View Full Version : I love my new Asolos but....

03-12-2006, 20:18
They don't seem to love me back.

I've worn them around the house, to work, on short hikes, etc. But they just don't seem to want to get along with my feet.

THis past friday I wore them to work (I work in an office so I basically sat around all day) and my feet felt started feeling worse and worse as the day went on.

HOw many miles should I put into these bad boys before I throw in the towel?

03-12-2006, 21:05
If there hurting you when your essentially 'siting around' I'd toss'em. I''ve gone through like three pair of boots until I learned about my feet and found a pair of boots that fit ME. I've tried 'breaking in' boots but found that's alot of crap. Find a pair that fit right, then break'em in for alittle additional comfort.
If there hurting now, you'll be sorry you brought'em on an extended hike with weight on your back

03-12-2006, 21:06
If you have too, you might try changing the insole, or your lacing technique

Old Spice
03-12-2006, 21:08
What model Asolo are they?

03-12-2006, 21:18
Nothing will be as important to you on your hike as a good working relationship with your boots. If they don't like you, after a single day--maybe a single mile--on the Trail you won't like them either.

But, before pitching them or off-loading them via ebay, determine how they don't like you. Where do they rub, what part of your foot objects the most? What aspects of the shoes do you really like? Also, what about your socks? Are you wearing the same type of socks you will be wearing when you hike? Take note of all these things so that when you go out to purchase your next pair you have information to share with the person who is helping you select them.

03-13-2006, 00:30
Return them.
I has some FSN95 GTXs that I loved but they killed my feet just walking around. I got a new brand and never looked back. Find a good fit first, then shop on price and features.

No Belay
03-13-2006, 00:37
Tim I always wear Asolo or Merrells. Asolos have a very stiff heel box and the boot won't feel right until you break it in. I've never had a pair of Asolos that felt good out of the box that weren't sloppy after 30 miles. I like them to feel tight in the heel area when I buy them. To break them in, I take out the insoles, briefly fill the boots with hot water, replace the insoles and after lacing them snugger than usual, start hiking. Change socks as they get uncomfortably moist and keep adjusting your laces to keep a uniform tongue pressure. Walk them dry and then after about another 20 miles they're about as good as they get. If you're not able to walk them dry in one session, it's imperative that you don't let them dry out while they're off your feet. Put em in a plastic bag overnight or fill em with damp towels. Once you break them in, if you bought the right size, I guarantee they'll return your LOVE.

03-14-2006, 10:32
Every shoe manufacturer uses different lasts to build their products. As a result, what fits others may or may not fit your feet. If you don't like one brand now, you certainly aren't going to like them later on the trail. Make the change sooner than later.

03-14-2006, 12:12
Try relacing them differently, as Kirk suggested. I had a pair of Merrels that just wouldn't fit me at all, and really hurt on downhills. I relaced them, skipping some of the eyelets around the bend in my feet, and the shoes suddenly fit perfectly. For me it was just a matter of the laces putting pressure in the wrong places. Hopefully it's the same for you. If not though... ditch the shoes.

03-14-2006, 12:22
Boots are just like that. Great brands don't necessarily mean great fit since everyone's feet are different. I never buy shoes off the internet unless I've tried them in the past. I've had great success with $110 Merrell Pulse. I've also had very bad luck with other Merrells. Go figure. At the same time, my $25 Ozark Trail Wesley from Walmart feels equally good. So it's not price or brand but fit that counts.

03-16-2006, 13:22
Definitely try the relacing idea ... especially if your boots are hurting the tops of your feet. I did the same thing with my boots, trying to break them in around the office and my feet would hurt more and more just sitting at my desk. I tried relacing them and they instantly felt better. After i broke them in on the trail I relaced tighter and tighter until they were perfect.

