Asolo boots are used in spades by Special Operations. Merrill’s are popular but are not the only great boot to wear in the mountains. My entire time on a team and in Special Forces I wore a single boot for moving in tough terrain, an Asolo hiking boot. They’re made tough – and I found out – last forever. Like any boot product there are pro’s and con’s. But, spoiler alert, these are great boots, overall.
Asolo is a town and comune in the Veneto Region of Northern Italy. It is known as “The Pearl of the province of Treviso,” and also as “The City of a Hundred Horizons” for its mountain settings. The brand is named after the town of the same name – and not coincidentally produces boots that excel in mountainous terrain. Here’s what Asolo says about themselves on their site: “Since our inception in 1975, Asolo has gained an important worldwide leadership position in producing technical footwear. Asolo product range covers footwear from the most technical alpine demands to relaxing leisure activities. Whatever outdoor activity you chose, Asolo has you covered. Since the beginning, Asolo created new technologies for people to fully enjoy the outdoors.”
The boots feel like they’re a safe for your feet. They have a heel and forefront insert that protects your feet from falling objects. I’d feel safe operating heavy equipment in these boots. These Asolo boots are warm – extremely warm. I’ve been practically naked in cold weather wearing only the Asolo 95 GTX’s and felt oddly warm and protected. I’ve never felt that these boots did not protect my feet from the elements. They aren’t mini-saunas but they will keep your feet from freezing. However, they’re OK to use in the desert heat, too. Your feet will sweat but they’re still able to breath in these boots. I just wouldn’t make them my range boots or boots I wear to go about normal, daily, outdoor activities abroad in severe heat. They are, however, still excellent for operations and traversing terrain, urban, rural, and mountainous.
I’m hard-pressed to find complaints about these boots. Except that they’re lunky and heavy. If you used this boot to strike someone, it would seriously hurt. Like I said before, these are not the boots for selection or some ruck race and GORUCK event. This is for real hiking and technical trails. They’re huge, too, and take up room when traveling. They require a long break-in and it may be harsh for your feet.
I wore the Asolo 95 GTX’s everyday in Afghanistan in the winter. They were the most dependable piece of equipment I took with me. They aren’t built for speed, ruck running or taking off in land navigation for a selection event. There’s built for the real life mission – and they’re incredibly sturdy. However, a downfall is that with that sturdiness comes a long and harsh break-in period. After the break-in period my Asolo’s still felt unforgiving in their structure. Even still, they never frayed they never lost their stability and form – they still protected both my feet and knees. I’ve worn other boots. But the Asolo’s have earned their place at the top, in my mind for serious, technical hiking and missions.
No, that isn’t me – but it might as well have been. They’ve been widely used – and commonly worn and embraced in the SEAL community. Personally, I intend to climb Mount Rainier next year and I intend to be wearing a pair of Asolo boots, with of course a new review for that pair.
Featured image courtesy of REI.com.