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Owner Review Asolo TPS 520 (Brad Johnson)

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  • Brad
    Asolo TPS 520 Boots Reviewer Information Name: Brad Johnson Age: 29 Gender: Male Height: 6 3 (1.9 m) Weight: 240 lbs (108 kg) E-mail Address:
    Message 1 of 12 , Nov 19, 2009
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      Asolo TPS 520 Boots


      Reviewer Information

      Name: Brad Johnson
      Age: 29
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 3" (1.9 m)
      Weight: 240 lbs (108 kg)
      E-mail Address: bradley_g_johnson@...
      City: Charlotte
      State: North Carolina
      Country: USA
      Date: Nov. 19, 2009

      Backpacking Background: I started backpacking as a teen after an Outward Bound trip. Since then I have spent numerous long weekends in the backcountry with occasional week long trips. Perhaps more importantly, I am a geologist and spend extensive amounts of time day hiking and generally wandering around wild places. While I currently live in Charlotte, NC, my research generally focuses on alpine areas and I spend a lot of time in the western US above treeline. This leads to my encountering snow, hail, sun, rain, wind, and generally unpredictable weather. I often hike off trail or in areas with no trail.

      Product Information

      Manufacturer: Asolo
      URL: http://www.asolo.com/
      Listed weight: 29 oz (820 grams) for size 8.5; I wear size 13
      Materials - Full grain leather uppers; Gore-Tex lined; Vibram soles
      MSRP: $250

      A pair of Asolo 520 boots come in standard boot box with few accessories other than paperwork for Gore-Tex and Vibram. The boots consist of one piece of leather on the uppers the wraps all the way round the back to the seam point. The tongue is a separate piece of leather but no seems are clearly exposed. Cleats are a standard system similar to that of the classic Vasque Sundowner with pulleys leading up to U-hooks. The boots are Gore-Tex lined.

      The boots are part of Asolo's backpacking line of products and can generally be assumed to be for people carrying significant loads of weight. Full grain leather provides stiffness through the upper ankle and I'm pretty sure no stiffeners are used in the ankle section. The soles are extremely both laterally and longitudinally. The intent of the manufacture is for these boots to be worn by people on longer treks and those needing significant ankle support.

      Personal Experience

      I have worn these boots in many different conditions since I purchased them in 2006. I have used them in extreme spring and summer weather in the mountains of the western U.S. and have never found them to leak. On numerous occasions (including last week during the passage of Hurricane Ida) I have used them to stand in streams less than 4 inches deep for periods of up to an hour. During these periods I have never had wet feet. I often pair them with tall OR gaiters and use them to cross snowfields.

      The break in period for these boots was less than for some other boots that I have owned recently. I believe this to be because they are full grain leather and do not contain any plastic stiffeners. Despite being made of leather, they have not stretched significantly to change their size. The insoles are cheap and resemble most other factory insoles in boots on the market.

      They provide solid ankle support while traversing steep slopes but actually hamper climbing up steep slopes due to their intense ankle support (and thereby lack of ankle flexibility). They are stiff enough in the ankle that I won't drive in them. When off trail, I find the durability of full grain leather to be a necessity. Despite dragging them through sage brush, bushes, and boulder fields, the uppers are in relatively good condition. I must admit that I am not the best at using leather conditioner and yet the boots appear to be in good shape. I find the stiffness of the sole to be reassuring on uneven ground and solid on steep slopes. I have often used the stiff toe to kick steps into soft spring snowfields.

      The shoelaces lasted about two years from the time and purchase and broke at the location of the highest pulley before the lowest cleat. This occurred on both boots. Round replacement laces (they come with flat) appear to last a bit longer.

      Summary

      Good:
      1) Super Durable
      2) Waterproof
      3) Stable under foot

      Bad:
      1) Heavy
      2) Tough to scramble in
      3) Cheap Insoles
    • chcoa
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 12 , Nov 22, 2009
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community! The Editors will work with you, within their own time constraints, to get your first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely manner. Do not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben(at)hotmail.com

        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
        yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.

        Once your first two Owner Reviews have been approved and you have submitted your Tester Agreement you will be eligible to start applying for Tests. If you'd like more assistance or guidance with the process you can request a mentor by sending an email to Jenn K., the mentor coordinator, at mentor (at) backpackgeartest.org.

        You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group. These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your review. Incorporating member edits and re-submitting to the list
        will usually result in a better review, as well as making things easier for the official Editor. Please put REVISED in the subject line of your re-submitted review if you take this route or make any
        changes to your review BEFORE the review has been taken by an Edit Moderator.

        Additionally, it is important for you to monitor the Yahoo Groups list to keep track of the progress of your Owner Review. Once an Editor has taken your OR and made the necessary edits they will post their comments to the list with EDIT in the subject line. Once you have incorporated these edits into your review please use REPOST in the subject line. When your OR has been approved by the Editor they will use APPROVED in the subject line.

        If you'd like to keep track of the progress of your OR while it's in the edit queue, the entire Owner Review Queue is posted to this yahoo group list on either Thursdays or Fridays.

        If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via the list or contact me directly.

        Regards
        Jamie DeBenedetto
        Edit Administration Manager
      • sophie_pearson
        Hi Brad, Welcome to backpackgeartest, really great start for your first review! I had to take the edits when I saw that you are a geologist - I am a
        Message 3 of 12 , Dec 3, 2009
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          Hi Brad,
          Welcome to backpackgeartest, really great start for your first review! I had to take the edits when I saw that you are a geologist - I am a geophysicist in Florida :)

          I use the standard format for edits -
          EDIT: must change
          Edit: suggested change, it's up to you
          Comment: something to think about

          After revising, please repost to this list, with "Repost" added to the title.