03-16-2006, 23:17
it's actually the bottom of my feet that tires out (without me even walking)

03-17-2006, 00:28
it's actually the bottom of my feet that tires out (without me even walking)

I've worn full leather Asolos for years (in daily life and on the trail) and I know where you're coming from on the bottoms of your feet hurting. The insoles are sort of thin and don't cushion that well if you're not used to them it's sort of like standing on Gore-Tex lined concrete they can wear your feet out just standing around, but if you can adjust to them they will probably be the best boot you'll ever own. Get out and put a few miles on the in town and see if it doesn't get better. I find it takes about 45-50 miles for any new pair of Asolo's to start feeling good, and it just gets better from there.

Also make sure you don't have them laced too tight. I've found that if I lace the bend and upper too tight I can almost cut off the circulation in my feet and this will certainly wear your feet out.

03-17-2006, 07:33
The most expensive hiking boots seem to have the cheapest insoles possible. Try insoles by superfeet, or spenco they really do make a difference.

03-18-2006, 09:41
Are there any recommendations for boots for people with particularly wide feet?

03-18-2006, 13:04

Boots, hmm. I used to fit boots at a large,national outfitter whose three letter name I won't mention. But, IMHO, it was a great store. And they have a generous bordering on ridiculous return policy. Anyway, this is not meant as a plug.

How experienced was the person who fit your boots? One of the gear people in Backpacker magazine boldly suggest that you demand to see their most experienced bootfitter. And that if now is not a good time for the fitter, to make an appt. to come back at another time. Don't rush buying boots.

Since properly fitted boots are critical to a pleasant trek how can you do any less? Poorly fitting boots are foot prisons.

The fitter should measure your feet in both a sitting and standing position, noting overall length, heel to ball of foot length and width across ball of foot in both positions.

He should also get a feel for whether your feet are low, normal or high volume feet. And if you have low, normal or high arches.

As well, he should note any unusual characteristics about your feet. For example, mine are wide across the toes so I need a generous toe box.

(same applies for skiboots, but the skiboot fitter has many more options for adjusting a skiboot)

Heavier people generally need more boot. I am a big guy. I might set a weight record for my thru- hike this year at the start. Years ago ago I walked into an outfitter in Atlanta's LFP area y some boots. The guy looked me up and down and said: " Well, you might ask more of a boot than a lot of other people might." I ended up with a pair of Asolos that I wore happily until they died. Asolo must have changed their shape and last since then, or my foot changed (they do), since their newer boots don't generally fit me as my old Pirelli-clad ones did.

And finally, he should ask you what you intend to use the boots for: dayhikes, long backpacking, mountaineering, desert treks, knocking around town, etc.

The outfitter should have several boots in your size requirements to try on. If not, try more than one outfitter. Or do so anyway.

Wear the same socks that you would hike in, naturally.

Walk around the store, see if your heels lift. Newer boots are still stiff so they will tend to slide along the heel. Full grain leather boots even more so. But there should not be more than a half inch movement at most.

Kick you feet forward into the ground to simulate walking down hill. Are your toes touching the front of the boot. If so, big no-no, leads to back toe. A better outfitter will have a slanted ramp for you to stamp down. Your toes should never touch the front of the boot when walking downhill!

Some outfitters have you get on your hands and knees with your toes pointing to the ground. They check to see if there is a finger width between you heel and boot when your toes are slid all the way forward in a properly tied boot. If the boots are not tied properly when you are trying them on, you are wasting your and everyone's time. A very general guideline is that you should have a finger width between your toes and the front of the inside boot. Though the Phil Oren system seems to like them closer than that.

More important, what is your general impression of how the boot fits? Does it pinch across the toes. Do ridges from the tongue press the top of your foot? Does your ankle and heel feel like they are swimming in too big a heel box.

Fold your ankle to the side. Does the boot height support your ankle like you would like. If you step on a loose rock will it prevent and ankle sprain. Will it support fatigued muscles at the end of the day?

Stiff leather boots with a full shank have a "round" built into the sole. Since the boots dont flex so easily they tend to roll out of a step so that you are not Frankenbooting around. Test the boots stiffness by standing on a ridge or raised ledge using only the toes of the boots. Are your foot muscles supporting your foot or is the boot. Ask the fitter what kind of shank the boots have, full, 3/4, 1/2, metal, nylon, etc. Is it appropriate for your use?

