Asolo Fugitive GTX Review

The Asolo Fugitive GTX combines a rigid sole with a relatively flexible upper. They are tough and water-resistant too making them an option that will surely appeal to many hikers.

Asolo Fugitive GTX Hiking Boot - Men's Wool/Black 8.5

Good to know: These boots are a unisex fit.

Pros / Reasons to Buy

  • Tough and durable
  • Great water resistance

Cons / Reasons to Avoid

  • Some may find the upper too flexible
  • Can be expensive

The Asolo Fugitive GTX offer an interesting proposition: their rigid soles and flexible upper section makes them a ‘bridge’ product between flexible walking boots and more technical hiking or mountaineering boots. This is a divisive property and whilst many will surely love the fit of these boots, others would certainly prefer either a regular flexible walking boot or a stiffer technical boot.

It really is a matter of personal taste here! In terms of general build, toughness and water-resistance, these boots sit squarely in the technical boot camp and that’s surely a good thing and, the fact that they can be resoled too means that they could potentially last a very long time indeed. All in all, these are a very interesting proposition and well worth considering if your hiking takes you further off the beaten track – and especially so if this regularly happens in bad weather.

Editor’s note: This article is part of our guide to the best hiking boots, be sure to check out the rest of this guide for our top buying tips:

Compare to Similar Products: 

Salewa Men's Alp Trainer 2 Mid GTX Boots
Hoka Trail Code GTX
Keen Targhee III Waterproof Mid
Asolo Fugitive GTX
Scarpa Rush TRK GTX
Altra Lone Peak ALL-WTHR Mid 2
Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry
Skechers Relment-Pelmo
Teva Grandview GORE-TEX
Timberland White Ledge Mid Waterproof
Salewa Men's Alp Trainer 2 Mid Gtx - Raw Green/pale Frog - 14
Hoka Men's Trail Code GTX Lightweight Hiking Shoes (Castlerock/Persimmon Orange, us_Footwear_Size_System, Adult, Men, Numeric, Medium, Numeric_8)
KEEN Men's Targhee 3 Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boots, Black Olive/Golden Brown, 7 US
Asolo Fugitive GTX Hiking Boot - Men's Wool/Black 8.5
SCARPA Men's Rush Trk GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Hiking and Backpacking Boots - Dark Anthracite/Black - 8.5
ALTRA Women's AL0A7R7J Lone Peak All-WTHR Mid 2 Trail Running Shoe, Black - 5.5 M US
Oboz Men's Bridger BDRY Hiking Boot,Sudan,7 M US
Skechers Men Relaxed Fit¿: Relment - Pelmo Chukka Boot, Khaki Suede, 6.5 US
Teva Men's Grandview GTX Hiking Boot, Chocolate Chip, 7
Timberland Men's White Ledge Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Wheat, 7
Buying Options
Our Ratings
Best Overall Men's
Most Stylish
Best for Long Distance Trails
Most Breathable
Best for Winter/Cold Weather
Best Lightweight
Best for Backpacking
Pros
Excellent comfort. Great combo of breathability and water-resistance.
Excellent Grip. Excellent water resistance
Excellent comfort. Great durability
Tough and durable. Great water resistance.
Excellent durability (including ability to be resoled). Excellent ankle support
Very light. Extremely comfortable
Tough build. Great fit and comfort
Very comfortable. Reasonably priced.
Comfortable. Looks good
Often very inexpensive. Offered in a wide range of sizes.
Cons
Can be pricey. May be a little tight if you have very wide feet
The styling is not to everybody's taste. Some durability concerns
The loos are a little dated. Are relatively expensive outside of the USA
Some may find the upper too flexible. Can be expensive.
Can be pricey. A little heavy
Long term durability concerns. Not well suited to more technical terrain
A little heavy. Not the most breathable
Not suited to technical hiking. Styling is a little dull.
Some durability concerns. Not suited for more extreme trails
Low water resistance. Less ankle support than others.
Traction
Excellent
Excellent
Very Good
Excellent
Excellent
Very Good
Very Good
Very Good
Very Good
Good
Breathability
Excellent
Good
Very Good
Good
Low
Excellent
Low
Low
Good
Low
Ankle Support
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Very good
Excellent
Good
Very Good
Good
Good
Average
Arch support
Regular to good
Regular
Regular
Minimal
Minimal
Regular
Good
Good
Regular
Regular
Fit
Fits true to size available in a single width
Fits true to size. Available in a single width
Fit true to size. Available in normal and wide fit and with a wide range of sizes
Fits true to size. Available in standard and wide fit.
Fits true to size. Available in a single width.
Fits true to size. Available in a single width
Fit is true ot size. Available ins standard and wide versions.
Available in a wide range of sizes with several width options. sizing may run large.
Fits true to size. Available in a single width
Runs small. Available in regular and wide fit.
Materials
Suede leather upper and synthetic
Full synthetic
Leather upper and synthetic
Suede leather and synthetic
Suede leather upper with synthetics
Full synthetic
Leather upper with synthetics
Suede leather upper with synthetics
Leather and synthetic upper
Leather and synthetic upper
Appearance
Modern hiking boot
Modern sports shoe inspired hiking boot
The design is a little dated
The design is a little dated
Modern hiking boot
Modern sports shoe
The design is a little dated
Regular hiking boot
Retro inspired modern hiking trainer
Traditional hiking boot
Durability
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Excellent
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Very Good
Good
Good
Water Resistance
Gore Tex membrane
Gore Tex Membrane
Keen.Dry' breathable waterproof membrane
Gore Tex Membrane
Gore Tex Membrane
In-house waterproof membrane
B-Dry Membrane
Water-resistant treatment and possibly a water-resistant membrane
Gore Tex membrane and water resistant treatment
Water resistant treatment and sealed seems
Weight (pair)
1.04kg/2lb 05oz
868g/1lb 14.6oz
970g/2lb 2oz
1.39kg/3lb 1oz
1.19kg/2lb 10oz
856g/1lb 14oz
1.08kg/2lb 06oz
964g/2lb 02oz
Insoles
Modular insole system to fine-tune fit
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Shaped 'O-FIT' insole
Air Cooled Memory Foam Insole
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Break-in Period
Minimal
Minimal
Very minimal
Minimal
Short break in required
Very minimal
Minimal
Minimal
Minimal
Minimal
Lacing system
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Toe Protection
Reinforced rubber rand on toe
Reinforced toe section
Leather reinforced with rubber toecap
Reinforced toe section with rubber rand
Reinforced rubber toe cap
Rubber reinforced toe
Reinforced rubber toe cap
Rubber rand at toe
Reinforced rand and rubber toe cap
Sole extended up to form a small toe cap

