre/Major Brown, also available in Anthracite/Gunmetal and Graphite/Gunmetal

Asolo Everland GV

Product Description

The Asolo Everland GV boots (hereafter called the Everlands or the boots) are a light weight hiking boot, the beefiest of the company's Freeland line of boots. It should be noted that in Italy where these are made "hiking" refers to what we would call trail walking or light day-hiking, not backpacking like many of us in the US think of it. Even though it is aimed at this market my pack weights are such that I will use this for both day-hiking and full-on multi-day backpacking trips.

The Everland is a mid-height boot. In actuality they are more like a high-top trail-runner than any mid that I have owned. They stand 6 in (15 cm) high at the front or tongue area. The dark brown and tan areas of the boots are made of water-resistant suede leather, while the light brown areas are polyester. To make the Everlands truly waterproof a Gore-Tex lining has been included. A very small bit of rubber, and a bigger section of rubberized fabric protects the very front of the toe area.

Front and Back


The tongue is gusseted to help keep water and debris out of the boots, but only protects from water entering to within an inch (2.5 cm) of the top of the ankle cuff. A nylon loop on the upper center section of the tongue holds the laces in the center of the tongue to keep it from sliding sideways into the boot.

The flat nylon laces run through eight pairs of eyes. There are no speed hooks or locking rings. This is back to basics lacing.

Soles


The soles are from Asolo and Vibram and are called Syntex. They are attached to the boot with adhesive rather than a stitched welt construction. The soles are quite thin. The deepest lug is 0.25 in (0.64 cm) at the heel.

Inside of the boots are some very thin insoles that along with the foot bed underneath them are what the company calls the Vario Asoflex system. It is made of three different materials.

The midsole is made up of two types of EVA, a full firm midsole and an added softer area at the heel to give some shock absorption. The insoles are just thin foam.

Insoles




FIELD REPORT

Quick & Dirty, Nitty Gritty

The Asolo Everland boots are a comfortable-out-of-the-box boot that required no break-in time for me. The waterproofing was very good at first, but they do not breathe very well. The insoles are not optimal for rocky terrain but the traction has been good. They really need a bigger pull loop at the back. The waterproofing made a sudden exit, leaving me all wet. (Hmm, I have been told that a few times before…) Read on for the details.

Field Conditions

Roamin in Domeland


I first used the Everland boots on what turned out to be a 33 mi (53 km) backpacking trip from Sonora Pass to Kinney Reservoir in northern California. We had 6400 ft (1950 m) of gain on trails that ranged from fine dust to granite and volcanic rock. The temps ranged from 29 to 52 F (-2 to 11 C). I carried a 30 lb (13.6 kg) pack.

Then we did a two day out-and-back trip in the South Sierra Wilderness, where the picture above was taken. I put 45.5 mi (73 km) on the boots with 4000 ft (1220 m) of gain over trails that ranged from sand to dirt to rock and elevations to 8100 ft (2470 m). The temperatures ranged from 32 to 52 F (0 to 11 C).

Next we did an 18 mi (29 km) overnighter in the Domeland Wilderness. The temps ranged from 27 to 50 F (-3 to 10 C). I carried a 28 lb (12.7 kg) pack over trails that ranged from packed dirt to rock.

On Halloween I did a solo to the top of Mt San Gorgonio where I spent the night on the summit. As I had to carry two days worth of water to the top, plus a few luxury items like a book and some Scotch, my starting pack weight was 29 lb (13 kg). Even though I slept at 11500 ft (3500 m) elevation it only got down to 35 F (2 C) for a low. I ended up with 26 mi (42 km) and 5200 ft (1585 m) of gain.

Next was 21 mi (34 km) section of the PCT heading out of the Angeles National Forest and down into the Mohave Desert. This toe-killing trip saw a lot of downhill heading into the Antelope Valley over trails that went from pine and oak duff to rock to sand in temperatures that ran from 35 to 70 F (2 to 21 C).

I spent a snowy, rainy day trying to get to some trailheads and finally gave up due to snow, and camped at Indian Flats where it rained solid most the time I was there. It got down to 33 F (1 C).

Last was a 50 mi (80 km) backpacking trip that started in San Bernardino National Forest, skirted two Indian Reservations and ended in northern San Diego County. This up-and-down hike saw lingering snow in the trails on rocky terrain up high and sandy desert terrain lower. The temperatures ranged from 25 F to 42 F (-4 to 6 C) and one night saw very strong winds. I had a starting pack weight of 23.4 lb (10.6 kg).

Observations

The Asolo Everland boots arrived at my office as I was literally leaving to go do an 80 mi (128 km) backpacking trip in the northern Sierra Nevada range. I had been hoping that they would have arrived a couple days before to break them in and had resigned myself to taking a pair of waterproof trail-runners on the hike instead. With the nick-of-time appearance of the Everlands I only took time to shoot the pictures seen in the Initial Report above (before I got them all messed up by hiking in them) and grabbed some heavier socks as I had no idea what I needed to wear with them.

Talk about a baptism by fire. I wore them for all of about four hours before I hit the trail in them. Lucky me, not only were they comfortable out of the box but they fit fine with the medium weight socks I guessed at. (I first tried them with some thin socks for the trail-runners but the volume of the boots was too much for them.) Even though I had some big up and down hiking I got no blisters on that first trip. In fact I have not had any blisters to date. Here is a shot on the top of our first pass that trip.