Try on at least 4-5 pairs of boots. I had plenty of people like the first pair they tried on, but after I made them try out others, they were amazed by the difference in comfort of the third or fourth pair. If your bootfitter seems impatient with your walking around the store and trying on so many. F' em and go some where else. This is important. For a thru-hike you might live in those boots for 3-6 months, depending.

I tend to ignore the bells and whistles like goretex, lace pulleys, self cleaning lugs. Fit and comfort are the key elements. Full grain leather boots made from a single piece of leather are waterproof enough when properly treated without goretex. And they breathe better without it.

Ask your outifitter if you can buy the boots and wear them around the house for a few days with no return penalty if you decide they dont fit well. them. If you wear them outside the house and dirty them then they cannot re-sell them. Save all of the boxes, tags, and packaging so that they can present them as new - which they are.

If you have unusual foot shapes caused by such things as hammer toe or bunions, ask them if they have the ability to warp and stretch the leather to accommodate these irregularities in foot shape.

Yes, the insoles in the boots new from the store are just cookies. IMHO go with a good insole like ultrafeet or soles at wwe.sole.com. IMHO, spencos are mostly cushy junk. A good foot bed should help hold your foot bones in an anatomically correct position reducing muscle fatigue and strained connective tissues. Although dampening foot impact is important, simple, pure cushioning is not.

For the wide foot guy, Vasque makes some of their boots in wide sizes, though make sure your ankles don't float in them. Also, Montrail makes a very generous foot box. But again, ask you fitter what they have for your feet. If they have to special order a wide boot for you, are you committed when they come in if they still do not fit properly?

Breaking boots in - simply wear them. Start out slow, build up. Obviously full leather boots will take longer than leather and nylon combos. Full nylon or lighter trail shoes require very little, if any, break in. The tip about soaking your boots is an old one that I think came from the Military - maybe circa WWII. I would never recommend pooring hot water into the inside of a boot. The old Norwegian welt (where the leather top is stitched to the footbed/sole) is almost gone the way of the dodo. Most of today's mainstream boots are glued. Do you really want to challenge the long term adhesion of the glue by pooring hot water in it (Same applies for drying your wet boots around a perilously close campfite) As well, a quick fix breaking-in does not really improve a poorly fitted boot.

Some of us have easy feet to fit and some do not. Ask questions, try on different brands, styles, and weights. See what fits your feet and your needs the best. To me, putting on a well-broken in pair of leather boots that fit well is like sliding into your favorite old jeans. Nothing compares.

Hope the above helps.

Sorry for the booty rodomontade.:-?

Hike well.

03-18-2006, 17:34

Uncas's post above is a good one for the articles section.

03-18-2006, 18:19
Are there any recommendations for boots for people with particularly wide feet?

I have two pair of Asolos, FSN GTX 95 and a pair of AFX 535s, my first pair, nubuck leather. I use Superfeet in both. I tried on many brands at the store before buying. I have a wide foot so I look for my size as: Sixe 10, 4E width on the the shoe box. Not all shoe manufacturing companies list the width on the box so ya gotta watch for this. Walk around the store for a while with the boots on. Socks have a lot to do with comfort too. I wear sock liners under my socks to wick away any moisture. I have changed the way I lace my boots too, that has helped after I have broken them in. My 535s had alittle too much room so the salesman added "9 irons" in the inside bottoms to take up some of the space. These are 1/16" thick inner soles placed under the superfeet. This is basically a custom fit job. I have just about worn out the GTX 95s but my first pair (535s) are going strong and I use them hiking now as well as backpacking.:) Your boots will change after you hike a few times in them. Leather or materials will soften, internal volume will increase due to flex factor and stretching of the upper part. Rain or stream crossings can degrade the leather and cause shrinkage. Keep this in mind and good luck with your boots!!;)

03-18-2006, 20:00

Thanks for the comp. peaks. But before that happend I would like to clean itn up and maybe add a few more things.

You can never say enough about boot fitting.


03-20-2006, 08:54
Nice, I guess now its only down to finding boots under 100$ /: