Asolo Triumph Gv GTX and Tacoma Gv
$230, 2 lbs. 6 oz. (men’s Euro 42/US 9)
Sizes: men’s Euro 39-47/US 6.5-13, women’s Euro 36-43/US 5-11
You want to test boots, take them on a trek in New Zealand. You want to really test boots, take them on the Dusky Track in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, quite possibly the wettest, muddiest, most arduous footpath in a country known for its wet, rugged mountain tracks. I wore the Triumph Gv GTX in March on a four-day, hut-to-hut hike on the Dusky, from Lake Roe to Wilmot Pass Road, in a typical mix of Fiordland conditions—rain, wind, impressively deep mud, and occasional, brief flirtations with sunshine—and the boots shined much more brightly than the meteorological conditions.
The key ingredient in the midweight, mid-cut men’s Triumph Gv GTX and women’s Tacoma Gv sits under the hood: The AsoloFlex lasting board allows Asolo to vary the boot’s stiffness across a range of boot sizes, which means that no matter your size, the boot will have a comfortable flex pattern and torsional support. Asolo says that AsoloFlex does not deform over time, meaning it always protects your feet from stones and roots. I carried up to about 25 pounds on the Dusky (no tents or camping gear, we slept in huts), but these boots clearly have the support for carrying 35 to 40 pounds. I wore them out of the box comfortably, thanks to moderate forefoot flex, but I expect them to soften up a little over time. Metal lacing eyelets ensure good durability, and a nylon lace loop at midfoot help lock the laces in place there so that you can loosen the upper boot at times to allow more flex at the ankle.
The Triumph and Tacoma also offer features and performance you’d normally pay upwards of $300 for in a high-end leather boot, but at a lower price and weight. For starters, all-leather uppers and Gore-Tex lining kept my feet dry in extremely wet conditions, slopping for hours through mud and boggy earth in steady rain. (Detailed explanation: Combined with gaiters, the boots kept my feet dry through the first day in precisely those conditions. My feet were wet for the next three days of the trek because there were numerous fords of streams and flooded areas or mud bogs where the water or mud was more than calf-deep, so water kept coming in over the boot tops.) The Vibram outsole’s widely spaced lugs and smoother tread beneath the toes shed the gloppiest mud and gripped wet rocks and tree roots well, and the rubber toe cap armors the boot against the abuse of rocky trails and hiking off-trail.
Bonus: You can always resole Asolo boots without affecting the fit (which is medium- to high-volume, with plenty of wiggle room for toes; I wore thicker socks in them than I wear in many other boot brands).
BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking either of these links to purchase a pair of Asolo Triumph Gv GTX men’s boots at backcountry.com or the women’s Tacoma Gv at backcountry.com.
NOTE: I’ve been testing gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See all of my reviews by clicking on the Gear Reviews category at left or in the main menu.
Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, recognized as a top outdoors blog by USA Today and others. I invite you to get email updates about new stories and gear giveaways by entering your email address in the box in the left sidebar, at the bottom of this post, or on my About page, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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