          You can also put an HTML copy in the Owner Review Test Folder, and include a link to it in your repost. After logging in to the main site, the folder is found at the end of the list of reviews on the main page, or here;
          http://tinyurl.com/4mfwa

          The free BGT Report Writer for HTML creation may be found here;
          http://www.backpackgeartest.org/lesson.php?lesson=RR&page=1

          If you need any help with your upload, please ask in our Yahoo!
          support group, BGTFileUploadHelp at
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BGTFileUploadHelp/?yguid=209560176

          Cheers,
          Sophie



          >Reviewer Information
          Edit: For a boot test it is nice to put your shoe size in this section (in US and EU sizes).


          > Listed weight: 29 oz (820 grams) for size 8.5; I wear size 13
          EDIT: You need to measure the weight of your boots and list it for comparison.


          > MSRP: $250
          EDIT: Did you get this from the Asolo website? I couldn't find it there. We only quote MSRP direct from the manufacturer, otherwise put 'N/A' or 'not listed'.


          > The boots consist of one piece of leather on the uppers the wraps all the way round the back to the seam point.
          EDIT: 'that' wraps


          >The tongue is a separate piece of leather but no seems are clearly exposed.
          EDIT: seams
          Comment: Although it is not required in your first OR, pictures can make so much difference to help a reader visualize what you are talking about.


          > The soles are extremely both laterally and longitudinally.
          EDIT: extremely what?!!


          > Personal Experience
          Comment: We really like to have a separate section entitled 'Field Conditions' or something similar. It sounds like you have had plenty of use with these and I know that it is hard to assess, but it would be really nice for the reader to get a vague idea of how far you have hiked in the boots - 10 miles, 50, 100, 500?!


          > I have used them to stand in streams less than 4 inches deep for periods of up to an hour.
          EDIT: conversion for 4 inches


          > The shoelaces lasted about two years from the time and purchase
          EDIT: time 'of' purchase'
        • Brad
          Thanks for the edits. I ve made all of them and uploaded the HTML file. There is a new picture in the html version. Asolo TPS 520 Boots Reviewer Information
          Message 4 of 12 , Dec 9, 2009
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            Thanks for the edits. I've made all of them and uploaded the HTML file. There is a new picture in the html version.

            Asolo TPS 520 Boots


            Reviewer Information

            Name: Brad Johnson
            Age: 29
            Gender: Male
            Height: 6' 3" (1.9 m)
            Weight: 240 lbs (108 kg)
            Shoe Size: 13 (EU 46)
            E-mail Address: bradley_g_johnson@...
            City: Charlotte
            State: North Carolina
            Country: USA
            Date: Nov. 19, 2009

            Backpacking Background: I started backpacking as a teen after an Outward Bound trip. Since then I have spent numerous long weekends in the backcountry with occasional week long trips. Perhaps more importantly, I am a geologist and spend extensive amounts of time day hiking and generally wandering around wild places. While I currently live in Charlotte, NC, my research generally focuses on alpine areas and I spend a lot of time in the western US above treeline.
            This leads to my encountering snow, hail, sun, rain, wind, and generally unpredictable weather. I often hike off trail or in areas with no trail.

            Product Information

            Manufacturer: Asolo
            URL: http://www.asolo.com/
            Listed weight: 29 oz (820 grams) for size 8.5
            Actual Weight: Size 13 (EU 46) 32 oz (~900 grams) which have been worn for two years
            Materials - Full grain leather uppers; Gore-Tex lined; Vibram soles
            MSRP: N/A

            A pair of Asolo 520 boots come in standard boot box with few accessories other than paperwork for Gore-Tex and Vibram. The boots consist of one piece of leather on the uppers that wraps all the way round the back to the seam point. The tongue is a separate piece of leather but no seams are clearly exposed. Cleats are a standard system similar to that of the classic Vasque Sundowner
            with pulleys leading up to U-hooks. The boots are Gore-Tex lined.

            The boots are part of Asolo's backpacking line of products and can generally be assumed to be for people carrying significant loads of weight. Full grain leather provides stiffness through the upper ankle and I'm pretty sure no stiffeners are used in the ankle section. The soles are extremely rigid both laterally and longitudinally. The intent of the manufacture is for these boots to be worn by people on longer treks and those needing significant ankle support.

            Personal Experience

            I have worn these boots in many different conditions since I purchased them in 2006. I have worn them for over 100 days total since I purchased them. I've hiked as far as 15 miles in them but often when I do field work I am walking less and working/digging moreI have used them in extreme spring and summer weather in the mountains of the western U.S. and have never found them to leak. On numerous occasions(including last week during the passage of Hurricane Ida)
            I have used them to stand in streams less than 4 inches (~10 cm) deep for periods of up to an hour. During these periods I have never had wet feet. I often pair them with tall OR gaiters and use them to cross snowfields.

            The break in period for these boots was less than for some other boots that I have owned recently. I believe this to be because they are full grain leather and do not contain any plastic stiffeners. Despite being made of leather, they have not stretched significantly to change their size. The insoles are cheap and resemble most other factory insoles in boots on the market.

            They provide solid ankle support while traversing steep slopes but actually hamper climbing up steep slopes due to their intense ankle support (and thereby lack of ankle flexibility). They are stiff enough in the ankle that I won't drive in them. When off trail, I find the durability of full grain leather to be a necessity. Despite dragging them through sage brush, bushes, and boulder fields, the uppers are in relatively good condition. I must admit that I am not the best at using leather conditioner and yet the boots appear to be in good shape. I find the stiffness of the sole to be reassuring on uneven ground and solid on steep slopes. I have often used the stiff toe to kick steps into soft spring snowfields.

