Looking to buy the Asolo Reston award-winning trekking boot? (or it's sister the Asolo Athena?) Our first shipment arrived an hour ago and we couldn't wait to try them on and tell you about them! These boots are so new--and limited in availability--that if you've heard of them at all it's likely because they were just given Backpacker Magazine's 2013 Editor's Choice Award in the 2013 Gear Guide that started hitting mailboxes at the end of last week.
Asolo's Reston and Athena are a part of their new "Natural Shape Line" an innovative combination of the low to the ground, lightweight minimalist trend and the support offered by traditional boots. Besides the impressive styling, what is initially striking is how comfortable the Reston is when you slip it on. OK, it's also hits you immediately how light this shoe is especially given that it has a full-length "shank" that Asolo is calling the "Central insert Asoflex Natural Shape in TP". While it's not as substantial as a heavier weight boot, this insert clearly offers support and protection against the contours of the trail in a way that running shoes and minimalist footwear can't.
The size 10.5 weighs in at just about 1 lb 3 oz. apiece...for comparison this is about an ounce heavier than Treksta's lightweight Evolution Mid hiker that won the 2011 Editor's Choice Award. For protection give the edge to the Reston's TPU underfoot, but for support the Evolution's Nestfit outperforms for anyone looking for more motion control. Both are surprisingly comfortable shoes, the Restons on my feet almost feel like slippers! I can't wait to test them on the trail.
Note: While a comfortable average width, if you've got a wider foot you probably should be looking at Zamberlan's 230 Crosser...also see yesterday's blog.