Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo Review
Cons: No lace lock, could be warmer
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Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo
$700.00 at REI
|$636.75 at Backcountry|
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|$609.98 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
$750.00 at Amazon
$475.00 at Amazon
|Pros||Super lightweight, climbs well, simple laces||Warm, climbs well||Warm, lightweight, climbs well||Removable liner, velcro ankle strap, waterproof||Light, versatile, great for rock climbing|
|Cons||No lace lock, could be warmer||Expensive||No lace lock, not fully waterproof||Expensive, slightly flexible||Not very warm, minimal calf support|
|Bottom Line||This lightweight boot is our go-to choice for challenging climbs on ice, rock, and snow||This is a great boot for cold weather climbing and it's really fast to put on, take off, and adjust||This lightweight and warm boot will get you to the top of alpine climbs||This lightweight double boot is perfect for cold weather technical climbing||These light, versatile boots are good for all-around performance|
|Rating Categories||Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo||La Sportiva G5 Evo||Scarpa Phantom Tech||Arc'teryx Acrux AR||La Sportiva Trango...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Specs||Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo||La Sportiva G5 Evo||Scarpa Phantom Tech||Arc'teryx Acrux AR||La Sportiva Trango...|
|Weight||1lb 10.8oz (760g)||1lb 15oz (875g)||1lb 12.6oz (810g)||2lb 2oz (965g)||1lb 13.6oz (835g)|
|Sizes Available||40-47.5 EU||38-48 EU||38-48 EU||7-13 US||38-48 EU|
|Upper||High tenacity nylon with Schoeller Soft Shell||Stretch Cordura with reflective aluminum lining||PU Tek + S-Tech Fabric||3L Gore-Tex w/ TPU Laminate||Nylon 6.6 with Honey-Comb Guard and FlexTec 3|
|Waterproof Lining||Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort||Gore-Tex Infinium||HDry waterproof direct lamination membrane||Gore-Tex||Gore-Tex Performance Comfort|
|Shank||Carbon Fiber||3mm Honeycomb Tech insulating carbon||Carbon Fiber + EVA + Aerogel||PU||9mm Insulated IBI-Thermo|
|Midsole||Dual color microporous midsole||2mm polyurethane||2D EVA-MP||CM EVA, carbon fiber||6-7mm TPU/ Dual-density micropore EVA|
|Sole Rubber||Vibram Litebase with Mont compound||Vibram Matterhorn||Vibram Precision Tech Roll / Mont||Vibram AR||Vibram "One"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Asolo Eiger XT Evo GV is a mouthful of a boot name. Mountaineers in search of a top-performing boot shouldn't be put off. It's proficient at climbing ice, rock, snow, and any combination of those. It performs satisfactorily in most of our metrics, except for weight, where it stands out as the lightest boot in our review.
This is our most important performance metric. If a boot doesn't climb well, its other qualities don't matter. We look at a boot's performance on steep water ice, mixed climbing and dry-tooling, and rock without crampons. In all of these media, the Eiger XT performed well.
Out of the box, we were the most skeptical about ice performance. Tall leather boots are best for this, and we weren't sure that the lower and slightly softer upper commonly found on supergaiter boots would work. Fortunately, they were up to the task. Some testers missed the lace lock here because they like to have the upper laces tight and the laces around the toe a little looser on ice.
While steep ice performance is satisfactory, this boot shines at everything else. Unsurprisingly, given its weight, the Eiger XT is a svelte boot. This low bulk and low weight created a nimble and agile feel on mixed ground and while dry-tooling. Climbing rock in bare boots always feels a lot harder than in rock shoes, but the thin sole and low profile toe made this one of the more precise boots we've used on that kind of terrain.
Light gear is essential for challenging climbs in the mountains, and the Asolo Eiger XT Evo GV is the lightest weight boot in our review. Our test pair, in size 43, checked in at 1 pound 10.8 ounces (760 grams) for one boot. It was noticeably lighter in hand than other supergaiter models, which are fairly light themselves.