            The shoelaces lasted about two years from the time of purchase and broke at the location of the highest pulley before the lowest cleat. This occurred on both boots. Round replacement laces (they come with flat) appear to last a bit longer.

            Summary

            Good:
            1) Super Durable
            2) Waterproof
            3) Stable under foot

            Bad:
            1) Heavy
            2) Tough to scramble in
            3) Cheap Insoles
            4) Expensive
          • sophie_pearson
            Hi Brad, Nice job, you re almost done! Just a few more edits, then if you can repost the html and to the list that would be great. The edits follow the same
            Message 5 of 12 , Dec 20, 2009
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              Hi Brad,
              Nice job, you're almost done! Just a few more edits, then if you can repost the html and to the list that would be great. The edits follow the same format as before:
              EDIT - must change
              Edit - suggested change
              Comment - just that.

              Cheers,
              Sophie


              Asolo TPS 520 Boots
              EDIT: You also need to state that this is an owner review and put the date near the top.
              Edit: To make the title and subheadings stand out more, a different size font would work well. You can check out other reviews for ideas, for example here http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Footwear/Boots/Asolo%20Fugitive%20GTX%20Hiking%20Boots/Owner%20Review%20by%20Ray%20Estrella/


              Shoe Size: 13 (EU 46)
              EDIT: US 13 (Britain uses only slightly different sizes so there could be some confusion).


              E-mail Address: bradley_g_johnson@...
              Edit: We suggest that you simply write out your email address because of spamming, bradley_g_johnson at whatever dot com. It appears to link to something, but the link goes somewhere funky on my computer.


              Backpacking background
              Comment: It would be quite nice to get an idea of your backpacking style – how much do you normally carry on a trip (do you saw off the handle of a toothbrush, or take the kitchen sink?!!), and what sort of distances do you generally hike? It really helps to give the reader an idea of how their use of gear is likely to compare to yours.


              A pair of Asolo 520 boots come in standard boot box
              EDIT: 'a' standard boot box

              The boots consist of one piece of leather on the uppers that wraps all the way round the back to the seam point.
              Comment: The picture you added is great! A close-up picture of the boots would really help the reader to visualize what you are talking about too, but it is up to you (you can just use the picture off the Asolo website if it is properly attributed too).


              I am walking less and  working/digging moreI
              EDIT: you are missing a period and space 'more. I'


              On numerous occasions(including last week
              EDIT: space between 'occasions' and '(including'


              Hurricane Ida)
              I have used them to stand in streams less than 4 inches (~10 cm) deep
              EDIT: formatting issue – you seem to have an extra line break here


              tall OR gaiters
              EDIT: spell out Outdoor Research if you want to put the brand in there, as many people won't know what OR stands for.


              The break in period
              EDIT: break-in


              Summary:
              Edit: You have inconsistent capitalization in the summary section (insoles and durable don't need capitals)


              3) Stable under foot
              EDIT: underfoot


              4) Expensive
              Edit: This is a very subjective term. Maybe give a comparison (Expensive compared to other boots on the market)?
              Comment: You appear to have an extra line in the html between points 3 and 4.
            • Tim Earley
              Hello and Happy Holidays! Here s Owner Review number 2! I ve also included a link to the html version in the test folder (looks so much better than a copy and
              Message 6 of 12 , Dec 22, 2009
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                Hello and Happy Holidays!
                Here's Owner Review number 2! I've also included a link to the html
                version in the test folder (looks so much better than a copy and paste
                email). It can be found
                here.<http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/OR%20Tim%20Earley%20Danner%20453%20GTX%20Hiking%20Boots/>
                Let
                me know what stinks and what's good!
                Thanks,
                Tim

                Danner 453 GTX Hiking Boots

                Owner Review

                Tester Information:
                Name: Tim Earley
                Age: 26
                Gender: Male
                Height: 6' 0"/ 1.80 m
                Weight: 185 lb/ 84 kg
                Email address: timothy.earley@...
                City, State, Country: Yonkers, New York, USA

                Backpacking Background:
                My first exposure to backpacking was about seven years ago in the Army where
                I learned everything I needed to learn about being comfortable in the
                wilderness with little to no “comfort gear.” I primarily do day hikes now,
                with the occasional overnight jaunt thrown in whenever possible. I consider
                myself a lightweight packer, though not a minimalist. My favorite hikes are
                those that have significant elevation change as these provide the best
                views, most challenge and best reward. I am most comfortable in cool to
                cold weather as I tend to overheat in other seasons.

