ASOLO Fugitive GTX Boots Combat Tested in Afghanistan

by December 3, 2010 12/3/10
Huckberry Curated

I’ve been in Afghanistan for a total of 16 months thus far and only 6 months spent with my Asolo Fugitive GTX boots; I wish I would have had them from the get go!

Having spent fall, winter, and early spring in the mountains of Afghanistan and late spring, summer, fall, and now winter in the deserts of Afghanistan I have seen the multitude of climates that Afghanistan can offer and have experienced firsthand how good and bad footwear can affect your feet.

Backstory

I first came into the mountainous terrain during the late spring with a pair of 8” Converse “sneaker” boots; while these proved comfortable, they were incredibly hot and bulky during the high temp days and acted as sponges during the thaw/freeze cycles of the temperamental Afghan winters and left my feel screaming to be dried out.

After Converse, I moved to my low-top Merrell Chameleons which are great to wear as well as lightweight. After 3 months of abuse in the mountains the toe-cap on both shoes started peeling back and getting stuck on rocks during movements and kicking up dirt. I then tried a pair of North Face low-top hiking sneakers and they have held up and worked just fine. My only gripe is that low-tops just don’t provide enough ankle support and protection.

ASOLO Fugitive GTX Boots 02

After hanging out with the guys of Army Civil Affairs and various Spec-Ops members I noticed about 30% of them were wearing Asolo boots; I inquired more about them and got some great feedback from the wearers and decided next time I was in the US I would check them out. In the mean-time I did some research and found out Asolo is an Italian company that was created in 1975 and is focused on providing great outdoor footwear for lightweight hiking in the most treacherous terrain.

What I Wanted in a New Boot

  • No Low Tops — I need ankle support and protection.
  • Sturdy Toe Caps — I didn’t want them falling off after use and abuse.
  • Waterproof — Contrary to popular belief, Afghanistan has rain, snow, and various water sources.
  • Sustain Heavy Loads — I constantly carry 60-90lbs of gear.

What Asolo Provided

ASOLO Fugitive GTX Boots 03Long story short, when I went home on R&R after being gone for nine months, I was on the hunt for some new Asolo boots. My hunt brought me to one of the big box outdoor stores that had various Asolo boots. After careful consideration I chose the $200 Asolo Fugitive GTX mid-top boots.

My return to Afghanistan with new Asolo’s on my feet proved to be a great choice, although the stiff soles took some getting used to. I’ve now been wearing my Asolo’s for 6 months and I’m more than pleased with their durability, comfort, and fit. The stiff sole is there for a reason and becomes ever-so important when my 60+ lbs of gear is packed on. The sole provides rigid arch support and spring to each step.

Crossing water hazards is not an issue and my feet remain dry thanks to Gore-Tex and the Fox River socks I wear with my boots. The Fox socks also help with hot spots that develop and I’ve had no issue with any. The only problem I’ve had with my Asolo boots is the laces.

Since the boot uses speed laces, the metal has the propensity to wear down and fray the laces causing them to eventually break. If you’re deployed, bring an extra set or two of laces just in case. I highly recommend the Asolo Fugitive GTX boots and look forward to having them in my “foot arsenal” for the next year I’m spending in Afghanistan.

Editor’s Note: We’d like to encourage everyone to head over Brent’s Website, OpOutpost.com Created to enable forward deployed individuals to   buy, sell, trade and receive donated items; increasing their standard of living in remote areas.


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Scott
Scott

I've worn these same Osolo Fugitives for over 6 years now. They have been through water, mud, mountains, rocky terrain, sand, gravel roads, etc. They have yet to split, rip or tear anywhere inside or outside of the boot.

Highly rec'd these for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines going down range. Assuming you can wear personally owned gear.

Great boot, bar none !!

Scott.

Scott
Scott

I've worn these same Osolo Fugitives for over 6 years now. They have been through water, mud, mountains, rocky terrain, sand, gravel roads, etc. They have yet to split, rip or tear anywhere inside or outside of the boot. Highly rec'd these for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines going down range. Assuming you can wear personally owned gear. Great boot, bar none !! Scott.

