Asolo Light Hiking Boots for Stability & Support of a Woman's Narrow Foot
Buying New Hiking Boots is a Significant Occasion
I bought my first hiking boots the day after I filed for divorce and now I've purchased my second pair designed for hiking. 25 years separate the two purchases. You've guessed it - I'm easy on my feet, and for a decade I didn't do anything that even resembled hiking.
Leather High Top Work Boots
For decades I wore high top leather work boots for all serious outdoor activities around our acreage, for the home building and Hiking Experiences on a mountainous peak in the Cascade foothills.
For the year between houses I wore the boots daily on walks into the hills above the small town rental apartment home. My dog and I would step over the barbed wire fence that kept cattle out of the tiny town, and hike up the sage land on the Eastern perimeter, observing the lay of the river valley, and thinking about our upcoming land search.
During one of those outings my gaze pinpointed on a certain area about 15 miles away, down the hill through the town, across the north-south flowing River, and up in the western hills, long past the airstrip. There we settled, and once the move was a fait accompli I resumed hiking, now with two dogs, tailed by two hilariously brazen Siamese cats we had adopted while living in the campsite above our homesite, during the build.
When my leather work boots began showing their age after my return to college, with daily wear in the painting studio, I'd made a huge life decision and decided to mark it by doing some hiking on a popular trail near our first homesite. Some good hard exercise was just the thing to freshen mind and perspective.
Mesh Hiking Boots
Lucky for me, the small town shoe shop did have lightweight hiking boots in my size (they always had something to fit me, as if they picked them with my long narrow feet in mind), and I drove straight to the start of the trail, before donning the boots. It was new to me to have a mesh boot instead of the heaviness of leather, and I liked the feel. Those were Rocky Boots, and they Rockies filled the dual role of hikers and art boots. Not as long lasting as leather boots, not cut out for daily doses of oils and paints, i finally replaced the art boots with a pair of plaid Doc Martens, and laid off on hiking in favor of walking in my new MBT leather walkers.
Returning to Hiking
But now I'm back in the groove and my specialty walking shoes, with the cradled soles, just don't cut it on inclines, around rocks and tumbled tree trunks, and through water. So I hit the boot shopping trail. This is a photograph of my new Asolo Boots.
All Photographs © 2013 by Leslie Sinclair --- No Use Permitted
My Rocky Boots Turned Paint Shoes
Boot Store Has Hiking Trail to the Door
Already in the spirit of the project, I opted to take the hikers' entrance to the door. As you can see it's gorgeous right where it branches off from the city sidewalk.
It's Easy to Find a Boot Like Mine
I bought mine in a store, but with Amazon's great return policy I could have had the same return guarantee at no cost of gas and parking.
I hadn't planned to buy a waterproof boot, thinking back on my history of hiking. I had never walked through water in them.
But now i live on the wet side of the mountains and I may want to join in on some group hikes, so I added this feature to my list of wants.
Foot of the Hiking Path to Door
By the time I got to the foot of the waterfall I was completely oblivious to city sounds, completely surrounded by striking beauty, eager to get the boots and get hiking.
My First Choice In Light Hikers
The color surprised me, but as always I'm limited in my hiking boot options, due to the configuration of my foot. So, I tried it on. This boot has a cushiony interlining and a roomy foot. I tried re-lacing the upper part of the laces, hoping that would provide enough support to keep my foot from sliding around inside the boot. It wasn't enough.
I Tried Out the Rock Climb Steps
Try as I might, I could not securely anchor my foot inside these boots to prevent my toes from slipping down to the ends. Memory of sore toes from traipsing down hillsides protected me from my inclination to buy this pair based on looks and comfort alone. In practice I couldn't bear the sore toes.
One more thing about these boots. The lining was so plump, and that combined with the very stretchy shoelaces, meant that I had to put all my might into tightening the laces and I eventually worked up a sweat just doing that. I mean it was challenging.
These Are Very Light in Weight
A simple grip of thumb and forefingers was all I needed to lift one of the boot alternates the clerk brought to me. The outer is a combination of Gore-Tex mesh and leather. It was an easy decision to try this pair on.
Another lightweight Gore-Tex hiking boot is a real money saver.
I Like the Contoured Shape
Since my feet are narrow I was attracted to the sleek foot-hugging lines. I tend to knock my toes into objects and being sure of my foot placement is especially important to me on a hike, where I might trip myself up.
How Do You Wear Them
Do you reserve hiking boots solely for hiking?
Profile of The Sole
Good Grips On The Hiking Boot Soles
The Vibram sole is made for good gripping. The arch contour is a bonus.
Hiking Boots' Narrow Heel Lines
My heels are narrow and slipping heels is a real bugaboo. I wanted boots that hug my heels and prevent blisters, while providing good support against turning an ankle.
The perforated cushioned lining shows up to good advantage in this picture.
My Superfeet Solution To Arch Support
Everything about the Asolos suited my needs with one exception - not enough built-in arch support. I solved the problem with these Superfeet insoles.
That sealed the deal. So I chose the red mesh and leather hiking boots and the vivid sap green insoles that covered the whole footbed in a softly brushed-feeling of comfort.
I have several pairs of wool hiking socks at home, but as I remembered, most of they were stashed away for the Summer, waiting for cold Wintry weather to prod me to put them back in the sock drawer.
Wool Socks I Chose
I'm glad this sock gets 4.5 Stars because i like the design and sometimes I can't get past a great looking item and quit my evaluation there.
But these socks have it all, and the elasticized arch area is a definite plus for me.
Just to make sure that I have at least one pair of woolen hiking socks, I purchased one pair. It'll be a bit before I take any half-day hikes, so I can wash one pair for now.
Eventually I'll want more than two pair - one of my older wool hiking socks escaped captivity and remains in my sock drawer - and then I'll get at least three new pairs.
Here are my purchases, just ready for me to pick up and carry to the car. I opted to leave all the packaging for the store to recycle. Having a warranty is a wonderful thing, so I confidently went off to give my boots a try.
Hiking Maps & Other Local Resources in my Region
- Washington Trails Association
This is a wonderful hikers' resource, providing guidance to over 3,000 hikes.
- American Hiking Association
American Hiking Society is an all-purpose resource for hikers. They even have contests, product reviews, and a blog.
- News Tribune
The newspaper has a nifty hiking guide to check out for maps and complete descriptions of all the facts you want on tons of hikes.
I like this one for its cushioning. It's designed for medium to high arches and so it would fit me right.