                Product Information:
                Manufacturer: Danner
                Model: 453 GTX
                Sizes: 6-14; size 12 reviewed
                Color: Tan/Grey
                Year of Manufacture: 2008-2009
                URL:www.danner.com
                Listed weight: 48 oz (1360 g)
                Measured weight: 51 oz (1446 g) for size 12
                Fabric Content: Nubuck Leather Fabric with GORE-TEX lining
                MSRP: $160.00
                Country of Manufacture: USA


                Product Description:
                The Danner 453 GTX hiking boots are GORE-TEX lined leather hiking boots.
                They come in either dark tan or light tan coloring. The upper comes up
                about one inch past the ankle, providing good ankle support. The laces are
                standard boot laces run through six pairs of eyelets. The last eyelet is
                just about at the top of the boot, allowing the wearer to tighten down the
                top nicely. The tongue is connected to the boot on either side except for
                the top inch, preventing water from seeping in. The toe cap is a tough
                rubber material that not only prevents scuffing, but provides quite a bit of
                protection against rocks and other potential toe busters. Danner put a
                TERRA FORCE sole on the boot which is supposed to be lightweight yet
                durable. The tread on the heel is reversed to provide traction and prevent
                slipping while going downhill (as shown in the picture below).
                Bottom Tread Pattern

                Initial Impressions:

                I have lots military experience with Danner products and have always been
                impressed. I ordered these boots with confidence online after reading some
                great reviews. When I first received them the first thing I noticed was how
                big the box was. I mean this box was HUGE for a pair of size 12 boots. I
                thought they were the wrong size but they were the size 12 that I ordered.

                I soon found out that the reason the box was so big is because these boots
                are not just average hiking boots. In fact, I think they fall exclusively
                into the realm of backpacking boots. They feature thick, tough ankle
                support and a toe box that should protect the wearer's feet from anything
                but a deliberate boulder punt. There’s even some protective soft plastic to
                protect the heel from, say, a deliberate boulder back- kick? There don’t
                seem to be any places where Danner sacrificed durability for weight, and I
                appreciate that in footwear. I felt very confident that these boots would
                be appropriate for me, as I have a life long history of ankle injuries and
                require appropriate ankle support in my footwear.

                When I put the boots on for the first time I noticed they were, as expected,
                quite stiff. I was a little disappointed in the lacing system as it is sort
                of bulky and awkward, especially with the stock laces in. The stock laces
                seemed to bind a bit whenever I tried to tighten them. These laces were
                very low quality, basically glorified shoe laces. I replaced them with
                lengths of parachute cord and couldn’t be happier. Parachute cord has a way
                of gliding through eyelets a lot better than normal shoe or boot laces.

                I trudged around in the boots for a couple hours and went up and down some
                steps to test for fit and inevitable hot spots. I didn’t find any hot spots
                although I did feel some slipping in the heel. This really concerned me and
                I thought about returning them. But I decided to give them a quick day hike
                to see if it was something that could be broken in as they were extremely
                stiff and I figured I could soften the material up. The day hike ended with
                me being undecided. They were supportive and durable for sure, but they
                were going to take a LONG time to break in. And being the genius I am, I
                got them filthy on the first hike out. So much for returning for a smaller
                size!

                To make a long story short, they broke in after a couple more hikes and they
                fit great now, although I have to say, the right boot still slips ever so
                slightly in the heel. This is not nearly enough to cause a hot spot, just a
                sensation that the right boot is barely too big. My right foot seems to be
                in between Danner's sizes.

                These are my default footwear rain or shine, summer or winter because of my
                ankles. They have seen somewhere on the order of 150 miles so far and have
                saved my ankles on several occasions. Sometimes my fiance and I will be in
                the woods and I’ll say “Yep, would have broken my ankle again if I didn’t
                have good boots!” So I’m grateful for the support.

                These boots also feature a GORE-TEX laminate for waterproofing. The boots
                are sealed right up to about the top of the tongue. No water getting in the
                sides. I stood in ankle deep water in a creek picking crawfish out from
                under rocks for about 45 minutes without a drop of water in my boots.
                Unfortunately, the boots were not able to protect me from forgetting to
                take my pack off while leaning over rocks, losing my balance and falling
                into waist deep water only to find my fiance laughing so hard she’s crying.
                I’ve found that only time can heal that wound.

                The soles at first had very poor traction on wet rocks but that went away
                once I seemed to wear through the surface of the sole. There must have been
                some coating left over from the manufacturing process. Beware, they aren’t
                just sort of slippery, they’re EXTREMELY slippery on wet rocks to start. So
                much so that I could imagine hurting myself pretty badly. Like I said this
                goes away, but be warned. Perhaps roughing the soles up before use will
                prevent this.

                Owner Review
                Side View
                Field Conditions:
                I have used these boots in temperatures ranging from 10 degrees Fahrenheit
                (-15 degrees Celsius) to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius). I've
                worn them on about twenty separate trips totaling at least 150 miles
                (conservative estimate). They have also seen everything from driving rain to
                deep sloppy mud to snow. They have proven to be reliably weatherproof and
                provide surprisingly good traction in the snow and mud. The breathability,
                however, is not what I had expected. In weather above 60 degrees Fahrenheit
                (16 degrees Celsius) my feet get quite warm and sweaty. But in cooler
                weather, they are toasty warm. While the boots are not insulated, they do
                seem to keep my feet pretty warm with a good pair of wool socks on. With
                that said, I believe they will make a fine pair of snowshoeing boots.

                Review:
                Overall I have been pleased with the performance of these boots. I prefer
                tougher, slightly heavier boots over some of the more “ultralight” boots
                available. These fit that bill well. They provide great ankle support for
                backpacking with up to a 40 lb pack. They are reliably weatherproof and
                provide plenty of warmth while on the move on cold days. The additional
                warmth disappears once I stop moving for more than a couple of minutes as I
                think it’s a function of the mediocre breathability more than anything else.

                The soles strike a good balance between rigidity and flexibility. They are
                rigid enough to provide good edging on rocks but flexible enough to be
                comfortable over a long day of hiking. The soles also provide good traction
                (aside from the aforementioned slippery rocks), even going downhill.

