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Reviews > Footwear > Boots > Asolo Freeland Series Boots > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

Asolo
courtesy of
asolo.com

Asolo
Everland GV Hiking Boots

Test Series by
Ryan Christensen

Last Update - March 2, 2010

anthracite graphite cendre
[ Photos Courtesy of http://www.asolo.com ]

ACCESS MAIN REPORT SECTIONS VIA THESE LINKS:

INITIAL REPORT
September 30, 2009

FIELD REPORT
December 30, 2009

LONG-TERM REPORT
March 2, 2010

INITIAL REPORT
September 30, 2009

Reviewer Information

Backpacking Background

Name:  Ryan L. Christensen
Age:  45
Gender:  Male
Height:  6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:  235 lb (107 kg)
Email:  bigdawgryan(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country:   Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

I began backpacking at twelve, continuing until 25. After an extended hiatus, due in part to a bad back, I resumed cycling, hiking, and backpacking several years ago. I also began snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I share my love for backpacking and these other sports with my children. I am a midweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.
 

Product Information:

The information listed below came from
Asolo's product packaging and website.

Everland GV Boots
Manufacturer: Asolo S.p.a
Manufacturer website: http://www.asolo.com
Place of Manufacture: China
Year Manufactured: 2009
Materials: Upper: water-resistant suede and polyester
Toe Cap: rubber
Outsole: Asolo/Vibram Syntex man
Lasting Board: composite
Insole: Freeland
Liner: Gore-Tex® extended comfort footwear
Width: MM
Colors Available: Anthracite / Gunmetal
Graphite / Gunmetal
Cendre / Major Brown
Sizes Available: Men's 6 - 13.5 UK (6.5 - 14 US)
Warranty: "ASOLO® Footwear is warranted against defect in workmanship and materials for one year from the date of purchase. Only original Asolo® materials and workmanship are covered under Warranty."
MSRP: Not Available on Website

Product Specifications
Manufacturer's Specifications  
Height: Not Listed
Weight: (size 8 UK or 8.5 US) 470 g (16.6 oz) ea
Tester's Actual Measurements  
Height: approximately 6 in (15.2 cm)
bottom of sole to tallest point of collar
Weight: 1 lb 2.8 oz (533 g) ea or
2 lb 5.6 oz (1,066 g) for the pair
Size & Color Tested: 10 UK (10.5 US)
Graphite / Gunmetal

Product Description:

The Everland GV boots, hereafter referred to as "boots" are part of the Freeland subgroup of Asolo's "Hike" grouping of boots. Asolo has five boot groupings, with Hike having five subgroups within it. The Everland GV is a stylish, mid-cut, Gore-Tex lined men's hiking boot; the women's counterpart is the Amazon GV. From the bottom of the sole, to the highest point on the collar, these boots stand approximately 6 in (15.2 cm) tall.

front back
left left

The uppers consist primarily of a suede leather exo-skeleton. However, there is some synthetic material around the ankle area, collar, and the gusset. These boots also have a Gore-Tex® liner. Attached to the suede leather, on the outer edge of the boot, there is a small tag with the Gore-Tex trademark on it. There is also a rubber oval with ASOLO written in orange lettering sewn into the suede. The gusset (a tongue attached at the bottom and both sides to prevent slipping to one side and to prevent water from entering from the top) is attached to the collar approximately 1.25 in (3.2 cm) down from the top of the collar. The gusset is primarily synthetic material with a triangular-shaped suede patch on the outer side at the ankle. This patch has a rubber piece with an orange A and ASOLO in yellow lettering on it. The gusset is padded and also has a Gore-Tex membrane. The inside of the gusset has the same lining as the rest of the boot. The collar is also padded around the ankle, and has both suede leather and synthetic fabric on the outside. There is a scuff-proof toe rand. The rand is approximately 3.75 in (9.5 cm) in length. As such, it is much smaller than the toe rand on other boots I currently own. On the back of the boot, there is a pull-tab. However, the pull tab is just barely large enough for me to insert my index finger part way. If my fingers were any larger, I would be unable to insert them into the pull tab. The pull tab is approximately 0.375 in (0.95 cm) in width and 1 in (2.5 cm) in length. The lacing system consists of eight pair of eyelets and one web loop in the toe. There are no cinch hooks. The laces are flat, approximately 0.25 in (0.64 cm) wide woven nylon.

