Our verdict

What feels illegal but isn't? The extremely satisfying nature of the Asolo Fugitive GTX. It's a comfort machine that keeps us on our feet no matter the terrain and weather conditions. Whether we were out for a quick day hike or blasting the mile markers on a multi-day backpacking adventure, this boot turned the trails into a veritable cakewalk. Minor construction issues aside, the Fugitive GTX is a versatile boot that's excellent in terms of price per performance.

Pros

  • Superb adhesion and traction
  • Great impact dampening
  • Worth the price
  • Waterproof
  • Reliably supportive
  • Feels light on the foot
  • Zero break-in
  • Balance preserver

Cons

  • Outsole started peeling off
  • Not-so-cushy footbed

Audience verdict

87
Great!

Who should buy

We recommend the Asolo Fugitive GTX as an excellent companion to:

  • Hikers of all experience levels who frequently encounter rocky ascents or descents
  • Backpackers looking for a supportive and stable boot for their multi-day adventures
  • Those who prioritise underfoot security and want a well-cushioned and protective boot 
  • Adventurers looking for a secure and grippy boot that can also tackle some light climbing

Asolo Fugitive GTX hgg

Who should NOT buy

While the Fugitive GTX’s outsole rubber withstood our Dremel tests quite well, the fact that the outsole began separating from the midsole after only a handful of test hikes indicates relatively poor quality. For a more well-constructed boot, we recommend looking into the Salomon Quest 4 GTX instead. 

The Fugitive GTX’s toebox may prove to be a little too snug for those with broad feet. For a more accommodating alternative, check out the roomier Keen Targhee III Waterproof Mid instead. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX cutci

From its chunky midsole to the generous amount of outsole rubber, the Fugitive GTX could certainly use a diet. For hikers who prefer a more lightweight ride, we recommend the Hoka Trail Code GTX instead.

Breathability

Waterproof shoes tend not to do very well in our smoke test, and the Fugitive GTX is no exception. As we can see from the footage, smoke is unable to escape through any part of the boot, leading us to give the Fugitive GTX the lowest breathability score of 1 out of 5. This means that it will certainly feel toasty during warmer hikes, not to mention the increased risk of becoming stinky over time. 

Compare that to how easily and evenly the smoke filters out of the Merrel Moab 3

The insular nature of the Fugitive GTX is further illuminated when inspecting a backlit cross-section of the boot. The upper entirely eclipses the light, further demonstrating just how impermeable the upper really is. As such, we didn’t have any issues with water penetrating the boot when crossing streams or sloshing through puddles. Conversely though, if water does get into the boot, it’s staying there until taking them off and giving them a good shake. 

Looking at it under our microscope, we can see that even the mesh portion of the upper is woven so compactly and uniformly with no gaps for airflow or water penetration to be found between the braided fibres.

Asolo Fugitive GTX Breathability

Test results
Fugitive GTX 1
Average 1.6
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

First up to face our Dremel in our battery of durability tests is the Fugitive GTX’s toebox. Spinning at 5K RPM, we set the tool’s abrasive element between the boot’s rubberized toe bumper and its suede upper with 3.2N of force.

While this initially seems quite destructive, the damage left in the wake of the twelve-second test isn’t nearly as dramatic. As we can clearly see, the Fugitive GTX escaped with a mere scuff that didn’t even seem to affect the stitching around the suede. This stellar performance leads us to give the Fugitive GTX a perfect 5 out of 5 for toebox durability. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX evq

Compare that to the much less durable Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX which our Dremel minced clean through. 

We therefore don’t expect a catastrophic failure of the toebox to bring an early retirement to this boot, even for those regularly traversing harsher paths or blazing untamed trails. However, as a bit of spooky foreshadowing, there is a caveat to that last statement coming soon.

Test results
Fugitive GTX 5
Average 4.4
Compared to 22 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The Fugitive GTX’s heel counter also proved to be a worthy contender against our Dremel which was unable to do much except mangle the lining material a bit for four seconds. 

