Judy Armstrong reviews a comfortable and supportive pair of approach shoes.
This review was first published in the September 2018 issue of The Great Outdoors.
Lightweight, intuitive on the ground and super-comfortable – what’s not to like? Asolo introduced Nucleon GV in Spring 2017 as part of its new generation of A-Fast light hiking products. It wasn’t Asolo’s first choice for this approach shoe test, but my feet were too small for the more technical Apex (new this year). Anyway, I’m glad it worked out with Nucleon because I love wearing them: after testing some of the heavier models, it was always a treat to snag these for a hike.
The suede uppers offer enough support for walking and easy scrambling, although the sole flex – which makes them so comfortable for hiking – isn’t stiff enough laterally or lengthwise to balance on rock edges. There is plenty underneath for cushioning against sharp rocks and hard ground, but still remaining in contact, for an intuitive feel. The seamless suede upper (a beautiful green in my test shoe; I like how these look, as well as how they perform) has a reinforced strip around the heel box, a soft shell cuff, again seamless and comfortable even with thin socks, staying snug against foot and ankle to keep grit out. Skinny laces run through holes from rubber toe bumper to cuff and adjust easily. The tongue has just enough padding under the laces and is single-layer at the cuff to mould around the foot. The Megagrip sole unit is fabulous on both wet and dry surfaces although the heel is minimal and shallow lugs get clogged by mud.
As an approach shoe, for hiking and easy-grade scrambling it’s awesome, and light enough to tuck into or lash onto your pack if you’re changing into more technical footwear for the hard stuff. Nice work, Asolo. Now, if I could stretch my feet enough to try the Apex…!