Lowa Tibet vs Ranger vs Asolo TPS

OCD Overland

Explorer
Time for some new hiking boots. I've narrowed it down to three that I like and naturally none of them can be found locally so I have to mail order. I really like the fit of the Lowa Tempest hiking shoes I bought last year, so it makes sense to stick with the brand. In the Lowa range, I like the lacing system on the Tibet model, but I'm afraid that it will be too much shoe for what I need - general hiking, moderate distance with no pack. My next choice would be the Ranger II, which seems more appropriate, but I'm worried that the seam that goes down the outside is going to blow out in short order. I'm hard on everything, especially shoes and in fact I'm already starting to get a blown seam on the Tempests after only 8 months of wear.

So with that in mind, I'm also looking at the Asolo TPS, which is comparable to the Ranger but has a one piece upper. Unfortunately I've never owned a pair of Asolos so I haven't a clue how they'd fit. But I know they're trusted and have been around forever, and they seem to be the one boot that makes every top 5 list I can find.

Anyone have any any experience with these shoes? I'd appreciate any advice I can get before I go mail order a half dozen boots to try out.

Thanks -
 

greg.potter

Adventurer
I tend to buy boots that are a bit more supportive than what they try to sell me for a given purpose - a hold-over from many years of mountaineering and ice climbing probably. As far as which boot is the best in my experience as long as you are looking at boots with similar construction and materials fit should be the primary deciding factor. What someone writes in a review means nothing if the boot doesn't fit your foot.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Lowa, hands down IMO

Lowa is all my wife and I wear for backpacking anymore.
Dependable, stable, and 100% rebuildable.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
They are older models and do not have any markings on them for model.
Full leather inners, yellow tag vibrams, toe guards..

They look very much like the current Tibet LL

 

shogun

Adventurer
That boot rocks. The hands-down best I've ever worn (and I used to wear boots for a living).

But keep in mind that asking which boot is best is sort of like asking people on the street which woman you should marry. Feet be different.
 
I have the asolo 520's and they have been excellent.They provide superior protection in rocky terrain and the only time my feet have gotten wet is when the boots have been completely submerged and the water came in over the top. They provide excellent protection for the outer ball of the foot. This is my second pair and durability has been excellent. I hike in Wv with wet trail conditions and lots of rocks.
 

Cummins_expo

Adventurer
Order through Zappos and return what doesn't work. I have Asolo fugitive gtx but only because of all the other brands they fit my foot the best. From what I have read Asolo runs a narrow heal with a wider foot. This is different of so many others that run wide/wide or narrow/narrow
 

cdthiker

Meandering Idaho
I have had lowas they feel great out of the box but as you are finding out dont seem to last long. At least not compared to what they should for the price point.

I am on my third pair of the TPS's. I have been wearing them and nothing else for almost ten years now. Fit out of the box is a bit stiff but the break in time is very short. As in for me almost not at all. The stiffness goes away quickly and they seem to run true to size and fit like a glove. I would reccomend an insole other then what comes in the boot as it is super thin.

As with any Full leather boot over time it can shrink if you do not take care of it. The great thing about the TPS is that because it is so well built you can re work it. I had one pair where the toe box was punched back out by a boot fitter. He did such a great job on my old pair that I bought another on the sport and had him custom fit the toe box to my foot on the spot.
A bit over the top ? Perhaps but they are a dream to wear.

Thats coming from some one who used to live out side for six months at a time and backpack for a living. These days I am just fat and old and I still wear them most days.
 

jaxs1984

Adventurer
This is to funny , I just bought a pair of the Asolo TPS 520 at REI with the members 20% off. The amount of hiking, etc. I do it is a little over -kill but surprisingly it fits pretty good and it comfortable and doesn't seem to heavy after a couple of miles of city walking and many hours of standing. I haven't had a chance to go hiking yet. The build quality is top notch. They also come in "wide" sizes which is for me a dream. If your close to an REI you should try them on you might be surprised.
 

OCD Overland

Explorer
Following up, I did get both pair to try out and I ended up keeping the Asolos, though really it was almost a coin toss. The fit of each was identical as far as the footbed goes - arch location, height, heel fit, etc. The uppers were considerably different - the Lowas were taller, a bit more padded, and had more flex built in. This made them more comfortable out of the box. The Lowas were much bulkier, however, and felt almost like a ski boot compared to the Asolos. Of course, some may prefer that - they were definitely more protective. The Lowas also had a trick lacing system that allowed me to tighten the bottom and top separately. Despite that, however, there was really no difference in comfort between the two. The deciding factor was that the Asolos do seem better made, and the smooth leather should be easier to take care of than the nubuck. And also I prefer the way they look and could see myself wearing them more often than the Lowas, which would have been strictly a hiking boot.

In truth, had I bought one or the other, without being able to compare the two directly, I'd have been perfectly happy either way.

Thanks again for all the advice.
 

Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
I'm a huge fan of the Zamberlan 1006 Vioz or the 996. My Zamberlan Lhasas have been amazing. I've also found my last several pairs of Asolos have just not measured up to their reputation.

And, just recently I fell in love with the La Sportiva Trango Cube. Last month I pulled them out of a box, put them in my luggage, and four days later used them to hike 65 miles up the Khumbu Valley to Everest Basecamp. Zero days of break-in. They were AMAZING. They're built with no seams using some incredible technology. But...oof....are they ugly. Super ugly.
 

FlagRS

Gone to the dogs.
I'm a huge fan of the Zamberlan 1006 Vioz or the 996. My Zamberlan Lhasas have been amazing. I've also found my last several pairs of Asolos have just not measured up to their reputation.

And, just recently I fell in love with the La Sportiva Trango Cube. Last month I pulled them out of a box, put them in my luggage, and four days later used them to hike 65 miles up the Khumbu Valley to Everest Basecamp. Zero days of break-in. They were AMAZING. They're built with no seams using some incredible technology. But...oof....are they ugly. Super ugly.
You are not kidding!



I have had pretty good luck with the Asolo GTX and now wearing a pair of the Power Matic 200s. I might try the Zamberlans next. I go through a pair in about 5 months at about 7 -10 miles a day. Do the Zamberlans size the same as the Asolo?
 
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