Analysis and Test Results

The Asolo Fugitive GTX has the look of a sturdy hiking boot and, whilst the sole is certainly rigid, the upper is more flexible and allows more foot and ankle mobility than you might first expect. Some hikers love this combo, and if you research these boots, you’ll often see the combo of the rigid sole and flexible upper called out as a key advantage of this product.

However, others will see this as a disadvantage and will wish the upper offered more rigidity and support. Looking beyond the subjective matter of their fit, these boots offer tough build, great water resistance and a decent weight so, if their fit suits you, they are a great option for backcountry and more technical hiking.

Performance Comparison

Traction

The Fugitive GTX boots feature an in-house sole unit from Asolo. It features a deep thread pattern and offers a good level of grip and a sure footing over a range of different surfaces. Coupled with this, the more rigid feel of the soles gives better comfort and allows you to move more assuredly over more technical terrain.

Breathability

Outwardly, these boots are not very well ventilated. The thick suede and nylon used in the upper section prioritizes water resistance and insulation over absolute breathability – that makes sense given that these boots are clearly designed for handling mixed weather. However, this is not to say that they are not breathable. The boots feature a Gore-Tex membrane that allows some air circulation, and, in use, our reviewer’s feet did not get overly sweaty and uncomfortable in these boots. Remember too that your choice of socks can make a big difference to how hot and sweaty your feet feel on a hike and socks made from a naturally moisture wicking material like Merino Wool are a great choice to keep you comfortable.

Ankle Support

The Asolo Fugitive GTX is a mid-high boot. It offers good ankle support, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the upper section of these boots is not as rigid as their design might suggest. As we’ve mentioned before, this is seen by many as a positive point for these boots.

However, it does mean that they do not offer as much ankle support as you might expect. If you’re after a pair of boots for more technical hiking, or if you regularly carry heavy backpacks, then you may find that a boot with a more rigid upper that offers better ankle support is more appropriate for your needs

Arch Support

These boots have a flat footbed, so they don’t really offer any arch support. We think this will be a non-issue to most buyers but, if you feel you’d benefit from better arch support, then the insoles these boots are provided with can easily be swapped out for something more heavily shaped.

Fit

The Asolo Fugitive GTX is offered in sizes from US 6.5/UK 6/EU 39.5 to US 14/UK 13.5/EU 49. It’s available in both standard and wide fit and the sizing is generally considered true.

