Field Test, Asolo Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots

My recently purchased Keen lows are great for wearing around the well worn trails of the  valley I live in, but I needed something more substantial for the rocky terrain of the high country. After quite a few months of procrastination I finally settled on the Asolo Fugitive GTX mids. The boots feelsturdy and well made and the $250 price tag is considerably smaller than some of the other Gor-Tex boots in this class.

Asolo Fugitive.jpgI’ve actually been wearing these around for a couple of weeks to get a good feel for their capabilities. The boots are a bit stiffer than what I’m used to, without succumbing to a “hard ride” and the little bit of stiffness is a welcome feature when the trail gets rocky and uneven. The Asolo Syncro sole provides excellent protection from sharp rocks awesome traction in wet or dry conditions and the rubber toe box is excellent armor against toe stubs.

The boot required no breaking in and was comfortable right out of the box. I discovered no hot spots or pokies inside the boot, and my feet are blister free after miles of hiking in all kinds of conditions that a Colorado springtime can throw at a trekker. Yesterday was my final big test as I received the opportunity to slog through the cold wet melting snow following a major Colorado spring snowstorm. Even with wet snow packing itself onto the tops of the shoes, my feet remained warm and dry inside thanks to the breathable and waterproof Gor-Tex membrane. And although not a solid leather boot, this boot with the waterproof membrane is well insulated against the cold and is an excellent choice for snowshoeing. A gaiter ring would be nice, but just hooking my gaiters to the laces worked fine too. Of course a winter boot should be considered for the extreme winter temperatures experienced by wintertime 14er summit seekers.

The Fugitive also sports an excellent lacing system and comes with quality laces with plenty of length. The laces slide easily through all the eyelets allowing for quick tightening and just the right amount of pressure throughout the foot span. Due to the soft lining and quality lacing system, the tops of the boots can be tied snugly without cutting off circulation and causing discomfort. In all my trekking over rock strewn trails in the last couple of weeks I have experienced no painful ankle rolls.

These attractive boots are light and nimble and I am looking forward to a good summer on some new Colorado 14ers without having to spend any time tending to sore feet. I can definitely recommend this boot to my readers along with my regards and wishes for happy trail hunting this season! The Asolo GTX can be purchased at REI online and at local retail stores.

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items

 

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Field Testing Keen Targhee II Hiking Boots

Hot weather is fast approaching and a pair of Keen Targhee low hikers looked like just the ticket for summer hiking comfort. The Targhee is a durable leather and mesh waterproof boot with just the right mix of protection, weight and breathability.

Keen TargheeColorado 14ers are my passion but summiting one of these beasts means many hours on the trail in every kind of condition that Mother Nature can throw at a person. Conditions can range from the heat of summer at the base of the mountain to the dead of winter above treeline.

The Targhee comes with the patented “Keen Dry” waterproof membrane, a material that keeps water out while allowing good airflow for comfort in the heat. The waterproof membrane also provides a decent layer of insulation as temperatures plummet in the high terrain.

I deliberately purchased these boots a half size large to make room for an extra layer of blister preventing sock liners and for a thick memory foam foot liner. After a few hikes and a couple full days at work on the brutally hard floors I have to say this may be the most comfortable pair of hikers I have ever experienced. The durable rubber toe shield provides excellent protection from rocks and the Keen Dry water proof membrane appears to perform admirably. After miles of constant wear I didn’t experience any blister causing friction points or toe curl, even with my somewhat wide foot profile. If you are an ankle roller, or if you are planning a lot of hiking on rock strewn trails, it might be a good idea to consider going with a mid or high profile boot.

At $125, this Keen hiker is a bargain. I highly recommend Keen hiking boots for rugged outdoor wear, whether in the rugged mountain terrain or on the flat dirt trails of the midwest.

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items

Late Winter 2015

Winter 2015 is winding down but you wouldn’t know it by going outside. Snow and subzero temperatures last night felt more like January but nevertheless, March is only a week away and with that a quick couple of weeks to the official start of spring. This week finds me busy on several fronts, including the wrapping up of my review of the Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX Hiking boot. Feeling kind of sad about completing that project, it was a blast and testing the boots was giving me a good excuse to get out in the great outdoors and wander around. Now I will have to make up some new reasons to get out and about.

Speaking of the article writing endeavor, it looks like I am going to get a new opportunity. The Examiner has invited me to work on a program where top examiners will be covering local events for the CBS Local website. Unlike regular articles, these will pay a flat fee and must be reviewed through the editing process. I am confident about this though as I am already familiar with the interface and have had a number of articles about the local running scene pass through the editors. So stay tuned, and we will see if I can become a famous CBS reporter!

Also trying a new once an hour oxygenation treatment to see if we can beat back Tricia’s cancer. Time consuming but the initial results look promising and we are hoping to soon start dialing back the oxygen condenser.

Have been watching the “Living With Wolves” documentary about Jim and Jamie Dutcher’s experiment with forming the Sawtooth Wolf Pack. I am absolutely captivated by the complexity and depth of feeling displayed by the wolves. Americans would do well to learn from the Nez Perce native American tribe who revered the wolf and sought to emulate the family bond and other admiral qualities of the wolf. I wish the gun toting rednecks who seek to destroy the wolf population had the humanity of wolves, including joy, affection and grief that the entire pack experiences throughout their short lives. In one particular sad segment of the show one of the pack was killed by a mountain lion and the mournful howling of the group was quite touching. Hunters, trappers and ranchers need to understand that the murder of a wolf results in hardship for the whole pack of wolves making it more, not less likely that the pack will need to turn to the easy prey of livestock instead of more difficult prey that a more effective pack could pursue. I think if more people watched this video there would be a lot less hatred of the animals and perhaps they would be placed back on the endangered list everywhere.

There was a bit of progress the other day when the Department of Fish and Game did put the wolves back on the endangered list in several states. However my joy at seeing the news was tempered by the news that a republican senator has introduced legislation to reverse the decision by the federal judge and restart the mindless slaughter. I hope the grass roots effort that resulted in the federal decision in the first place will rise up again and dissuade the republican congress from once again thumbing their nose at the people they are supposed to be representing.

New Vasque Boots

Not many things make me happier than a new pair of hiking boots. It always seemed to me that a person’s shoes are an indication of who and what they are. A good looking pair of hiking boots are a symbol of freedom, outdoors and adventure, serious equipment befitting a mountain lone wolf.

Vasque Breeze

Vasque Breeze

So yesterday was a big day when my Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX hiking boots arrived for me to give a test ride. More than just a pair of shoes, they are a cool excuse for me to lace up and head out onto the rocky trails of the high peaks where I will discover how they feel in the snow, on the sharp rocks, during a stream crossing, across a boulder field and on steep climbs. Considering the delight I have received from walking in my first pair of Vasque’s, I’m quite certain that my field report on the Breeze model for the Examiner will be filled with positive comments.

First things first though, the boots have been unpacked from the box and photographed before their christening in the mud, snow, rocks and ice of the Pike National Forest. Laced up and tried on, they have proven to be a perfect fit, comfortable as a glove right out of the box. I am looking forward to living in these boots for a couple of weeks, walking, hiking and climbing in them every time I get the chance. So stay tuned as we find out what the Vasque Breeze GTX is made of. Also, be sure to get your free subscription to my Examiner news feed and you will receive an email the minute my field report is available!