Gear Review- Asolo Fission GV Hiking Boots

It is waterproof, comfortable, and won't give you blisters. It protects your soles and toes from sharp rocks and genreal toe-stubbing clutziness, and is engineered to wick-away moisture to keep your feet cool and dry. The perfect boot? Not quite, but as far as hiking boots go the Asolo Fission GV Hiking Boots for women come close. 

When I purchased these beauties I immediately put them to the test, and in the past few weeks they have been tested in a variety of environments ranging from the leaf-clad paths of Itasca State Park in Minnesota to the steep climb to Rattlesnake Ridge in the Cascades. They have been been on well maintained trails, and have created trails of their own. In all of these tests they have performed remarkably well, and I couldn't be more pleased.

1) The Style-

Style is not the same as fashion, and these boots make no attempt to disguise their purpose or to imitate the look or feel of a tennis shoe. The Asolos are made to tackle any hiking environment and to protect the feet of the wearer. They have the "traditional" boot silhouette, which provides extra ankle support and stability. The Asolos are constructed with water-resistant suede leather and nylon, which is meant to "ensure that the uppers are durable and flexible, offering good support and breathability." ( They also have GORE-TEX® waterproof liners to help your feet stay dry, and Vibram® rubber out-soles to protect eh soles and allow the wearer to have an excellent grip when descending. All of these features sound great, but the true question is how do they hold up in reality?

Fortunately, in my experience the Asolos have performed as well as (if not better than) promised. The soles gripped rocks without issue when I descended the rather steep Rattlesnake Ridge trail in Washington's Cascade Mountains. When used on a five-mile hike in 80+ degree weather, my feet stayed dry as the boots allowed them to breathe and wicked sweat away as promised. I have yet to wear them in a downpour or splash in a stream with them, so I can not attest to the thoroughness of their waterproof abilities, but I can attest to their comfort level and cushioning.

When I received these boots I foolishly decided to wear them on a few-hour off-trail hike without breaking them in. I expected to earn blisters for my idiocy, but (to my delight) the Asolos felt as if they had been molded to my feet over years and after the hike there was no soreness or a blister to be found. No matter the length of my hike, at the end of the day I've had incredibly happy feet, and as I've learned quickly, happy feet equal a happy hiker. 

As if all of these features weren't enough, the Asolo boots have another element that has become (to my surprise) an absolute favorite of mine. The toe-bumpers. Those simple rubber toe covers at the end of your boot are an absolute gift if you are like me and stub your toes a lot. Originally I was unsure about them- I believe my original thought was "my, those are ugly"- but after attempting to break my toes on hidden rocks and tree roots numerous times, I now see the toe-bumpers as works of genius. No one likes a stubbed toe, and with the Asolos it is almost imposssible to get them.*

*Note: please don't take that as a challenge and slam your toe into a wall or something as hard as you can to see if you toes stay protected. These boots are amazing, but I doubt they were designed to protect against that level of silliness.     

2) The Fit-

The Asolos fit well to the foot. As mentioned previously, I wore my Asolos on a hike without breaking them in and suffered no blisters or other common break-in pains. I did order my boots a half-size larger than my everyday flats, but I also do that with my running shoes, and as such am unsure if that is a personal quirk or a good rule of thumb for these boots. I would recommend wearing the boots with higher socks to protect against ankle chaffing. I am unsure if this is necessary, but I feel that it is better to be safe than sorry. I would definitely recommend trying the Asolos on in store before purchasing, however if this is not possible, REI has a wonderful exchange policy.

3) Projected Utility-

The Asolos are a high quality boot that is perfect for my needs. They have so far withstood every form of punishment I have thrown at them without any signs of wear or tear. I have not as yet taken these boots on an all day hike, but Asolo guarantees their product for one year, and many of the customer reviews I have read talk about their boots lasting for 5-10 years even with frequent wear. As such, it is my hope that these boots will be capable of being used relatively often (a weekend or two a month) for at least five years.

Overall the Asolos are a solid, comfortable boot that provides excellent support and protection for the feet and ankles. They are well designed and constructed out of durable, high-quality materials. Of course, the drawback to these boots is their price- they are listed at a steep $240. I was fortunate enough to snag my pair during REI's anniversary sale for under $200, but I was prepared to pay full price for these wonderful boots. If they continue to perform as well as they have thus-far and last for as long as I hope, then they will be more than worth the stiff initial price.      


Have any questions that I haven't answered? Think I missed something? Please feel free to ask me via email or in the comment section below! I would love to hear from you!

Review- Mountain Hardwear Yuma Pant

They are here!!! Last week I made my first hiking clothing purchase! After a lot of internal debates,  a bit of rashness, I purchased the Mountain Hardwear Yuma Pant. I haven't had a chance to take them out and truly test them, but I have worn them around the house and below are my initial impressions.

1) The Style-

These pants have a relaxed fit, which means they are loose on the thighs while still fitting snugly (though not too snugly) around the waist. The material is comfortable against your skin, and has a bit of stretch, but not so much that I am worried they will stretch out too much throughout a hard day's hike (I have a pair of pants that do that, and it is one of the most annoying flaws in pants- am I the only one who feels this way?). The Yuma's feature one pocket located on the right thigh, which is big enough to easily hold my iPhone. The waistband has a soft lining called Micro-Chamois by Mountain Hardwear which keeps the waistband from chaffing even if you are lugging a heavy backpack for long periods of time. As a relative newbie to hiking, I would never have considered that issue, and I really appreciated the thought that was put into the Yuma's design. Finally, as if all of these style considerations weren't enough, these pants look cute. While being fashionable isn't a necessity for hiking, it is definitely a nice perk that I appreciate. 

2) The Fit-

I am usually between a 4-6 in pants, but since most of my pants come from the Gap, I am guessing that my actual size is a solid 6. I am 5'2"-5'3" in height, so length is always a point of concern when purchasing pants. Luckily for me, these pants are available in three different inseam lengths, and had a super helpful sizing guide. I ordered a 6/32, and they are practically perfect!! They are a tad bit snug around my waist (hello winter weight), but I think an 8 would have been too big, and the length is spot on! When I'm barefoot the pants have a tiny bit of extra material, but with a pair of hiking boots they will be perfect.

Note: Unfortunately offers limited sizes in the Yuma pant. However has more options available, and their Stone Green Yuma's are on sale right now for $48.90 (normally $70.00)! 

3) Projected Utility-

The Yuma pant is created out of comfortable and (reportedly) durable material with a DWR finish (read water resistant). I have not had a chance to test their water resistant properties, but I did spill a glass of water on myself while wearing them (because I'm graceful like that) and the pants remained completely dry. This fact, along with the UPF 50 rating UV block, makes me hopeful that these pants will handle any weather that Glacier sends my way. I am slightly concerned that the Yuma's will be too warm during the summer heat, and I will probably bring a pair of shorts along on my first few hikes just in case. However, the pants fold and roll into a compact and manageable size, even for me (and I'm a terrible folder/packer). This fact, along with their light weight, will make them easy to pack initially and an almost unnoticeable addition to a hiking backpack if I do end up change out of them on the trail.

Overall I am very optimistic about the Yuma's. Their comfort level and water resistance make them ideal for most weather conditions. If they do prove too warm for the heat of summer days, they will be perfect pants for around the campfire in the evenings. I am pleased with my purchase, and I can't wait to test them outside! I hope that you have found this review helpful, and please feel free to ask me about anything you feel I have overlooked!