Asolo Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots – Toe Cap Failures :(

Asolo: Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots

Asolo: Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots – Toe Cap Failures

My 15 year-long love affair with the iconic Asolo Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots has come to a tipping point. In late 2003 I was about to purchase my first pair of Asolo boots, but was told to hold off because something special was about to be released for the Spring 2004 season. Well, I’m glad I waited because I ended up being the first person in North American to proudly own a pair of the Asolo Fugitive GTX after a two year span where this great Italian boot brand disappeared off the U.S. radar because they were not being brought into the States.

My first impression… WOW! These boots were amazing and fit my foot like a glove! They offered the quality and durability I expected from Asolo, but most importantly the fit was critical. I have a medium to low volume foot and nothing on the market fit me properly like the Fugitive GTX boots. While Asolo was known for making a more narrow boot, this boot became so popular, that eventually they offered a Wide width version which was something I requested in order to make everyone happy. I’m also the one to request more urban color-ways, besides just the standard boring brown. I was so happy with my first pair of Fugitive GTX boots that I ended up purchasing and owning a total of 6-pairs over the years. I even convinced my girl friends to get the women’s version, the Stinger GTX, because they were a really great boot. Over the years I recommended Asolo to more people than I can remember who were looking for great footwear that will last, because they make high quality waterproof 4-Season boots.

Fast forward to 2019, unfortunately I’ve been experiencing an issue with the toe cap with the past 3 models I purchased and it’s time I called out my favorite boot brand to find out what’s the deal. On three pairs of my Fugitive GTXs and one pair of the women’s Stinger GTXs the hard rubber toe cap is prematurely dry rotting resulting in major cracking and splitting. The protective toe cap with their bright yellow logo is a major feature of Asolo’s hiking boots and one of the things they are known for. But while newer boot models have had the toe caps redesigned with newer more durable hard rubber composite material, Asolo has yet to update the toe cap on the Fugitive GTX boots.

Asolo: Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots

Asolo: Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots – Toe Cap Failures

My first two pairs of boots did not have this splitting/cracking issue on the toe caps whatsoever. I only recently had to retire and recycle those first two pairs which actually lasted me 14 years. The Fugitive are my go-to all around boots which I wear for casual lite hiking, motorcycling and 4-Season work boots. So I definitely get years of use out of them.

But for the past couple of years the one issue I seem to encounter repeatedly with these boots is the excessive splitting and cracking of the toe cap. While I never had any water seepage due to the awesome Gore-Tex liner, unfortunately due to this splitting and cracking, the toe cap’s strength and durability has been compromised.

Asolo: Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots

Asolo: Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots, Graphite/Stone – Toe Cap Failures

I’ve contacted Asolo about this issue and asked if they changed the material of the toe cap. They told me no, not to their knowledge, but I don’t buy that. If I only had this happen to one pair, then I would have assumed it was just a one-off fluke. But it’s happened to my last three pairs of boots. This ongoing problem could seriously jeopardize the brand’s reputation and the iconic status that these awesome boots have achieved over the years. If you’re a die-hard fan of this boot, then you will know what I mean.

Asolo: Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots

Asolo: Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots, Grey/Black/Mandarin – Toe Cap Failures

I’ve made repeated requests to Asolo to address this issue, but they don’t seem to want to mess with the boot. I’m not asking them to change the design or the fit whatsoever. All I am asking is that they change out the toe cap material to something that is not going to split and crack within a couple of months of light use. The last pair I purchased actually arrived with a crack already forming :(

Asolo: Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots

Asolo: Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots, Black/Gunmetal – Toe Cap Failures

I don’t like having to call out one of my favorite brands, but it’s time something was done to fix this problem! It’s a material defect and it doesn’t seem to be going away. While the Asolo reps that I spoke with mentioned that extreme conditions have a lot to do with the material’s fatigue factor, which I am well aware of, my last three pairs of boots have never been subjected to any extreme conditions that would contribute to the material’s fatigue factor. The fact is I don’t know how long these boots may have been sitting in a cold warehouse waiting to be shipped out to a customer. Who knows if that could be a contributing factor causing the defect in the material.

Will I still purchased these boots? Yes. But spending $265 bucks on something that you know is going to fail doesn’t make you feel good about the brand you’ve trusted for years. They have extended the warranty to two years and if you need to put that warranty to use, expect to have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get them to even consider honoring their warranty. Supposedly there’s also a five year warranty for the soles, but I never had any issues with the outer soles. I just wish they would REPLACE the toe caps on the Fugitive GTX boots, that’s all! I’ve looked into their newer high-end models but they are wider and won’t fit my foot. As a long time end user, maybe by writing this, Asolo will get the point and update the toe cap of this amazing boot and tend to the material defect which is unacceptable for a $265.00 + New York Sales Tax pair of boots. CG

5/15/2019 Response from Marisa Zanfranceschi of Asolo S.p.A –

“We took note of your comments. The rubber toe cup has the function of protecting the toe and the upper from scratches, cracking does not compromise the shoes functionality.” …

This is a total bullshit and completely UNACCEPTABLE response! I’m highly disappointed :( My/these boots ARE compromised regarding safety and waterproof-ness. This is a totally unacceptable material and manufactures defect and multiple pairs of these expensive boots. Asolo USA hasn’t even responded or took the time to returned any of my phone calls, their customer service is pathetic. I want to know what Asolo S.p.A / Asolo USA is going to do for me regarding these clearly defective boots?