As demonstrated by our aftermath photo, the Fugitive GTX was merely left with an unsightly scuff while most of the padding material remained relatively intact within. This above-average performance leads us to give the Fugitive GTX a heel padding durability score of 4 out of 5.

Asolo Fugitive GTX kjrb
Test results
Fugitive GTX 4
Average 4
Compared to 22 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

We pressed our durometer against the Fugitive GTX’s outsole and got a slightly harder-than-average reading of 89 HC. This explains the outsole’s performance in our Dremel test but, as previously mentioned, that doesn’t really factor into its lackluster durability as much as the dodgy glue-job. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX Outsole hardness
Test results
Fugitive GTX 89.0 HC
Average 87.6 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
81.0 HC
Outsole hardness
92.1 HC

Outsole durability

For the Dremel’s final outing in our battery of durability tests, we fired up the abrasive element to a more formidable 10K RPM and set it against the Fugitive GTX’s outsole. 

Despite some rather large chunks coming loose by the end of the twenty-two-second test, we determined (using our handy tyre tread gauge) that the Fugitive GTX lost only 0.7 of rubber in this demonstration of extreme wear and tear which is slightly less than average. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX Outsole durability

While the outsole rubber is quite hardy, the Fugitive GTX’s somewhat shoddy construction lets the boot down. After only a handful of test hikes of varying difficulty, we noticed that the outsole began to unpeel from the midsole in a less-than-reassuring display of durability. So while the toebox likely won’t buckle under pressure, the same can’t be said of the Fugitive GTX’s outsole.

Test results
Fugitive GTX 0.7 mm
Average 0.8 mm
Compared to 19 hiking boots
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Using our caliper, we measured the Fugitive GTX’s outsole to be 5.6 mm thick. This is substantially more rubber than the average hiking boot boasts underfoot which, on the one hand, gives us plenty of material to wear through; given it doesn’t come unstuck of course! On the other hand, all that material does weigh the boot down quite a bit. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX Outsole thickness
Test results
Fugitive GTX 5.6 mm
Average 3.1 mm
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1.8 mm
Outsole thickness
5.6 mm

Weight

This brings us to the weigh-in and the Fugitive GTX most certainly belongs in the heavyweight division at a chunky (704g). 

Asolo Fugitive GTX Weight

This will take some getting used to for anyone coming from a more lightweight hiking boot like the aforementioned Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX. However, it does pay off when carrying a heavy pack over long distances where having all that heft underfoot gives us added confidence with every stride as we thud our way along the trails.

Test results
Fugitive GTX 24.83 oz (704g)
Average 18.45 oz (523g)
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
11.71 oz (332g)
Weight
28.29 oz (802g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

Also contributing to the Fugitive GTX’s heft is its gargantuan heel stack which we measured with our calliper to be 42.1 mm thick.

Asolo Fugitive GTX Heel stack

This is quite a bit higher than our current lab average and kept us nice and elevated from the hazards of the trail below when taking this boot out for a spin. 

Test results
Fugitive GTX 42.1 mm
Average 36.3 mm
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
26.2 mm
Heel stack
46.9 mm

Forefoot stack

The forefoot is much closer to the ground by comparison at 22.1 mm thick according to our calliper measurements.

Asolo Fugitive GTX Forefoot stack

This is on par with our current lab average and provides us with a healthy mix of protective cushioning and ground feel. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX Forefoot stack
Test results
Fugitive GTX 22.1 mm
Average 22.5 mm
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
17.0 mm
Forefoot stack
30.7 mm

Drop

The rather dramatic difference in the Fugitive GTX’s stack heights leaves us with a staggeringly steep offset of 20 mm. This, however, doesn’t take too long to get used to, with the elevated heel providing well-cushioned landings while the lower forefoot provides a more intuitive sense of the ground below. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX drop

Having such a high heel drop has another advantage when it comes to backpacking. High-drop boots tend to direct more stress up to the knees and hips which puts less pressure on our ankles and Achilles tendons when carrying heavy loads over long distances.

Conversely, hikers with knee or hip issues should look into the Altra Lone Peak Hiker 2 as a comfy zero-drop alternative.