                As I’ve said, the breathability is mediocre. In cool enough weather (or
                slow enough activity, for that matter) they are very comfortable and breath
                more than well enough. However, if I up the tempo a bit (or go out on a
                warmer day) I do feel some dampness in the boots. I wouldn’t attribute this
                to these particular boots as I’ve experienced the same with GORE-TEX jackets
                and pants. It’s just part of the deal with GORE-TEX I suppose. In any
                case, they breath far better than a pair of rubber boots!
                The boots seem to be holding up very well as I truly beat my boots up pretty
                badly. There are nothing more than some asthetic scars and maybe some
                staining of the leather from moisture. The toecaps have provided ample
                protection for my toes and are no worse for the wear.

                I have to comment on another unexpected aspect of these boots. When wearing
                them recently on a snowy backpacking trip, I noticed they did a very good
                job of keep snow off my feet. What I mean by that is that while snow will
                get in over the top, the boots seem to cinch down just above the ankles
                (almost like a draft collar on a sleeping bag), preventing any from actually
                getting to my feet. Surely not a substitute for gaiters as I still had to
                wipe the snow out, but I was unprepared it was nice to know I wasn't going
                to have chunks of snow under my feet all day.

                Summary:
                These boots have been exactly what I expected. They are tough, durable and
                supportive. They provide all the protection that my feet and ankles require
                and give me a good grip on all types of ground. However, this amount of
                protection comes at the price of increased weight and mediocre
                breathability.

                I would recommend these boots to anyone with weak or injured ankles looking
                for a boot appropriate for year round use, as long as they don’t mind a bit
                of sweat in the warmer months. They would also be appropriate for anyone
                who uses lightweight footwear in warmer months and is looking for more
                substantial cool weather footwear. I look forward to snowshoeing with these
                boots and will continue to use them until they fall apart.

                The Good:
                1. Ankle support is great
                2. Completely weatherproof
                3. Good multi-direction traction (after inital break in period)

                The Bad:
                1. Incredibly slippery on wet rock to start. Take some sandpaper to the
                soles to start.
                2. Breathability is barely adequate in warmer weather.
                3. The stock laces simply stink. Replace them with parachute cord.


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Brad
                Asolo TPS 520 Boots By Brad Johnson Owner Review 1/5/10 Reviewer Information Name: Brad Johnson Age: 29 Gender: Male Height: 6 3 (1.9 m) Weight: 240 lbs (108
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 5, 2010
                • 0 Attachment
                  Asolo TPS 520 Boots
                  By Brad Johnson
                  Owner Review
                  1/5/10

                  Reviewer Information

                  Name: Brad Johnson
                  Age: 29
                  Gender: Male
                  Height: 6' 3" (1.9 m)
                  Weight: 240 lbs (108 kg)
                  Shoe Size: US 13 (EU 46)
                  E-mail Address: bradley_g_johnsonAThotmailDOTcom
                  City: Charlotte
                  State: North Carolina
                  Country: USA
                  Date: Nov. 19, 2009

                  Backpacking Background: I started backpacking as a teen after an Outward Bound trip. Since then I have spent numerous long weekends in the backcountry with occasional week long trips. Perhaps more importantly, I am a geologist and spend extensive amounts of time day hiking and generally wandering around wild places. While I currently live in Charlotte, NC, my research generally focuses on alpine areas and I spend a lot of time in the western US above treeline. 
                  This leads to my encountering snow, hail, sun, rain, wind, and generally unpredictable weather. I often hike off trail or in areas with no trail. In terms of weight, I try and keep my load between 40 and 50 lbs. (18-23 kg) but often end up carrying heavy equipment like long handled shovels.

                  Product Information

                  Manufacturer: Asolo
                  URL: http://www.asolo.com/
                  Listed weight: 29 oz (820 grams) for size 8.5
                  Actual Weight: Size 13 (EU 46) 32 oz (~900 grams) which have been worn for two years
                  Materials - Full grain leather uppers; Gore-Tex lined; Vibram soles
                  MSRP: N/A

                  A pair of Asolo 520 boots come in a standard boot box with few accessories other than paperwork for Gore-Tex and Vibram. The boots consist of one piece of leather on the uppers that wraps all the way round the back to the seam point.  The tongue is a separate piece of leather but no seams are clearly exposed.  Cleats are a standard system similar to that of the classic Vasque Sundowner
                  with pulleys leading up to U-hooks. The boots are Gore-Tex lined.

                  The boots are part of Asolo's backpacking line of products and can generally be assumed to be for people carrying significant loads of weight. Full grain leather provides stiffness through the upper ankle and I'm pretty sure no stiffeners are used in the ankle section. The soles are extremely rigid both laterally and longitudinally. The intent of the manufacture is for these boots to be worn by people on longer treks and those needing significant ankle support.

                  Personal Experience

                  I have worn these boots in many different conditions since I purchased them in 2006. I have worn them for over 100 days total since I purchased them. I've hiked  as far as 15 miles in them but often when I do field work I am walking less and  working/digging more. I have used them in extreme spring and summer weather in the mountains of the western U.S. and have never found them to leak. On numerous occasions (including recently during the passage of Hurricane Ida) I have used them to stand in streams less than 4 inches (~10 cm) deep for periods of up to an hour. During these periods I have never had wet feet. I often pair them with tall Outdoor Research gaiters and use them to cross snowfields.



                  The break-in period for these boots was less than for some other boots that I have owned recently. I believe this to be because they are full grain leather and do not contain any plastic stiffeners. Despite being made of leather, they have not stretched significantly to change their size. The insoles are cheap and resemble most other factory insoles in boots on the market.

