Asolo gets this rap because they make excellent boots not just because they make a certain type of midsoles (i.e. other brands do too). Let me tell you what this is, and I’ll tell you why my next boot will still be Asolo 535.
What is it?
It is a phenomenon where your soles fall right off your boots suddenly one day.
A molded polyurethane (PU) midsole absorbs moisture over time and one day suddenly falls apart. Here is hydrolysis happening to a Nike. Asolo tells you to expect this at about 6 to 7-year mark. As noted below, while other brands also use the polyurethane midsole this is most noticeable in Asolos probably because boots from other brands are replaced before that.
If you’re curious, check out a few hiking boots manufacturers’ warranty webpage. You’ll find other manufacturers (especially good ones!) also using PU midsole because, really, it’s the best material.
Polyurethane crumbles into powder. So there is no way for a cobbler to glue it on. There appears to be two ways to resole this. One, to rip off the entire midsole and replace it with a Vibram and, two, reconstruct the midsole. I shipped my pair to Resole Patrol in North Carolina. I will report when I get them back. They are usually quick (a couple of weeks), but unfortunately mine fell apart days before Christmas.
The reason I picked Resole Patrol is because it looks like John remolds PU midsole. I do believe it is the best material. I really don’t want my soles to fall off in the middle of any longish hike. So I think I’ll just send my boots for resole at 6 year mark before the soles fall off.
I suggest you make a choice. Do you want boots that last beyond 7 years? Then you’ll need to be willing to spend these 7 years and beyond in soles lose your stride power and give you sore feet. If this is all acceptable to you, you probably didn’t need the excellent performance of Asolo 535 anyway.
Why is this an Asolo problem?
This is known as an Asolo problem likely because Asolos make boots (“upper”) that last way longer than 7 years. Let me ask you. What happened to other hiking boots? They wore out, and you bought new ones. Maybe water soaked in. The ankle wrinkled and cut into the skin. The boot loosened, resulting in heel blisters. Or just got really ugly. Now, did any of those lasted 6 years?
I love my Asolo 535, and I know my next boots will also be Asolo 535. I say confidently because I worked and played in steep terrains (hiking 100 – 130 % straight up with load on regular basis) and worn out all major brands except Lowa (they don’t fit me). I hope the North Carolina guy can fix my boot. But if not, I’ll go out and buy a new pair of 535’s.
Many of you are probably wondering why the soles aren’t worn on my Asolos in the photo. It’s because I wear them mostly in the winter on snow. I’ve had other boots the last few years, and because of my shoulder injury, I haven’t done multi-day where I needed my Asolo 535. In the winter where I’m doing casual hikes through snow, though, I trust no other boots but Asolo 535 (no-Goretex version) with Snowseal to keep my feet dry all day.