Test results
Fugitive GTX 20.0 mm
Average 13.8 mm
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
2.6 mm
Drop
20.9 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Pressing our durometer against the Fugitive GTX's PU midsole foam yields a rather firm reading of 33.5 HA.

Asolo Fugitive GTX vh

However, the shoe’s high stack at the heel means that our landings still felt amply cushioned and protected from impact during our test hikes. 

The firmness of the midsole also makes the Fugitive GTX a great option for backpacking adventures as it feels incredibly stable even when laden with a heavy pack.

Test results
Fugitive GTX 33.5 HA
Average 27.3 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
15.4 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
53.3 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.
Asolo Fugitive GTX Midsole softness in cold

Difference in midsole softness in cold

We popped the Fugitive GTX in our freezer for twenty minutes to simulate exposure to extremely cold conditions, after which we pressed our durometer against the midsole once more and got a harder-than-average reading of 42.3 HA.

However, becoming 26.1% firmer in the cold makes the Fugitive GTX only slightly less consistent than the average hiking boot. As such, it shouldn’t feel too different underfoot as the seasons change.

What’s more, that firmness will do well in offsetting the soft slushiness of snowy trails, making it a great choice for those looking to tackle the tundra.

Test results
Fugitive GTX 26.1%
Average 19.1%
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Insole thickness

The insole is only 4 mm thick according to our calliper measurements, making it slightly less padded than our current lab average. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX e

However, it sits on Asolo's proprietary Duo Asoflex lasting board which offers some added internal cushioning while still being rigid and stable. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX Insole thickness
Test results
Fugitive GTX 4.0 mm
Average 6.1 mm
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
3.7 mm
Insole thickness
10.7 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

Despite the boot’s massive heel stack, the Fugitive GTX feels extremely well-planted when shifting our weight from side to side. This level of stability means that we were able to scamper along the trials while toting a heavy pack confident that we weren't going to roll an ankle, even when traversing uneven terrain. 

We’ll explore how this is possible with our next series of tests. 

Torsional rigidity

To assess the Fugitive GTX’s torsional rigidity, we attempted to bend and twist the boot in our hands but were barely able to get it to budge! We therefore have no choice but to give it the stiffest score of 5 out of 5 on our subjective scale. This no doubt comes as a result of the considerable amount of rubber and foam that makes up the boot’s sizeable stack, as well as the Duo Asoflex lasting board that promotes comfort and stability. 

In practical terms, this means that we had a nice and level base that ensured stable landings while we tested this boot. 

Test results
Fugitive GTX 5
Average 4.3
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter is similarly sturdy and greatly resisted our manual manipulations, earning the Fugitive GTX another maximum stiffness score of 5 out of 5. 

As such, the boot does a good job of locking our rearfoot in place while also mitigating any excessive rolling of the foot which also enhances our sense of stability during our stride.

Asolo Fugitive GTX Heel counter stiffness
Test results
Fugitive GTX 5
Average 3.5
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

We measured the midsole to be 107.4 mm wide at the forefoot which is quite a bit narrower than our current lab average. Though with the stack being relatively low to the ground in this part of the shoe, this didn’t negatively impact our stability while out testing the Fugitive GTX. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Fugitive GTX 107.4 mm
Average 111.6 mm
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
96.3 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
124.6 mm

Midsole width in the heel

Back at the heel, we found the Fugitive GTX’s midsole to only be 76.8 mm wide which is significantly narrower than average. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX cccccc

This would ordinarily be a cause for concern when found in conjunction with a high heel, though we found that the boot’s other stability features do a good job offsetting any potential imbalance. 

However, those more accustomed to boots with a wider platform at the heel for added stability should consider the Hoka Kaha 2 GTX as an alternative.

Test results
Fugitive GTX 76.8 mm
Average 87.9 mm
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
71.7 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

As touched upon earlier, with all that rubber and foam underfoot, not to mention the lasting board, it should come as no surprise that the Fugitive GTX is an incredibly stiff boot. We secured it to our workbench and found that a whopping 78.1N of force is required to bend the Fugitive GTX 90 degrees, making it substantially stiffer than the average hiking boot.