                  They provide solid ankle support while traversing steep slopes but actually hamper climbing up steep slopes due to their intense ankle support (and thereby lack of ankle flexibility). They are stiff enough in the ankle that I won't drive in them. When off trail, I find the durability of full grain leather to be a necessity. Despite dragging them through sage brush, bushes, and boulder fields, the uppers are in relatively good condition. I must admit that I am not the best at using leather conditioner and yet the boots appear to be in good shape. I find the stiffness of the sole to be reassuring on uneven ground and solid on steep slopes. I have often used the stiff toe to kick steps into soft spring snowfields.

                  The shoelaces lasted about two years from the time of purchase and broke at the location of the highest pulley before the lowest cleat. This occurred on both boots. Round replacement laces (they come with flat) appear to last a bit longer.

                  Summary

                  Good:
                  1) Super durable
                  2) Waterproof
                  3) Stable under foot

                  Bad:
                  1) Heavy
                  2) Tough to scramble in
                  3) Cheap insoles
                  4) Expensive compared with other boots on the market
                • sophie_pearson
                  Hi Brad, Other than a couple of small edits, there is just a formatting issue before I can clear you to upload. You appear to have quite a few line breaks and
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 6, 2010
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hi Brad,
                    Other than a couple of small edits, there is just a formatting issue before I can clear you to upload. You appear to have quite a few line breaks and extra lines in the html. If you can't figure out how to get rid of them (I don't know how familiar you are with html) you can ask here:
                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BGTFileUploadHelp/

                    Once they are sorted, please repost the html and to the list and if it all looks good you will be ready to upload. The edits are below.
                    Cheers,
                    Sophie



                    1/5/10
                    >>>>Edit: This is up to you, but as a Brit who moved to the USA I know how confusing date formats can be (MMDDYY v DDMMYY) and so generally think spelling out the month is better.


                    Weight: 240 lbs (108 kg)

                    Shoe Size: US 13 (EU 46)
                    >>>>EDIT: You have an extra line here


                    Date: Nov. 19, 2009
                    >>>EDIT: Don't need this here as the date is above


                    day hiking
                    >>>>EDIT: day-hiking


                    western US above treeline.
                    This leads to my encountering snow
                    >>>>EDIT: You have got an extra line break in here


                    I often hike off trail
                    >>>>EDIT: off-trail


                    40 and 50 lbs.
                    >>>>EDIT: don't need period here and makes the sentence confusing


                    Listed weight: 29 oz (820 grams) for size 8.5

                    Actual Weight: Size 13 (EU 46) 32 oz (~900 grams) which have
                    >>>>EDIT: extra line here


                    A pair of Asolo 520 boots come in a standard boot box
                    >>>>EDIT: this falls into the realm of projecting, which is a big no-no with BGT. How the boots are sent out may now have changed or may vary by location, so better to rephrase to something like 'My pair of Asolo 520 boots came in'


                    Vasque Sundowner
                    with pulleys leading
                    >>>>EDIT: extra line break


                    I've hiked as far as 15 miles in them
                    >>>>EDIT: need conversion for miles
                    >>>>Edit: 15 miles over how long? A day?


                    When off trail, I find the durability
                    >>>>EDIT: off-trail


                    3) Cheap insoles

                    4) Expensive compared with other boots on the market
                    >>>>EDIT: Your html has an extra line between these two points
                  • Brad
                    Sophie, Sorry I ve been so slow to get on this but I know its here and I ll get around to it early next week. Its been a busy time. Cheers, Brad
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jan 22, 2010
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Sophie,
                      Sorry I've been so slow to get on this but I know its here and I'll get around to it early next week. Its been a busy time.
                      Cheers,
                      Brad

                      --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "sophie_pearson" <sophiep3@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi Brad,
                      > Other than a couple of small edits, there is just a formatting issue before I can clear you to upload. You appear to have quite a few line breaks and extra lines in the html. If you can't figure out how to get rid of them (I don't know how familiar you are with html) you can ask here:
                      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BGTFileUploadHelp/
                      >
                      > Once they are sorted, please repost the html and to the list and if it all looks good you will be ready to upload. The edits are below.
                      > Cheers,
                      > Sophie
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > 1/5/10
                      > >>>>Edit: This is up to you, but as a Brit who moved to the USA I know how confusing date formats can be (MMDDYY v DDMMYY) and so generally think spelling out the month is better.
                      >
                      >
                      > Weight: 240 lbs (108 kg)
                      >
                      > Shoe Size: US 13 (EU 46)
                      > >>>>EDIT: You have an extra line here
                      >
                      >
                      > Date: Nov. 19, 2009
                      > >>>EDIT: Don't need this here as the date is above
                      >
                      >
                      > day hiking
                      > >>>>EDIT: day-hiking
                      >
                      >
                      > western US above treeline.
                      > This leads to my encountering snow
                      > >>>>EDIT: You have got an extra line break in here
                      >
                      >
                      > I often hike off trail
                      > >>>>EDIT: off-trail
                      >
                      >
                      > 40 and 50 lbs.
                      > >>>>EDIT: don't need period here and makes the sentence confusing
                      >
                      >
                      > Listed weight: 29 oz (820 grams) for size 8.5
                      >
                      > Actual Weight: Size 13 (EU 46) 32 oz (~900 grams) which have
                      > >>>>EDIT: extra line here
                      >
                      >
                      > A pair of Asolo 520 boots come in a standard boot box
                      > >>>>EDIT: this falls into the realm of projecting, which is a big no-no with BGT. How the boots are sent out may now have changed or may vary by location, so better to rephrase to something like 'My pair of Asolo 520 boots came in'
                      >
                      >
                      > Vasque Sundowner
                      > with pulleys leading
                      > >>>>EDIT: extra line break
                      >
                      >
                      > I've hiked as far as 15 miles in them
                      > >>>>EDIT: need conversion for miles
                      > >>>>Edit: 15 miles over how long? A day?
                      >
                      >
                      > When off trail, I find the durability
                      > >>>>EDIT: off-trail
                      >
                      >
                      > 3) Cheap insoles
                      >
                      > 4) Expensive compared with other boots on the market
                      > >>>>EDIT: Your html has an extra line between these two points
                      >
                    • Brad
                      Sophie, Sorry it took me so long to get to this but, as I mentioned, its been a busy time. It never helps when your files are at home and your html editor is
                      Message 10 of 12 , Feb 9, 2010
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Sophie,
                        Sorry it took me so long to get to this but, as I mentioned, its been a busy time. It never helps when your files are at home and your html editor is a work though! Anyway, I looked through your edits and made them. A couple of the line breaks you mentioned I couldn't find in my code or when the file was opened in a browser. Take a look and tell me if you still see them. I looked at them in multiple browsers. Some of the other ones I did see. Thanks,
                        Brad


