OR - ASOLO PowerMatic 200 GV BOOTS
BY MARK THOMPSON
September 16, 2011
markthompson 242 at gmail dot com
Parker, Colorado, USA
6' 0" (2.10 m)
190 lb (86.20 kg)
Outdoor adventures started for me at an early age, my passions have grown to include backpacking, rock climbing, hiking, hunting, fishing, canoeing, cycling, skiing and snowshoeing. Most of my adventures presently take place in Colorado's amazing Rocky Mountains. For trail hikes, my pack typically weighs 15 lbs/6.8 kg (summer/fall), 25 lbs/11.3 kg (winter/spring) and trail speed usually ranges from 2.5 - 3.8 mph (4.0 - 6.1 km/h) depending on elevation gain. For multi-night backpack trips, my pack weighs 40 - 45 lbs (18 - 20 kg) and my trail speed drops to 1.5 - 3.0 mph (2.4 - 4.8 km/h).
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.asolo.com
Listed Weight: 3 lbs 7 oz (1.57 kg) (size 8 UK)
Measured Weight: 3 lbs 12.6 oz (1.72 kg) (size 11 US)
- Full-grain leather upper
- Gore-Tex lining
- Padded and gusseted tongue
- MicroPulley patented lacing system
- Polyurethane midsole
Photo courtesy of Asolo
After years of suffering with poor quality hiking boots, I finally bit the bullet and bought a pair of Asolo's Power Matic 200 backpacking boots. Yes, these are pricey boots, but I bought them for the long haul, not just a day trip around the city park. These are my "go-to" boots for serious hiking and backpacking!
I have taken these boots on several adventures and these boots have protected my feet and ankles exceptionally well. With the beautiful summer weather (and the looming prospect of winter) I have been hitting the trails nearly every weekend. Recent hikes include reaching the summit of 8 of Colorado's top 100 peaks, a couple minor peaks and one laboriously long backpack trip.
The long and laborious backpack trip was the inaugural event for these boots. It was intended to be a three-day weekend of peak bagging with attempts on Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Kit Carson, Kat Carson, Challenger Point and Humbolt. Rather than pack in on the "standard" route (with 100's of other people) we decided to gain access via a limited use route from the west. This route provided beautiful scenery, solitude and more than the expected number of challenges including lots of bushwhacking, tons of downed trees (from a fire of days gone by) and 3,700 feet (1,128 m) of elevation gain. After getting to our campsite at 12,000' (3,658 m) we settled in for the evening and prepared for an early start. From camp, we gained another 2,000' (610 m) and were forced back a mere 250' (76 m) from the lofty summit of Crestone Peak. The retreat was a direct result of the class 5 climbing we encountered, despite all the "beta" (beta is climbing lingo for the experience of others) claiming this to be a class 3 scramble. Fortunately, wisdom prevailed over glory and we were able to down-climb before things got too exciting. The route and difficulty was well within our climbing capabilities, but we had trusted the beta and left our rope and "pro" (aka: protection) at home. This trip was very exciting, and unfortunately, rather tough on some gear. The rough trail and rock climbing took their toll on the boots, and sadly, the Asolo's didn't look so new afterwards.
These boots have seen the summit of the following:
- Mt Missouri (14,067'/4,288 m)
- Trail Distance: 9.6 miles (15.5 km)
- Elevation gain: 4,450' (1,356 m)
- Mt Belford (done in conjunction with Mt Oxford) (14,197'/4,327 m)
- Mt Oxford (14,153'/4,314 m)
- Trail Distance: 12.2 miles (19.6 km)
- Elevation gain:5,900' (1,798 m)
- Mt Hope (13,933'/4,247 m)
- Trail Distance: 6.9 miles (11.1 km)
- Elevation gain: 4,073' (1,241 m)
- Mt Elbert (done in conjunction with Pt 13,227) (14,433'/4,399 m)
- Point 13,227 (13,227'/4,047 m)
- Trail Distance: 11.2 miles (18.0 km)
- Elevation gain: 4,490' (1,369 m)
- Mt Massive (done in conjunction with Massive Green and North Massive) (14,421'/4,396 m)
- Trail Distance: 8.6 miles (13.9 km)
- Elevation gain: 4,630' (1,411 m)
I absolutely love the fit, support and traction provided by these boots! There are so many attributes that are noteworthy, but time and space restrict how much I can write. Reviewing the boot from the bottom up:
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
- Vibram Brand Polyurathane sole:
- the tread design and material specification provide superb traction in both wet and dry conditions (I have limited time in snow)
- I have noticed some wear on the sole, but I would not want to sacrifice traction for any added longevity that a higher durometer compound may provide.
- Full-Grain leather upper:
- I am sure that the specification of the leather supports a firm yet comfortable fit and allows for proper movement while hiking - these are certainly comfortable boots. Unfortunately, the attractive appearance of the full-grain leather upper didn't last long (much to my disappointment) as it was easily scared by contact with rocks and other trail hazards.
- After my first stream crossing, I realized that the leather, even new with the factory coating, wasn't waterproof and visibly absorbed water. Fortunately, my feet never became wet, which leads me to believe that the manufacturer is basing their water resistance claims on the Gore-Tex lining. Personally, I would rather keep the leather dry too (it certainly weighs less), and, in order to do so, I applied a couple coats of Sno-Seal brand water proofing. The boots readily absorbed the SnoSeal and the combination has proven to be quite effective in keeping the boots and my feet dry. I understand that applying this type of waterproofing may reduce breathability, make the boots warmer or cause my feet to sweat more, but I haven't noticed any difference in these areas.
- Padded and gusseted tongue:
I often experience discomfort with ill-fitting and poorly designed tongues. Asolo certainly got this right! The padded tongue provides a great fit, all day comfort and it keeps water from getting inside during stream crossings.
- MicroPulley patented lacing system:
I must say, this is pretty cool. Asolo uses little pulleys for some of the lacing anchors (instead of holes or loops, etc.). This helps with a variety of things, including ease of putting the boots on or taking them off, and with overall comfort by allowing the laces to flex while hiking.
- On the inside:
- The Gore-Tex lining system is another benefit of these boots. Using Gore-Tex technology helps pull moisture away from perspiring feet as well as keeping any moisture from seeping in from the outside.
- The stock insole and foot bed was surprisingly comfortable. This, coupled with the MicroPulley lacing system provides a secure fit and prevented my feet from sliding around, even on steep descents.
Overall, I am very happy with these boots! The only down side is the appearance after a few trips. A durable cover over the toe would certainly help (similar to other boots in Asolo's line up).
Read more reviews of Asolo gear
Read more gear reviews by Mark Thompson