Reviewed by Andrew David from Utah on Friday, September 6, 2013
The insole is actually the same as in other Asolo boots- about a slip of cardboard. But you can still use it by putting an Oder Eater pad underneath. Or replace with your favorite insole. I wound up doing that just to make the fit tighter. Just don't plan on using the insole by itself for long. Boot is narrow but has a lot of "vertical" space to allow for different configurations. The color pattern of this boot became the "Drifter", while the full rubber rand, Vibram Ascent sole, and concept of a hybrid backpacker/mountaineering boot became the "Khumbu".
Reviewed by Andrew David from Utah on Tuesday, September 3, 2013
I can't give the boot 5 stars yet as I cannot speak to durability, but this Khyber was limited edition and became the Khumbu with only minor changes. Khumbu seems to be one of Asolo's top models in 2013, so Khyber will be a great boot also. The Khumbu covered almost all of the high-tenacity nylon with suede, but the boots are otherwise identical in design and construction (though not color). I prefer this design for better breathability as this is my summer and fall boot. (I bought a different, stiffer, thicker, heavier set for winter and spring.) Khumbu will be a little warmer, but became 4 oz lighter at the same time.
Another review mentions these are stiff enough for crampons- true enough, but that is true of just about any 6" high boot. One problem with this design is the lacing system goes too close to the toe, so as this boot has no front welt (nor a rear welt), your crampons will be strap-on, and Grivel style, and some of the Black Diamonds, will rest right on top of the bottom rung of lacing (this is true of several boots I looked at). Do enough crampon work and you've got a weak point that could wear down or away from friction, and then how do you keep them laced? These will also be too cold to use in extensive days kicking into snow or ice. Otherwise, the boot should prove versatile, sturdy, and comfortable, with the only possible weak points over time being the brown areas (thick nylon) where the grey suede is not stitched over. Unless you are climbing many rocky chimneys in these, the brown areas are not contact points. They look sharper than in the picture, and will hide dirt and wear due to the color pattern.
Insole appears better than some that come with Asolo boots and does not require instant replacing. Fit out of the box was true to size for a narrow or average foot and they required no break in. Very comfortable right away! Lacing allows for loose or secure ankle fit- leave loose while hiking, then cross tie and tighten more for crampon work. But honestly, don't plan on major snow or ice work with these. "Teeth" or lugs on bottom are designed with rock and dirt in mind and they are just too thin for cold days.
Asolo Nuetron is similar in weight, height, sturdiness, and shares a Vibram sole and is on STP also at a great price- but Neutron has only a toe rubber rand and has more nylon and stitches where rock can scrape them and produce leaks. Neutron would be a warmer weather boot also.
This boot is probably the best choice if you are trying to get one set of protective, durable boots to use some on all terrains- desert slickrock to mountain ice- and if you are often off trail. You could add specialty footwear around them as you need to. If you just want a trail hiking boot, this will work, but its a bit of overkill.
Reviewed by woods primate from western NC on Monday, July 22, 2013
very secure feeling boot when crossing rough areas in the smokies.....water proof is great , traction great, fit snug in a positive way. releases mud from lugs well...so far ...........best hiking boot I ever laid a foot in
Reviewed by Concavito from Bogota on Monday, January 28, 2013
These were one of a very small number of hikers I could find with a sole narrow enough to mount a pair of crampons. Rubber is nicely designed and, despite being narrow, is stable. The boots are also stiff enough to work with the crampons on ice, but without being oppressive on the trail. It seems like Asolo might have succeeded in making a true dual purpose boot, competent on both trail and ice. If you have wide feet, though, you will be miserable in Asolo's. These are no exception.