                        Asolo TPS 520 Boots
                        By Brad Johnson
                        Owner Review
                        1/5/10

                        Reviewer Information

                        Name: Brad Johnson
                        Age: 29
                        Gender: Male
                        Height: 6' 3" (1.9 m)
                        Weight: 240 lbs (108 kg)
                        Shoe Size: US 13 (EU 46)
                        E-mail Address: bradley_g_johnsonAThotmailDOTcom
                        City: Charlotte
                        State: North Carolina
                        Country: USA

                        Backpacking Background: I started backpacking as a teen after an Outward Bound trip. Since then I have spent numerous long weekends in the backcountry with occasional week long trips. Perhaps more importantly, I am a geologist and spend extensive amounts of time day-hiking and generally wandering around wild places. While I currently live in Charlotte, NC, my research generally focuses on alpine areas and I spend a lot of time in the western US above treeline.  This leads to my encountering snow, hail, sun, rain, wind, and generally unpredictable weather. I often hike off-trail or in areas with no trail. In terms of weight, I try and keep my load between 40 and 50 lbs (18-23 kg) but often end up carrying heavy equipment like long handled shovels.

                        Product Information

                        Manufacturer: Asolo
                        URL: http://www.asolo.com/
                        Listed weight: 29 oz (820 grams) for size 8.5
                        Actual Weight: Size 13 (EU 46) 32 oz (~900 grams) which have been worn for two years
                        Materials - Full grain leather uppers; Gore-Tex lined; Vibram soles
                        MSRP: N/A

                        My pair of Asolo 520 boots come in a standard boot box with few accessories other than paperwork for Gore-Tex and Vibram. The boots consist of one piece of leather on the uppers that wraps all the way round the back to the seam point.  The tongue is a separate piece of leather but no seams are clearly exposed.  Cleats are a standard system similar to that of the classic Vasque Sundowner with pulleys leading up to U-hooks. The boots are Gore-Tex lined.

                        The boots are part of Asolo's backpacking line of products and can generally be assumed to be for people carrying significant loads of weight. Full grain leather provides stiffness through the upper ankle and I'm pretty sure no stiffeners are used in the ankle section. The soles are extremely rigid both laterally and longitudinally. The intent of the manufacture is for these boots to be worn by people on longer treks and those needing significant ankle support.

                        Personal Experience

                        I have worn these boots in many different conditions since I purchased them in 2006. I have worn them for over 100 days total since I purchased them. I've often hiked  as far as 15 miles (24 km)a day in them but often when I do field work I am walking less and  working/digging more. I have used them in extreme spring and summer weather in the mountains of the western U.S. and have never found them to leak. On numerous occasions (including recently during the passage of Hurricane Ida) I have used them to stand in streams less than 4 inches (~10 cm) deep for periods of up to an hour. During these periods I have never had wet feet. I often pair them with tall Outdoor Research gaiters and use them to cross snowfields.



                        The break-in period for these boots was less than for some other boots that I have owned recently. I believe this to be because they are full grain leather and do not contain any plastic stiffeners. Despite being made of leather, they have not stretched significantly to change their size. The insoles are cheap and resemble most other factory insoles in boots on the market.

                        They provide solid ankle support while traversing steep slopes but actually hamper climbing up steep slopes due to their intense ankle support (and thereby lack of ankle flexibility). They are stiff enough in the ankle that I won't drive in them. When off-trail, I find the durability of full grain leather to be a necessity. Despite dragging them through sage brush, bushes, and boulder fields, the uppers are in relatively good condition. I must admit that I am not the best at using leather conditioner and yet the boots appear to be in good shape. I find the stiffness of the sole to be reassuring on uneven ground and solid on steep slopes. I have often used the stiff toe to kick steps into soft spring snowfields.

                        The shoelaces lasted about two years from the time of purchase and broke at the location of the highest pulley before the lowest cleat. This occurred on both boots. Round replacement laces (they come with flat) appear to last a bit longer.