That low weight meant that this was the boot we reached for when our approach involved skiing or a long hike in trail running shoes - they ride lightly in, or strapped to the outside of, a pack. They're also less bulky than similar models, which makes them nicer to carry.
While it's not completely waterproof, the Eiger XT is as weather-resistant as we need a mountaineering boot to be. The water line is about 7 inches (18 cm). In the past, many supergaiter boots were fully waterproof. The key to this was a waterproof zipper. Many boot manufacturers have moved away from the concept of a mountain boot being as waterproof as a wader, and that's true with this model.
Our testers find that while we often encounter water in the mountains, we rarely find ourselves standing in it, never mind standing in more than a few inches for more than a second or two. We have slowly come to prefer mountain boots that strategically trade a little waterproofness for breathability. With the Eiger, the waterproofness comes from the boot inside, while the gaiter fabric and zipper are merely water-resistant, which allows it to breathe much better.
The low point of the boot is the cutout for the Achilles tendon, and this is the waterline. We did quite a bit of post-holing in this boot and even splashed through a couple of creeks - our feet stayed dry. Only when we were standing in more than 7 inches of water for testing purposes did our feet get wet.
Every fall when the new mountaineering boots drop, we're surprised at how light and slim they've become, and we expect a commensurate drop in warmth. Thus far, we feel that modern materials and methods have allowed this to happen, but with the Eiger XT Evo GV, we think we may have found the limit of this trend. This isn't to say it's not a warm boot; we just don't think it could be any smaller and lighter and still be suitable for winter use.
As mountaineers, we expect our boots to keep our feet warm. However, the amount or type of insulation in a boot is maybe only half of this equation. Our personal physiology and the myriad choices we make about taking care of ourselves on a day in the mountains have at least as much effect as what's on our feet. At OutdoorGearLab, we don't make quantitative measurements of boot warmth. While our testers found the Eiger XT to be plenty warm, we are experienced in winter self-care and have no underlying conditions which would contribute to cold feet.
Hiking is a fact of life when we're traveling in the mountains. While it doesn't put in the hiking performance of a top-rated trail running shoe or top hiking boot (no mountain boot does), the Asolo Eiger XT holds its own. Rocker is a boot design feature that makes a difference in this metric. The sole of this model is not very rockered. While we think this benefits climbing performance, it's a con in this metric.
Two qualities that we found enhanced hiking performance in the Eiger XT were weight and the flexible upper. A light boot just makes us feel more nimble on the approach. The relatively forgiving upper cuff and Achilles cutout of the upper part of the boot enhanced ankle mobility when hiking.
Simple and robust lacing systems inspire confidence - nobody wants to break a lace or have their laces come untied while climbing. In that sense, the lacing system on the Eiger XT is quite good. They are simple cord laces tightened with a cord lock at the top. However, this boot is missing a feature many mountaineers rely on: a lace lock. Usually positioned near the ankle, this allows you to have different levels of lace tension in different parts of the boot and can help provide a more dialed-in fit. Some of our testers missed this.
A pair of generous pull tabs help you get the boot on. There's a piece of padding behind the tongue. It's sewn in down near the toe, but is adjustable near the top, which can help customize the fit.
Should You Buy the Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo?
The Asolo Eiger XT Evo GV is our favorite mountaineering boot. It climbs technical terrain with ease, is surprisingly light, and keeps out most inclement weather and even liquid water that's less than 7 inches deep. However, we missed a lace lock and thought that the boot could be warmer, though not without getting heavier and giving up some climbing performance.
What Other Mountaineering Boots Should You Consider?
This was our favorite boot in the fleet, but it's not the warmest. If you know you have cold feet and need a warmer boot, the Arc'teryx Acrux AR and Lowa Alpine Ice are some of the warmest options we tested, but you'll pay for it in weight. If you're looking to save some dough, check out the La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX.
— Ian McEleney
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