While this may sound rather uncomfortable and unappealing, it’s actually quite useful when tackling uneven or rocky terrains by preventing our feet from bending over every rock or tree root in our path. By helping us avoid excessive foot flexion in this way, the Fugitive GTX delays the onset of foot fatigue while also keeping us feeling surefooted and stable with every stride.

Asolo Fugitive GTX Stiffness 2
Test results
Fugitive GTX 78.1N
Average 44.3N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
16.6N
Stiffness
84.7N

Difference in stiffness in cold

As with the midsole, we also repeated the stiffness test after letting the Fugitive GTX chill in the freezer for twenty minutes. With 85.6N of force now needed to bend the boot to the desired point, the Fugitive GTX is still much stiffer than average under similar conditions. However, with only a 9.6% difference between warm and cold conditions, the Fugitive GTX is much more consistent than average and shouldn’t feel too different in this regard as the seasons change. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX Stiffness
Test results
Fugitive GTX 9.6%
Average 25.4%
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
100%

Grip / Traction

Lug depth

Using our calliper, we measured the Fugitive GTX’s lugs to be 3.6 mm thick.

Asolo Fugitive GTX ff

This isn’t quite as thick as our current lab average, however, their varied shapes and grooves form a tread pattern that provided us with excellent traction, even upon encountering muddy climbs or descents. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX Lug depth
Test results
Fugitive GTX 3.6 mm
Average 4.2 mm
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
3.0 mm
Lug depth
5.8 mm

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Using our caliper, we measured the Fugitive GTX’s toebox to be 99.2 mm wide at its widest point. This is a little bit narrower than our current lab average but should still feel comfy and secure for most people apart from those with very broad feet.

Asolo Fugitive GTX Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Fugitive GTX 99.2 mm
Average 101.8 mm
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
95.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
110.2 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

Moving up the area around the big toe, the Fugitive GTX is narrower than our current lab average by a more significant margin at 73.2 mm wide according to our calliper measurements. This doesn't give us much room to splay out naturally, especially toward the end of long and arduous hikes where our feet tend to swell up. This runs the risk of the toes butting up against the sidewalls of the boot; a surefire recipe for blisters, especially for those with broad feet. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX beebar

For those who prefer a boot with more internal real estate for their backpacking adventures, we recommend the roomier Keen Voyageur Mid instead.

Asolo Fugitive GTX Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Fugitive GTX 73.2 mm
Average 78.4 mm
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
67.6 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
91.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The Fugitive GTX’s tongue is fully gusseted on both sides which successfully prevented any debris from entering the boot during our test hikes. 

Test results
Fugitive GTX Both sides (full)

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue stays true to the Fugitive GTX’s chunky nature at 15 mm thick according to our calliper measurements.

Asolo Fugitive GTX Tongue padding 1

This is quite a bit more padding than found on the average hiking boot and provided us with luxurious levels of comfort within the boot that nicely contrasted the harshness of the terrains we traversed during testing. It also means that we were able to lace the boot tightly and securely to our foot without any hint of lace bite across the instep.

Asolo Fugitive GTX Tongue padding
Test results
Fugitive GTX 15.0 mm
Average 11.2 mm
Compared to 26 hiking boots
Number of shoes
5.9 mm
Tongue padding
22.3 mm

Heel tab

The Fugitive GTX has a convenient finger loop at the heel which makes sliding the boot on a little smoother and easier. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX Heel tab
Test results
Fugitive GTX Finger loop

Removable insole

For those in need of more specific arch support, the Fugitive GTX’s insole isn’t glued in which makes replacing it with a custom orthotic a viable option. 

Asolo Fugitive GTX Removable insole
Test results
Fugitive GTX Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

The Fugitive GTX doesn’t feature any reflective elements, so we don’t recommend hiking along the side of a road at night without using additional high-vis gear.

Asolo Fugitive GTX Reflective elements
Test results
Fugitive GTX No