Kicked my Pass


The trip into the Mohave Desert showed the limitations of the thin insoles the Everlands come with. A lot of pounding downhill over rock-laden trails left me with some pretty bruised and sore feet. I will most likely get some after-market insoles for them at some point.

The boots have proven to be quite waterproof. I have walked through many creeks, like the one below, plus spent time in fresh snow and walking over old snow that lingered in the trails. I spent hours in the rain. Not once have the Everlands failed to keep my feet dry.

Splish splash


That is not to say my feet have not been wet in the Everlands. But it was from sweat as the Gore-Tex liner does not breathe as well as the eVent liners I have had in other boots.

The traction has been great. I have not slipped in wet or snowy areas nor have they slipped on slick rock.

I only have one real gripe about the Everlands at this point. It is the pull loop at the back of the boots. It is tiny. I can only get my little pinkie finger through it, and then only to the first joint. Needless to say I can't pull them on with only that much support. ("Hello pulled tendon…") Add to this the fact that the Everlands have traditional eyelets for the laces, which are difficult to loosen quickly and enough so to facilitate slipping the boots on. Please Asolo, put a larger loop back there.

To conclude my Field Report I leave with a picture hiking on a snowy trail in the Santa Rosa Mountains. Come back in a couple months to see where else I have let the Everlands roam.

Oh no, snow


LONG-TERM REPORT

Field Conditions

Dave and I did a 24 mile (39 km) section of Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). It was 34 F (1 C) starting out and only made it up to 50 F (10 C). I carried a 13.4 lb (6.1 kg) pack over trails that ranged from rock to scree to sand.

Next Dave and I went down to Mexico to do the bottom of the PCT. It was raining and snowing like crazy. We hiked only 7 miles (11 km) in pouring rain and grauple snow. The trails were running with water up to 4 in (10 cm) deep. The Asolos failed on this day. We bailed on the other two days because of injury (and we just were sick of being cold and wet, sissies us…).

While Dave recuperated I went the next day for a solo 16 mile (26 km) day-hike to Tenaha Falls. Because of all the rain the trails were very torn up so footing was quite tricky and there were large sections of washed up rock to travel on.

Two weeks later we shot for three days on the PCT in the Mojave Desert. We only could do two days due to too much snow at the higher center section. It rained and hailed the first day, with solid rain the next. Temps down to 33 F (1 C). Total 25.5 miles (41 km) wet miles in soaked boots. Here is a picture from the lower elevation section. Fine hail was falling.

Lovely day in the neighborhood

Observations

Well, I have only been able to put 72 mi (116 km) more on the Everlands. Mainly due to the fact that half of my trips since the end of the Field Report have been winter/snow trips. Not that the Everlands did not see some more snow. Why they saw snow, water, hail, water, mud, and lots and lots of water. I have never hiked in as much consistent rain in southern California as I have this winter. Which I figured would be all good since the Asolo boots have not leaked a bit.

Down near the Mexican border the trails looked like creeks. I noticed my feet feeling cold and wet, but that is usually an illusion as cold water will soak through the boot's shell to be stopped by the Gore-Tex liner, but the cold sensation from the water temperature "feels" like I am getting wet. I have learned to ignore it. Well I got back to camp to find my feet soaked. I thought maybe, just maybe some water went over the top and I did not feel that. (Slight chance, that feeling is much more noticeable…)

So the next day (after bailing on the hike due to Dave's hurt knee) I did a day-hike to see some falls that I knew would look nice from all the rain. I made a concerted effort to walk through every water crossing I came upon. My feet were wet at the end of the day. Two weeks later they got totally soaked in the Mojave desert where I was in water and mud for two days.

I find this quite disappointing. I reviewed the company's Fugitive boots back in 2006. At the time of the review I had 700 miles (1127 km) on them. I semi-retired them to Minnesota where I still use them about three or four times a year depending on other tests. I have at least another 200 miles (322 km) on them in a state that gets a lot of rain. They are still keeping me dry.

To check that the boots truly were leaking I put three in (8 cm) of water in a tub and set the boots inside with weight to keep them under. Both are letting water seep in on the right side. So the inside face of the left boot and the outside face of the right boot.

Part of testing and reviewing is being allowed to make suggestions to improve a product. I like Asolo boots. I have a pair of FSN 95s sitting in my gear room that I bought over a year ago, but have not had time to wear due to testing commitments. I have been using the company's products since 1981. I really think they would do well to switch to eVent as a liner choice for waterproof footwear.

Other than that the boots have been great. My loads have been light enough that the just-more-than-a-trail-runner style has been perfect for me. There is one thread pulling out but nothing really to speak of as far as durability issues. The traction has been great, and I have been on a LOT of cruddy terrain the past two months.

All the water has made them look a little beat up, but I'm a backpacker. I don't care how I look. (As can be seen many times over in the pictures here…)

The tiny pull loop still bugs me, even more so as now I am trying to pull them on wet! Please Asolo, make that big enough for a man's ring size 13 finger. That will cover me at least. ;-)

I do really enjoy testing boots and want to thank Asolo and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test these.


Ray Estrella
I measure happiness with an altimeter

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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