Insoles

The footbeds are approximately 0.125 in (0.32 cm) thick molded material. The footbeds are thinner than those of other hiking boots I own. The topside is covered with a fabric of some sort with the Asolo logo on it. The footbed has a heel cup that is approximately 0.5 in (1.3 cm) deep, with raised sides. The raised sides begin in the arch area and grow deeper moving to the heel, with the deepest section at the back of the heel.

The outsoles are Asolo's SYNTEX OUTSOLE MAN. This is "A joint project between Asolo and Vibram®, the unique minimal design of this new outsole offers exceptional grip, durability, and reliability on varied terrain. Although not overly deep, the tread design is fairly aggressive. The soles extend upward from the ball of the foot to the arch area on both sides of the boot. I can only assume this is to provide lateral stability to the flexible upper. The midsole, "Utilizing dual-density molded EVA in the midsole – one firmer full length and one softer in the heel stricke – we are able to provide the right support and shock absorption where needed." These midsoles are similar to those of lighter approach shoes.

Outsoles

The thinner footbeds, narrower heels, and EVA midsoles are in line with footwear, be it approach shoes or hiking boots that favor speed over support. Again, the Everland GV is in Asolo's Hiking family of boots rather than its Backpacking family. It will be interesting to see how much support these boots provide when carrying a fully-loaded pack.

Initial Impression:

As I pulled the boots from the box, I immediately thought they looked sort of like bowling shoes or maybe more appropriately approach shoes built on running-shoe or cross-trainer lasts. The toebox is narrower than other hiking boots I have owned. The heel area of the sole is approximately 3 in (7.6 cm) wide (side to side). This is 0.75 - 1 in (1.9 - 2.5 cm) narrower than heels of other hiking boots I currently own. The soles feel somewhat sticky. This too lends itself to my initial impression that these boots are akin to an approach shoe.

Initial Testing:

After removing the boots from their cardboard box, I thoroughly inspected them inside and out. I did not find any noticeable flaws in the suede leather, errors in the weave of the synthetic fabric, loose threads or faulty seams. These Italian boots appear to be constructed of high quality materials and workmanship. Next, I donned the boots. In doing so, I found the pull tab a bit difficult to use. Once on, I immediately noticed how well the boots fit my somewhat narrow, size 10.5/11 US feet. They fit perfectly in both width and length. In fact, they fit rather snugly. It will be interesting to see whether or not I am able to wear multiple mid-weight socks as the temperatures drop.

Initial Likes:

Initial Dislikes:

  • quality
  • fit
  • color
  • style
  • size of pull tab

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FIELD REPORT
December 30, 2009

Summary:

During the Field Test Phase, I wore the boots approximately twenty-four days. This included two overnighters and nearly every day during this phase of the test series. Overall I am pleased with these boots.

Likes Thus Far Dislikes Thus Far
  • quality
  • fit
  • color
  • size of pull tab
  • narrowness of sole in heel area
  • I'd prefer a couple of eyelets or other quick-lace system

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

CDT

At the end of September, I accompanied my boys' Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Venturing Crew on an overnight backpacking trip to Aldous and Hancock Lakes north of Kilgore, Idaho near the Continental Divide Trail, in the Centennial Mountains. Located along the Idaho / Montana border, these mountains are one of the few mountain ranges in the United States that run east to west. Aldous Lake is 7,340 ft (2,237 m) above sea level. It is a steep 1 mi (1.6 km) hike from Aldous to Hancock Lake. However, the trail drops down into Hancock Lake, which sits in a bowl formed by a landslide. At Hancock Lake, one can see the Centennial Mountains and the Continental Divide ridge. Weather conditions were ideal, clear skies, no wind, and over night low temperature was near freezing.

I wore the boots approximately twenty days both to work, kicking about town, and walking in my neighborhood. I also wore them while shoveling snow. Our first real cold spell of the year came during this phase of the test. Skies varied from partially overcast to completely overcast with snow occasionally. The lowest temperature I personally experienced during this phase was -16 F (-27 C).

In Snow

Additionally, I wore the boots on an overnight outing to Island Park, Idaho with my sons' BSA Venturing Crew. The elevation was approximately 6,293 ft (1,918 m). As shown in the photos below, the sky was gray and overcast. Temperatures ranged from a high of 24 F (-4 C) to a 12 F (-11 C) low.

Observations:

To date, the boots have performed very well. They have been very comfortable to wear. The boots have kept my feet dry and blister free thus far. Additionally, even wearing the boots nearly every day, they have not retained any malodor. And, to top it off, I have received several compliments on my stylin' boots.

