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Michael's Passions

Backpacking
Camping
Snowboarding
Sport Climbing

Michael's Bio

Anodos

Anodos wrote a review of on February 12, 2012

3 5

No doubt these boots are comfortable, warm, and well-built. The built in snow gaiter is a cool idea, although unnecessary if you're going to be wearing gaiters anyway (which I definitely would be if I'm traipsing around in deep snow for a while).

I didn't end up keeping mine though because if some real shortcomings in practicality regarding some of the boot's features. Firstly, the "achilles strap" doesn't do much of anything. Secondly, the lacing is a pain. It's really difficult to get the lower part of the lacing to stay as tight as you'd want it to be once you start moving up the lacing. I found myself having to retighten from the bottom to the top several times and even then it wasn't where I'd like it to be (especially in the area that would keep the heal secure). Boots with quick lacing hooks would be much more practical.

Those I see to be shortcomings with the boot itself, but my last reason for not keeping them was that the liner doesn't come out. Sure, that doesn't mean that the boot is inadequate as there are plenty of good boots with built-in insulation, but I'm of the belief now that if you're going to camp in the winter especially, it'd be really nice to have your boot liners in your sleeping bag staying warm so that when you get out of your bag in the morning you're not stepping into blocks of ice. Plus, if your boots happen to get wet on the inside, a removable liner will help them dry out much faster.

Bottom line, while these might be great for shoveling the walk way, building snow men, or working outside in the cold, there are better options if you're going to be camping in the winter, hiking, or snowshoeing.

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Anodos

Anodos wrote a review of on January 13, 2012

3 5

As these are the boots that outdoor stores and customers rave about, I bought a pair in 2010 and put a year of hard use in the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania hiking on and off trail as well as working and hunting in them. While they were a lot nicer than the Danners I had before, after one year of use the stitching on the seams on the inside of the boots broke and I returned them. For the price and reputation, I expected these to last much more than a year.

The Good: Good tread and shock absorption design. Good quality leather uppers, totally waterproof. With replacement inserts, these were quite comfortable.

The Not-So-Good: Lateral support in these was less than stellar, resulting in my ankles rolling many times over my year of using these. Not what you should expect from a mid-height, "No Messing Around" boot designed to carry "heavy loads with ease."

On the inside of the boot, there are two seams that will rub on anything that slides up your boot (mostly rocks around here). This would be minimized by staying on trails, but really, if you're investing in "serious footwear" you're probably not staying on the trail, so you're likely to run into the same problem I had. I replaced these with boots that had minimal exposed seams and a rubber rand going around the whole lower edge of the foot (and much better lateral support).

Bottom Line: If you're really going for serious footwear for serious backpacking, there are a lot of better options for the same price range. It would be wise to hold features, design, and quality in higher regard in your decision making process than reviews.

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Anodos

Anodos wrote a review of on January 13, 2012

3 5

I went for these boots because I was looking for a boot with a full rubber rand, high shaft (to protect mainly from water entering over the top but also for ankle support), and sturdy, simple construction for hiking on rough terrain. Unfortunately, I sent the boots back.

The Good: Light weight for this kind of boot, good materials, good design. I like that the last quick loop on the lacing is really tight so you can get your foot lacing tension figured out and then adjust the ankle without the foot changing. Smart. I also appreciated that the Gore-Tex sign on these boots is a cloth tab and not a metal stud imbedded in the leather. The metal studs always get bent or pulled out, in my experience.

The Not-So-Good: Some minor things I didn't like were that the rubber and is actually two pieces meeting together on the sides. If that seem rubs on rocks and stuff while hiking I'd be money it'd start to separate there. This would of course be easily fixable with some shoe-goo, but it's just one point of a general lack of quality in the build. I compared these to my Zamberlan 1006's, and for being in the same price range, the build quality of the Asolo's was noticeably less. When you put your foot into the Zamberlan, it feels like a tub of butter that's been formed to your foot. Not so with the Asolo's. Now, everyone's foot is different, but I'm talking more in terms of a quality of construction and internal materials that amounts to the boot feeling less comfortable and cheap. The killer for me though was the tongue. When you lace the tongue down, the (hard) sides of it end up much farther back along the sides of the ankle than other boots I've seen. This might be ok for some people, but for me I had raw ankles and feet after walking in them for a day. There was also a lot of extra material in the tongue gusset, which makes for a rather sloppy closure around the laces that doesn't measure up to the quality these should.

I generally hate it when people write reviews about boots without having used them for a long time (long past break-in), but in the case of these I think it's worth noting even without fully breaking them in that if you're looking for a heavy duty, high-shaft backpacking boot in the ~$300 price range that there are far better options out there.

Just as one minor addition as well, I was kind of annoyed to see that the back of the top of the shaft swoops down in a rather steep U shape, making the lowest point on the shaft to be not much higher than a standard mid-height hiker (for consideration of water pouring in if it's too high). These definitely provide intense ankle support, but their height wouldn't provide much wading benefit.

The moral of the story: If you're ok spending $260 (on sale) for boots, you'd probably be best investing in another boot. If Asolo just happens to be the brand of boot that fits you best out of any others and you want to go as light weight as possible for a boot of this kind, knock yourself out.

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Anodos

Anodos wrote a review of on October 22, 2011

2 5

Nice knife for what it is, but the blade sticks out far from the handle in width (takes up more space in pocket) and the clip bends out easily making it loose (and very losable). Had mine for about three days before the pocket clip bent out and I dropped it hiking without realizing it. My buddy bought one too and the pocket clip got caught on the frame of his truck as he was getting out one day and the pocket clip broke off. Lots of better knives out there for the price.

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Anodos

Anodos wrote a review of on July 9, 2011

2 5

Unfortunately I have to return my second pair of H2's within a year due to the stitching coming out over the suede patch on the heals. I'm extremely disappointed because otherwise I like the sandals a lot, as they're really comfortable and practical in design. But if the stitching can't hold up to at least a year of active outdoor use then it's not worth my time or money. My first pair was last year's model and the stitching came out after about 6 months, whereas the new pair that came in the mail last month had the same problem after a month. It doesn't appear that Keen is making these any tougher.

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Anodos

Anodos wrote a question about on March 24, 2011

I sleep in a hammock sometimes, and morning dew or unexpected rain makes me think a sleeping bag with Conduit SL might be a good idea, but I'm not sure. My concern though is whether the Spectre 20 would be warm enough for a possible winter backpacking trip or if the Banshee 0 might be a more versatile bag to go for? Would the Banshee be a bit too heavy for backpacking? I'm debating between those two and the Phantom 0 or 15. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Anodos

Anodos wrote a question about on February 19, 2011

Anybody ever backpack with these? I know they're advertised as climbing pants, but I have a pair of pants with similar qualities made by a Swedish outdoor company that I love to backpack in due to the non-baggy fit, slight stretch and extra toughness over thin nylon "hiking pants." Would these fair similarly?

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