I'm looking for solid backpacking boots that come in wide sizes and that will work for someone with thick feet and high insteps. The Asolo TPS 520 looked/felt good but has stitching and folds on the liner booty that seem to chafe quickly. I also looked into the Meindl Perfekt 7, which does not have a liner booty but seems to be indefinitely back-ordered from its sole U.S. distributor, Cabela's. Any other suggestions? Do you think the liner stitches and folds will smooth out over time? Barr Albuquerque, NM
I shouldnt think the linings of the Asolo TPS 520 ($250) would be an issue, Barr. Do you mean to say you wore a pair on some trips and had some issues? Or it felt as if you might after a brief try-out? Between your foot and the Gore-Tex booty, the Asolos have a layer of fabric called Cambrelle, which is very common in boots these days. I have several pairs of boot with Cambrelle liners, and cant say Ive had any problem with them. And Asolo isnt a marginal boot-maker; theyre top-drawer.
The Banff Pro
You might take a look at the Lowa Banff Pro ($280). Like the Asolo boots, these are heavy-duty boots meant to offer a lot of support and foot protection. No Gore-Tex inner booty, which I dont think makes any difference in a well-made boot such as this. But they do have leather liners, which are the premium thing. Leather takes a bit longer to break in, but when it does, its a custom-molded boot. Bee-yoo-ti-ful. The Banff Pros do not come in widths, but theyre a hefty boot.
Meanwhile, try Cabela's again. They seem to have the Meindl Perfekt ($200) in stock. Its a nice-looking boot, with cork footbeds, full-grain leather uppers, and a Gore-Tex liner.