You would think any reputable company/manufacturer would want their defective product back to look into and see what is actually going on and so they can diagnose the problem. But NOT Asolo S.p.A / Asolo USA, unreal!

SUMMARY / CONCLUSION

Until Asolo S.p.A, in Italy and Asolo USA addresses this ongoing systemic issue regarding the premature dry-rotting and disintegrating of the Fugitive GTX’s – Toe Cap material, I hesitate to be loyal anymore. I give a lot of credit to the Design Team that designed the Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots, they did a great job in designing and making a high quality stable durable all-around 4- season hiking boot! The Fugitive GTX is their most successful boot of all time. But 15 years later Asolo pretty much has stopped innovating besides for the Patrol GV and Freney Mid GTX. Maybe its time to try to look elsewhere to find the dream all-around hiking that is more innovative and more comfortable underfoot.

As someone has played and taken part in all kinds of sports and Designed Apparel & Athletic Footwear for Adidas, I know what it takes to make good quality and fitting products.

Do I still recommend the amazing Asolo: Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots, yes. BUT, Asolo’s reputation is on the line regarding a clear systemic subpar toe cap material defect and their non accommodating and weak customer service.

I vote with my dollars!

Arc’teryx Naga Hoody Gen 1 vs Gen 2

Arc’teryx Naga Hoody (Gen 1) vs (Gen 2)

Arc'teryx: Naga Hoody Gen 1

Arc’teryx: Naga Hoody (Gen 1)

Arc’teryx Naga Hoody (Gen 1) is absolutely awesome 👍🏻 and has now taken over the Rho AR Zip Neck Top as my favorite base/mid layer. The Naga Hoody was based off of the incredibly comfortable and stretchy Polartec Rho AR Zip Neck Top. The Naga Hoody has slightly longer arms w/wrist cuffs to accommodate a thumb loupe that helps keep your wrists and hands warmer when needed and that makes a huge difference, you can also where that configuration under ski gloves. Also it has a fitted stretchy dropped hood that can fit under a helmet if needed. Why they don’t make this in the standard Arc’teryx lineup is beyond me. Whoever the Designer was of the original (Gen 1) Naga Hoody did an awesome job!!! There was only one negative and that was that the neck zipper needed to be one to two inches longer for more comfort and ability to adjust temperature range throughout the day or evening. The fit was spot on, with an ergonomic slightly shorter in the front and a longer dropped back so when you’re bending over your lower back stays warm and it keeps the heat in. I have multiples of the Rho AR Zip Neck Tops that is lasted for years and now multiples of the (Gen 1) Naga Hoody. I did request Arc’teryx’s LEAF Division to please make the neck/chest zipper longer and they did that in the (Gen 2).

Arc’teryx: Naga Hoody (Gen 1) X TD Exclusive

Purchased the (Gen 2) and was completely disappointed 👎🏻 with the new fitment. Once I took it out of the original packaging it even looked much bigger/baggier and once I tried it on it was, total bummer.

The (Gen 2) Naga Hoody is much looser in the torso by a significant amount. There’s a lot of room in the stomach area, actually there is too much material now. Also there is bagginess or I should actually say sagginess in the triceps and forearms. And I measured the difference of the side length and it’s literally 3.5″ inches longer on the side of your lower hip then the perfect (Gen 1). The front and back hem is the same length so it now fits like a T-shirt which is not nearly as comfortable nor ergonomic as the original (Gen 1) dropped back design/pattern. It fits like a semi snuger sweatshirt not like a true base/mid layer as it should for proper layering. With the Naga Hoody (Gen 1) for daily usage I wear a T-shirt underneath or if I’m doing more aerobic activity a Nike Pro top does the trick. But if I’m going skiing I would where a tighter base layer underneath it to keep you at a perfect temperature range.

The (Gen 2) has an overall baggier fit which I totally dislike :( If you’re a bigger guy and prefer things loose fitting you will like the fit. If you have a average athletic 🏃🏻‍♂️ build I don’t think you will like it. If I was to purchase it again I would possibly have to downsize, but the concern is that the neck will be too tight. My grade for the awesome Arc’teryx Naga Hoody (Gen 1) is a solid A! The fit of the new (Gen 2) is highly disappointing, hence that’s why I immediately returned it, I give it a C+. So I consider the fit of the (Gen 2) a complete downgrade for my tastes and style. But with both generations the material is exactly the same. I will wait for (Gen 3) if they ever decide to update it again. If not I will have to find something else with the perfect fit or just go back to the tried-and-true Rho AR Zip Neck Top but unfortunately that still does not have thumb loops yet.