For our Aldous and Hancock Lakes hike, I donned the boots right out of the box; no break-in period of any sort. I wore a single pair of 3/4 height, medium-weight, COOLMAX® hiking socks with the boots. Although it was not a long hike, the boots were very comfortable, I was blister and hot spot free. The boots provided great traction while ascending and descending the steep incline/decline into and out of Hancock Lake. The trail was fairly dusty. At home, I took a stiff bristled-brush and some soap and water to the boots and they looked almost as good as new.

In Snow Our Island Park outing was planned to include snowshoeing. However, there was only about 12 in (30 cm) of very dry powder on the ground where we were. Although snowshoes were not needed, we did get some walking in. As shown in the photos on the right, I wore my GORE-TEX gaiters. The gaiters did an excellent job keeping the snow out of the boots. Because the snow was so dry, there was no problem with the boots becoming wet. After walking several miles, the boots were still dry. Likewise, my feet were dry the entire time. A simple kick or two against the nerf bar on my Suburban was all that was needed to remove the snow from the boots. In addition, wearing a single pair of 3/4 height, medium-weight, COOLMAX® hiking socks with the boots, my feet were warm the entire time.

Wearing the boots to work, kicking about town, walking around the neighborhood, and shoveling snow, I have encountered a lot of slush. The waterproofing has performed well. My feet have not been wet once, even after traipsing around in the slush for hours.

I do have three small peeves with the Everland GV boots. Right from the start, I wanted a larger pull loop. The other pair of Asolo hiking boots I own has an adequately sized pull loop--wish these did. The second minor irritant is the narrowness of the sole from about the arch back to the heel. On the hike along the Continental Divide Trail, I rolled, albeit slightly, my ankle a couple of times. I attribute this to the narrowness of the sole. I believe a wider sole would improve the overall stability of these boots. I have become spoiled by quick-lace boots. Consequently, I'd prefer a couple of eyelets or something to make lacing and unlacing a little easier.

However, none of these minor nuisances impact performance. Overall, I am pleased with the Everland GV thus far. I can't wait to wear them snowshoeing during the next phase of this test series.

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LONG TERM REPORT
March 2, 2010

Summary:

During the Long-Term Test Phase, I wore the boots approximately sixteen days for a total of forty days worn during the test series. Overall I am fairly pleased with these boots.

Likes Dislikes
  • quality
  • fit
  • color
  • size of pull tab
  • narrowness of sole in heel area
  • I'd prefer a couple of eyelets or other quick-lace system

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

I wore the boots five urban snowshoe outings, when shoveling snow and I wore them to work during the test period. I wore medium-weight merino wools socks with them. High temperatures were in the low 30s F (0 C) and the low temperature was -4 F (-20 C).

Observations:

For the most part, the boots have continued to perform well; which I expect from Asolo. They are still quite comfortable to wear. Although I have worn the boots while snowshoeing, they have not been subjected to a lot of wetness. Our snow has not had much water content this year. That being said, snow still has some water content and exposed to what little water there has been, the boots have kept my feet nice and dry.

The boots fit nicely in my snowshoe bindings. I enjoyed snowshoeing in these boots. They were no different in that regard than other mid-cut, Gore-Tex lined hiking boots I have worn with snowshoes.

The boots continued to provide good traction in both powder and packed snow. Like most boots, they do not offer much traction on ice or wet, smooth surfaces.

The leather, fabric, seams, lining, and laces have held up rather well. I do not see any loose seams or fraying material. The footbeds have provided sufficient cushion. However, I have not carried any heavy loads in these boots. And, because of the narrowness of the sole in the heel area, I do not believe I would wear these boots under a load of 35 lbs (16 kg) or greater.

The Asolo Everland's only drawbacks, in my opinion, are the narrowness of the heel, the lack of eyelets or other quick-lace option, and the undersized pull tab. Although the boots are not entirely to blame, I rolled my ankle slightly a couple of times. I believe a wider sole from the middle of the boot to the back of the heel would mitigate this. From my perspective, Asolo would do well to sacrifice a few ounces and increase the width of the sole to make the boots more stable. Although not a performance issue, eyelets or other quick-lace option would make donning and doffing the boots less burdensome. My, how easily I have become spoiled by modern advancements. Finally, being undersized as it is, the pull tab is of little use. A larger diameter pull tab made of wider webbing would remedy that.

I will continue to wear these boots on outings where my load is lighter and I do not need more stable footing.


This concludes my Test Series. I enjoyed testing the Everland GV Boots and want to thank
Asolo and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to participate in this test.

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