Materials

The Asolo Fugitive GTX makes extensive use of thick suede leather in its upper – Asolo claim thickness between 1.6mm and 1.8mm for this material – with the rest is made of synthetics. With high density nylon being used in the upper section. These are all tough and durable materials, so they make perfect sense in a rugged hiking boot like this.

Appearance

The Asolo Fugitive has the look of a modern hiking boot, but this model has also been around for a long time and the looks and materials used are no longer cutting edge. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as the design is tested and known to be reliably tough. We don’t think these are bad looking boots, and we like that Asolo has made a feature of the contrasting material textures in the boot’s upper section.

At the time of writing, the boots are offered in two color ways – both are fairly similar, with the difference being that one has red accents and the other has more muted grey accents. These boots are apparently popular with military service personnel, so the more muted ‘tactical’ color option makes sense. 

Durability

This is one area where the Asolo Fugitive GTX shines. The thick suede leather and nylon fabric used in the boot’s upper section are both widely regarded as tough, durable materials. The boots appear to be very well made with double stitching on many of the seams and solid lacing hardware.

But there’s a lot more: These boots are designed to be resoled so when the sole does eventually wear down or start to separate, they can have the sole unit fully replaced. This used to be something you’d take for granted with hiking boots, but as hiking footwear has taken more design and manufacturing cues from trainers and fashion footwear, it’s a feature you see less frequently.

Resoling costs far less than the cost of new boots and often includes a substantial refurbishment of the boots too. With resoling/refurbishment, the life of these boots could easily stretch to decades. Asolo offer resoling themselves and it’s also available from some specialized cobblers and outdoors stores. 

Sustainability

We’ve mentioned in the durability section above that these boots are designed to be resoled. Straight away that’s a great positive step for their sustainability! Our experience is that the soles on hiking boots often wear down or fail whilst the upper is still in generally good condition, so being able to replace the sole is a great and economical way to prolong the life of the product.

Beyond this, Asolo are committed to ensuring their leather is responsibly sourced and require Leather Working Group or Oeko Tek certification form their suppliers. They are also committed to worker welfare and reducing their carbon footprint as a business.

Water Resistance

This is another area where the Asolo Fugitive GTX does very well. The thick, durable materials in the boot’s upper section are backed with a Gore-Tex membrane which, coupled with high gusseting on the boot’s tongue provide excellent water resistance. You can expect your feet to stay dry not just in heavy rain, but also when crossing shallow steams and boggy terrain.

Weight

Weighing in at 1386g/3lb 1oz for a pair, these are heavy boots next to some of the others we have assessed. However, relative to other heavy duty hiking boots, this weight is quite respectable, and we think that many potential buyers will find this to be an acceptable trade-off for the durability and rigidity that comes with these boots.

Insoles

The Asolo Fugitive GTX come with a fairly generic set of padded insoles. These will likely be just left in place by most buyers, but, if you want to adjust the fit of your boots or add extra arch support, then swapping out the insoles is a great and relatively inexpensive way to achieve just this.

Break-in Period

These boots have a minimal breaking-in period – which is somewhat surprising given their rigid soles. The flexible upper section surely helps here. We don’t think that any footwear is completely without a break-in period, but if you have memories of older style hiking boots that took several days to break in, then you’re going to be very pleasantly surprised by these.

Lacing System

These boots use regular laces. These are actually a very versatile way of customizing the fit of your boots and you can use the laces to adjust tension around. different parts of your foot. You can also experiment with different lacing patterns to further refine the fit. 

Toe Protection

The Asolo Fugitive GTX has a reinforced toe section comprising thicker material used around the toe covered with a rubber rand. This gives excellent toe protection – similar to what you’d get in heavier-duty b-rated mountaineering boots. It’s still possible to damage your toes if you kick into something very hard, or trip badly, but the toe protection these boots offer is a cut above most regular hiking boots.

Conclusion

These boots are probably overkill for hikers who stay on more groomed trails and limit their excursions to better weather. However, if you regularly encounter bad weather on your hikes, like to venture onto more technical terrain or often carry heavier packs, then a more robust pair of boots like these Asolos makes a lot of sense.

These boots offer an interesting combo of a stiff sole with a relatively flexible upper section and in this sense, they act as a sort of bridge between lighter, more flexible walking boots and heavier, more rigid mountaineering boots. Some will love this combo, but others would certainly be happier with either an all-over more flexible or more rigid boot.

If these boots are right for you, then they offer a very compelling set of features beyond their fit: they are tough, water resistant and come in at a reasonable weight for what they offer. With this in mind, we think these boots are well-worth considering.

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