Unfortunately in the past couple years Arc’teryx have discontinued and messed up some of there iconic designs and what I especially liked was the Gore-Tex Shells with “Expedition Fit” for better mobility and more comfortable layering options. Arc’teryx LEAF has also recently discontinued some exceptionally well designed and well-made apparel. I’m highly disappointed about such amazing outdoor apparel such as: *Theta SVX Jacket and Theta AR Gore-Tex Jacket, *Theta AR Pants > Theta SV Bib, the kick-ass *Drac Pant and the necessary matching Riggers Belt in “Wolf Gray”, matching Drac Jacket, Bravo Jacket AKA: *Alpha SV Jacket & Vest > Alpha AR Jacket (three different names for the same jacket, now that’s stupid and totally confusing). The Combat Jacket & Combat Pant (Gen 2), Minotaur Jacket, and my personal favorite the superior fitting *Naga Hoody (Gen 1). I know my Arc’teryx Gear inside and out as I’ve been wearing the Dead Bird brands apparel for 20 years now. CG

Bring back the Evans / HQ RealFeel Double Sided Practice Pad!

Long Islands own D’Addario & Co. / Evans Drumheads NEEDS to bring back The Original 12” HQ RealFeel (Natural Tan Gum Rubber & Black) Double Sided Practice Pad!

Feel free to call D’Addario United States at 1(800) 323-2746, (631) 439-3300 or email Evans Drumheads Customer Support to request the super cool Original 12” HQ RealFeel (Natural Tan Gum Rubber & Black) Double Sided Practice Pad back it their product lineup.

The Original 12” HQ RealFeel (Natural Tan Gum Rubber & Black) Double Sided Practice Pad 🥁, was by far the BEST made and most importantly the most realistic feeling Practice Pad ever produced 🤘🏻!!! Please, please, please bring the original design back!

Why was it the best? Very simple the QUALITY!!! And most importantly feel! The very thick and smooth Tan Natural Gum Rubber was absolutely exceptional, the BEST ever made, it and lasted forever.

Longevity Tip: Don’t ever clean the Natural Gum Rubber with Windex, because Windex has Ammonia in it and that will dry out the Natural Gum Rubber.

HQ RealFeel 12″ (Older Tan & Black) Practice Pad Review

BMW Motorcycle Multi-Trailer

BMW please bring back the BMW OEM Multi-Trailer!

My old photographs taken at the 2000 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Convention of a BMW X5 with the cool BMW OEM Multi-Trailer towing a BMW F650 Motorcycle at the BMW display.

With the all new redesigned 2019 BMW X5, X3 and my personal favorite the X4 coming out this year it is time to bring back the BMW OEM Multi-Trailer I would say.

BMW it is time to put “ACTIVITY” back into the BMW SAVs lineup again!!! Front Push Bars, Trailer Hitch Mounts and the Multi-Trailer would do these new SAV’s justice!

2000 BMW Multi-Trailer

2000 BMW Multi-Trailer

2000 BMW Multi-Trailer

2000 BMW X5 and BMW Multi-Trailer on display

2000 BMW Multi-Trailer

2000 BMW X5 and BMW Multi-Trailer on display

OXO Good Grips – Automotive Car Care Product Line Request

WANTED: OXO Good Grips to bring back their awsome Automotive Car Care Product Line!

OXO Automotive: Car Care Product Line

OXO Automotive: Car Care Product Line – Discontinued :(

 

Unfortunately OXO Good Grips has pretty much discontinued their amazing, best on the market Automotive line of Car Care products. Their Auto brushes are so user friendly well made and designed and they last for years, and way better then any natural wool mitt on the market, they do not leave any micro contaminants as wool mitts do so you don’t scratch you expensive paint finish. If you are an auto and motor sport enthusiast or just a clean freak, I suggest emailing or even better calling OXO’s Consumer Care Center at 1(800) 545-4411 and their OXO’s corporate New York Design Studio at (212) 242-3333 and requesting the full comeback of all the original Automotive Car Care Product Line of cleaning brushes, your car will thank you.

OXO Automotive: Small Car Wash Brush

OXO Automotive: Small Car Wash Brush – Discontinued :(

OXO Automotive: Large Car Wash Brush

OXO Automotive: Large Car Wash Brush and Wheel Detail Brush – Discontinued :(

OXO Automotive: Squeegee

OXO Automotive: Squeegee – Discontinued :(

OXO Automotive: Sure-Grip Ice Scraper

OXO Automotive: Ergonomic Sure-Grip Polycarbote Ice Scraper – Discontinued :(

OXO Automotive: Snow Brush and Scrapper

OXO Automotive: Pivoting Head Snow Brush and Scrapper – Discontinued :(