                        Summary

                        Good:
                        1) Super durable
                        2) Waterproof
                        3) Stable under foot

                        Bad:
                        1) Heavy
                        2) Tough to scramble in
                        3) Cheap insoles
                        4) Expensive compared with other boots on the market


                        --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "sophie_pearson" <sophiep3@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi Brad,
                        > Other than a couple of small edits, there is just a formatting issue before I can clear you to upload. You appear to have quite a few line breaks and extra lines in the html. If you can't figure out how to get rid of them (I don't know how familiar you are with html) you can ask here:
                        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BGTFileUploadHelp/
                        >
                        > Once they are sorted, please repost the html and to the list and if it all looks good you will be ready to upload. The edits are below.
                        > Cheers,
                        > Sophie
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > 1/5/10
                        > >>>>Edit: This is up to you, but as a Brit who moved to the USA I know how confusing date formats can be (MMDDYY v DDMMYY) and so generally think spelling out the month is better.
                        >
                        >
                        > Weight: 240 lbs (108 kg)
                        >
                        > Shoe Size: US 13 (EU 46)
                        > >>>>EDIT: You have an extra line here
                        >
                        >
                        > Date: Nov. 19, 2009
                        > >>>EDIT: Don't need this here as the date is above
                        >
                        >
                        > day hiking
                        > >>>>EDIT: day-hiking
                        >
                        >
                        > western US above treeline.
                        > This leads to my encountering snow
                        > >>>>EDIT: You have got an extra line break in here
                        >
                        >
                        > I often hike off trail
                        > >>>>EDIT: off-trail
                        >
                        >
                        > 40 and 50 lbs.
                        > >>>>EDIT: don't need period here and makes the sentence confusing
                        >
                        >
                        > Listed weight: 29 oz (820 grams) for size 8.5
                        >
                        > Actual Weight: Size 13 (EU 46) 32 oz (~900 grams) which have
                        > >>>>EDIT: extra line here
                        >
                        >
                        > A pair of Asolo 520 boots come in a standard boot box
                        > >>>>EDIT: this falls into the realm of projecting, which is a big no-no with BGT. How the boots are sent out may now have changed or may vary by location, so better to rephrase to something like 'My pair of Asolo 520 boots came in'
                        >
                        >
                        > Vasque Sundowner
                        > with pulleys leading
                        > >>>>EDIT: extra line break
                        >
                        >
                        > I've hiked as far as 15 miles in them
                        > >>>>EDIT: need conversion for miles
                        > >>>>Edit: 15 miles over how long? A day?
                        >
                        >
                        > When off trail, I find the durability
                        > >>>>EDIT: off-trail
                        >
                        >
                        > 3) Cheap insoles
                        >
                        > 4) Expensive compared with other boots on the market
                        > >>>>EDIT: Your html has an extra line between these two points
                        >
                      • sophie_pearson
                        Hi Brad, No worries! Thanks for doing the edits. I use firefox and google chrome, I no longer see the line breaks within the text. There are some line breaks
                        Message 11 of 12 , Feb 11, 2010
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Hi Brad,
                          No worries! Thanks for doing the edits. I use firefox and google chrome, I no longer see the line breaks within the text. There are some line breaks within sections but they don't affect the content so if you can't correct them no biggie I guess. I'll still point them out. Just a couple more edits, they take the same format as before:
                          EDIT - must change
                          Edit - suggested change
                          Comment - just that!

                          Cheers,
                          Sophie



                          > Weight: 240 lbs (108 kg)
                          > Shoe Size: US 13 (EU 46)
                          > E-mail Address:�bradley_g_johnsonAThotmailDOTcom
                          Edit: An extra, blank line appears after each of these.


                          > Backpacking Background:
                          EDIT: This is a great description, but we have a word limit of 100 on this section. Please cut it down by 26 words.


                          > Listed weight: 29 oz (820 grams) for size 8.5
                          > Actual Weight: Size 13 (EU 46) 32 oz (~900 grams) which have been worn for two years
                          Edit: Extra blank line between these 2.


                          > My pair of Asolo 520 boots come in a standard boot box with few accessories other than paperwork for Gore-Tex and Vibram.
                          EDIT: 'came' not 'come'


                          > Personal Experience
                          EDIT: Please can you separate this out into a 'Field Conditions' and a 'Personal Experience' or 'Review' section. This makes it easier for the reader to find the information that they are looking for quickly.


                          >I've often hiked �as far as 15 miles (24 km)a day in them
                          EDIT: you are missing a space between '(24 km)' and 'a'


                          > 3) Cheap insoles
                          > 4) Expensive compared with other boots on the market
                          Edit: There is an extra line between these two.
                        • chcoa
                          SOPHIE - Brad Johnson(1) - Asolo TPS 520 Boots - Posted Nov 19(msg#78499), Taken Dec 3, Edit Dec 3(78564), Repost Dec 9, Edit Dec 20(78618), Repost Jan 5, Edit
                          Message 12 of 12 , Mar 5, 2010
                          • 0 Attachment
                            SOPHIE - Brad Johnson(1) - Asolo TPS 520 Boots - Posted Nov 19(msg#78499), Taken Dec 3, Edit Dec 3(78564), Repost Dec 9, Edit Dec 20(78618), Repost Jan 5, Edit Jan 6(78640), TTO Jan 22, will repost soon, Repost Feb 9, Edit Feb 11(78810), Follow up Mar 5,

                            Hi Brad,
                            Following a review of our Owner Review queue at BackpackGearTest.org I noticed you have not responded to the Edit given for the above Owner's Review, which was posted by Sophie back on Feb 11. Please refer to message number 78810 at
                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BackpackGearTest/messages

                            Are you planning to continue with the OR? We are here to help so please don't hesitate to ask if there is something we can assist you with so you can complete your Owner Review?

                            Please let me know how you wish to proceed with this review so I can inform your editor and update the queue.

                            Regards
                            Jamie DeBenedetto
                            Edit Administration Manager
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