The Asolo Power Matic 200 GV is a bombproof, waterproof hiking boot with plenty of stiff ankle support. It breaks in quickly, does a great job of protecting your foot and has what Backpacker Magazine describes as "infallible" Gore-Tex waterproofing. The pulley lacing system is another high point. Potential downsides include a relatively fast-wearing sole and mixed reviews about traction in wet conditions.
Comfortable right out of the box. A number of owners report that they comfortably wore their Asolo boots from day one or after just a short break-in period. Every so often, however, someone has to add a gel heel pad to prevent blisters.
The Power Matic 200 GV is praised by editors at OutdoorGearLab.com for its "snug fit, well-padded insole and great support." Wearers agree with each point except the insole, which one Trailspace.com user actually calls "wimpy." The usual solution is to substitute your own insole of choice; if you have a low-profile foot you can just slip the new insole in without removing the original. Although this boot comes in several widths, a few wide-footed users say even the wide width doesn't offer quite enough room in the toebox.
Reviewers say the Power Matic 200 GV offers plenty of stiff ankle support. They also like its lock-lacing system that makes it very easy to get a snug, comfortable fit, not to mention get in and out of the boot quickly. The pronounced arch is a hit with most users.
At about 3.25 pounds for the average men's pair, the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV is no lightweight, but most wearers purchase them specifically for heavy-duty protection. A rocker curve in the sole makes walking easy; "they always feel heavy when I pick them up to put them on, but they've never felt heavy on my feet," explains one owner.
Weight trade-off. The editors of Backpacker Magazine call the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV's Gore-Tex waterproofing "infallible," setting the tone for user and expert reviews across the board. One owner posts at Moosejaw.com, "No problems just walking through streams, no sissy rock skipping." A few mixed reviews for breathability are a fairly typical trade-off for such good waterproofing.
Most reviewers say the boot can support heavy loads; Backpacker Magazine recommends it for up to 80 pounds of cargo. "I typically do 3-4 day treks with 55lbs+ pack 10-15 miles a day," writes one user at REI.com. The Power Matic 200 GV is also stiff enough to be worn with strap-on crampons.
When it comes to protection, owners agree that the Asolo does a great job of keeping your feet safe. "Uncompromising protection, you can throw just about anything at it," says Chris McNamara of OutdoorGearLab.com in a video review.
Most wearers also compliment the Power Matic 200's traction -- the word "Spiderman" crops up several times -- but there are enough complaints about its performance on wet, slick surfaces to take note. "I've never had a more slippery boot on my feet," says one reviewer at the Mountain Equipment Co-Op, although she remains in the minority.
Bombproof uppers. Editors at OutdoorGearLab.com compliment the Asolo Power Matic 200's durability, saying "after over three months of constant, brutal use, it carries only minor aesthetic damage. It's a lifetime investment."
Most users agree about the boot's long life. As one avid hiker says, they "still polish to a shine if needed" after three years of daily wear. A couple of others posting to Trailspace.com say their Asolo boots are still just fine after three years of heavy use.
Lacing is sometimes a weak point for heavy-duty boots, but reviewers say the Power Matic 200 GV's pulley-based lacing system wears extremely well. That said, the most common complaint is its lack of a rubber toe rand, or toe guard, which is really more of an aesthetic issue; it still protects your toes very well.
There are a few scattered complaints that the sole doesn't wear as well as expected, but most hikers say the material holds up well; one comment is posted after five years of use. Editors at OutdoorGearLab.com think the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV may last for generations; after months of constant rough use, they say the only damage sustained is aesthetic.
1. Backpacker Magazine
Review Credibility: Excellent Based on tests of dozens of hiking boots, editors like the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV boots for backpacking loads up to 80 pounds, adding that the "waterproofing proved infallible." They recommend the medium width for narrow feet and the wide width for most men.
Review: 2007 Gear Guide Issue, Editors of Backpacker Magazine, March 2007
Review Credibility: Excellent Editors at OutdoorGearLab.com put a dozen hiking boots through a series of hands-on tests; an individual review of each boot includes some detail about how testing was conducted. A comparison chart posts ratings in several categories and an overall comparative score. The Asolo Power Matic 200 GV is named the favorite heavy hiking boot and an Editors' Choice.
Review: Asolo Power Matic 200 Review , Atherton Phleger, Feb. 8 , 2012
Review Credibility: Good The Asolo Power Matic 200 GV hiking boot gets an overall rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 from nearly 70 reviewers. High points include great traction, water resistance, comfort, support and durability. The main drawback is this boot's hefty 3.75-pound weight. The separately listed women's version gets 4.5 stars out of 5 from about a dozen users.
Review: Asolo Power Matic 200 GV Gore-Tex Hiking Boots - Men's, Contributors to REI.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Good The Power Matic 200 GV earns mostly positive feedback and a score of 4.5 out of 5 from about 40 owners. They like the pulley lacing system and praise the boot for its comfort and support. However, a few point out that it can take a few day hikes to break in the boots and get used to their weight.
Review: Asolo Men's Power Matic 200 GV Boot, Contributors to Moosejaw.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Good About 30 reviewers give the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV a near-perfect rating at Backcountry.com. The boots are described as rugged and durable but also comfortable, at least after an initial break-in period.
Review: Asolo Power Matic 200 GV Boot - Men's, Contributors to Backcountry.com, As of March 2013
6. Mountain Equipment Co-Op
Review Credibility: Good Nearly 20 men review the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV at the Mountain Equipment Co-Op website, giving it an average score of 4.5 stars out of 5. The women's version earns a similar score after about half a dozen posts.
Review: Asolo Power Matic 200 GV Backpacking Boots (Men's), Contributors to Mountain Equipment Co-Op, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Good About 15 owners post comments about the Asolo Power Matic 200 GV boots, which are among the top-rated mid-weight leather hiking boots at this site. Most praise their comfort and minimal break-in time, and two hikers say they're still fine after three years of hard use.
Review: Asolo Power Matic 200 GV, Contributors to Trailspace.com, As of March 2013