Sean
Sean

I agree Brent, the Asolo Fugitive GTX boots are incredibly comfortable. I would just wear them around instead of tennis shoes. Great idea on the 550 cord for the shoe laces. Thanks for everything, Sean

Kickin'Rocks
Kickin'Rocks

Hi Brent,

Thanks so much for your review. Based on yours and other deployers/outdoorsy-types, I've gone with a women's version of your Fugitive's. I'd deployed a few times to Iraq and always taken issue boots or something similar. This time I decided to go with more of a hiking boot, but chose poorly, and got a pair with (what I now know are) weak soles. The rocks here chewed through them in a month. I brought snow boots with me for the harsher months, but I'd rather not wear them unless it's absolutely necessary. Checked Sierra Trading Post as per an above recommendation and scored them for $94 (including shipping!) with a 30% off coupon. The site is really great, I just didn't know where to start looking for a good GTX boot. Based on what I've read, I think I'm going to be very happy with my ASOLOs; thanks so much for this website as well as www.opoutpost.com! I'll be passing on these great sources. :)

Kickin'Rocks
Kickin'Rocks

Hi Brent, Thanks so much for your review. Based on yours and other deployers/outdoorsy-types, I've gone with a women's version of your Fugitive's. I'd deployed a few times to Iraq and always taken issue boots or something similar. This time I decided to go with more of a hiking boot, but chose poorly, and got a pair with (what I now know are) weak soles. The rocks here chewed through them in a month. I brought snow boots with me for the harsher months, but I'd rather not wear them unless it's absolutely necessary. Checked Sierra Trading Post as per an above recommendation and scored them for $94 (including shipping!) with a 30% off coupon. The site is really great, I just didn't know where to start looking for a good GTX boot. Based on what I've read, I think I'm going to be very happy with my ASOLOs; thanks so much for this website as well as www.opoutpost.com! I'll be passing on these great sources. :)

Rescueman
Rescueman

I have had these boots for 3 years and I use them for everything!!! Originaly bought them for SAR and now use them for work too!!! Everything on these boots are indistuctible excepet the laces which you pointed out. Glad someone had the good sense to share these with the world.

Mike
Mike

I wore these for 6 months in Afghanistan, as did my team leader. They are bomb proof, warm and sturdy. I am 200lbs and was an automatic rifleman (read: heavier loads) and they gave a lot of support climbing the hills. The toe box is generous (which I need) and I'm still on the original laces. My feet were warm and dry (with the right socks). Can't say enough about them.

Geoffrey
Geoffrey

Sounds like this Brent Piatti guy really knows his stuff! If he's half as good an operator as he is product tester/reviewer, he can be my wingman anyday.

Q
Q

While I am a soldier, I have never gotten to wear these boots on deployment. However, after 5 years of owning these boots I can say these boots kick ass. I've used them on everything from hiking to tree climbing, to everyday winter snowboot use and they are the best. Finally my boots started to give (understandably) and the sole started to peal. I heart about Asolo's customer service and I contacted them (I can't say the same about Oakley's customer service). They replied quickly and before I knew it my boots were in their factory. They are about to send them back to me and I'd like to see what they've done. No charge at all to me (other than shipping). They have been nothing but courteous, especially as these boots are WAY out of warranty. I actually just emailed the representative this link so hopefully they will get a taste about what us folks in this profession are saying and wanting from their products.

fuspar
fuspar

I love my Fox River socks and the fact that they are US made, now how about a discount for ITS plank owners?

Fox River Socks
Fox River Socks

Hi Brent,

Thanks for the feedback again. I will send your note about a low-cut ankle Military-featured sock to Product Development for consideration. We love to hear ideas like this. Feel free to send them to us anytime to foxweb@foxrivermills.com or me directly.

Mike Tyer

mtyer@foxrivermills.com

Fox River Socks
Fox River Socks

Hi Brent, Thanks for the feedback again. I will send your note about a low-cut ankle Military-featured sock to Product Development for consideration. We love to hear ideas like this. Feel free to send them to us anytime to foxweb@foxrivermills.com or me directly. Mike Tyer mtyer@foxrivermills.com

Hausfeld T
Hausfeld T

Sounds like these boots are very durable but how well do they work as running/PT boots?

I guess its always a hang up between practicing like you play or saving your knees.

Hausfeld T
Hausfeld T

Sounds like these boots are very durable but how well do they work as running/PT boots? I guess its always a hang up between practicing like you play or saving your knees.

Brent M. Piatti
Brent M. Piatti

Interesting info on the foot powder, I use that stuff so much I have considered buying stock in the companies that produce it.

Brent M. Piatti
Brent M. Piatti

You got it guys. I purchased my Fox River Socks per recommendation of my old Platoon Sergeant right before I left for Afghanistan in AUG2009 and still wear them on the regular. The fact that I am an Iowa boy made my decision to purchase your product a breeze. I personally rock the older version of the 6074’s that are a coyote/green color combo.

Any chance you could make low-cut PT socks with the same features and colors that your Military Boot Socks come in?

Brent M. Piatti
Brent M. Piatti

You got it Jason. Yeah, stay away from sewage with these those Converse sponge boots.

volk_odinochka
volk_odinochka

(NOTE: if moderator shoots this down because of the 'plug' I understand). Sierra Trading post has these boots for under $120 and a good selection of sizes and colors. I was so pleased with my first pair I got a second. I concur with the above statements and the positives more than outweight the negatives I outline below. Through an Asolo dealer I did get a second pair of laces and some extra stock footbeds.

The only con and this applies to any goretex footwear is, well, goretex. The fine print says using foot powder impedes breathability so to those like myself who use foot powder be cognizant. Other companies even void footwear warranties if you use foot powder with their goretex footwear. The second con is once the goretex is 'tired', there is pretty much no way to rejuvenate it like a goretex jacket. The third con is slow drying. If you get it wet it will be slow to dry out than a non-gtx boot. There are ways to mitigate but not eliminate these issues this but that's another thread.

volk_odinochka
volk_odinochka

(NOTE: if moderator shoots this down because of the 'plug' I understand). Sierra Trading post has these boots for under $120 and a good selection of sizes and colors. I was so pleased with my first pair I got a second. I concur with the above statements and the positives more than outweight the negatives I outline below. Through an Asolo dealer I did get a second pair of laces and some extra stock footbeds. The only con and this applies to any goretex footwear is, well, goretex. The fine print says using foot powder impedes breathability so to those like myself who use foot powder be cognizant. Other companies even void footwear warranties if you use foot powder with their goretex footwear. The second con is once the goretex is 'tired', there is pretty much no way to rejuvenate it like a goretex jacket. The third con is slow drying. If you get it wet it will be slow to dry out than a non-gtx boot. There are ways to mitigate but not eliminate these issues this but that's another thread.

Fox River Socks
Fox River Socks

Hi Brent,

What a great post. Thanks for mentioning Fox River Socks. We are glad our socks help protect your feet from blisters and hot spots. (That's what they're designed to do!) Also, we checked out your other website OpOutpost.com. It's a great site. We listed a discount coupon and reminder of our FoxSox4Soldiers program where we'll ship socks for free to any APO/FPO.

What's your favorite Fox River Military Sock? We find many soldiers prefer the versatility of the 6074 Maximum Over-the-Calf. (More information here:

Please keep us in mind if you're interested in gear-testing new styles as they're developed. Just reach out to us at the e-mail address provided and we can put you on the list when new product testing is being done.

We're proud to be made in the USA since 1900 and appreciate all that soldiers like you do to protect our freedom here at home.

Thanks again,

Your friends at Fox River Socks.

Made in the heart of the country in Osage, Iowa.

www.foxsox.com

Fox River Socks
Fox River Socks

Hi Brent, What a great post. Thanks for mentioning Fox River Socks. We are glad our socks help protect your feet from blisters and hot spots. (That's what they're designed to do!) Also, we checked out your other website OpOutpost.com. It's a great site. We listed a discount coupon and reminder of our FoxSox4Soldiers program where we'll ship socks for free to any APO/FPO. What's your favorite Fox River Military Sock? We find many soldiers prefer the versatility of the 6074 Maximum Over-the-Calf. (More information here: Please keep us in mind if you're interested in gear-testing new styles as they're developed. Just reach out to us at the e-mail address provided and we can put you on the list when new product testing is being done. We're proud to be made in the USA since 1900 and appreciate all that soldiers like you do to protect our freedom here at home. Thanks again, Your friends at Fox River Socks. Made in the heart of the country in Osage, Iowa. www.foxsox.com

Ian
Ian

I love my Asolo Fugitives. Great for everyday wear or out on the hunt.

Eric S.
Eric S.

Those look pretty nice, glad to see they are working out over there.

Stay safe!

Eric S.
Eric S.

Those look pretty nice, glad to see they are working out over there. Stay safe!

Jason A
Jason A

Thanks for the info man. I know what Converse you're talking about. They are comfortable but get very hot and absorb water, or sewage in the case of Iraq.

Brent Piatti
Brent Piatti

They are not meant for PT, you can run in them for short bursts or distances, but the soles are stiff and made for humping heavy loads.

Brent M. Piatti
Brent M. Piatti

You got it guys. I purchased my Fox River Socks per recommendation of my old Platoon Sergeant right before I left for Afghanistan in AUG2009 and still wear them on the regular. The fact that I am an Iowa boy made my decision to purchase your product a breeze. I personally rock the older version of the 6074’s that are a coyote/green color combo. Any chance you could make low-cut PT socks with the same features and colors that your Military Boot Socks come in?

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