Stylish, lightweight and super comfortable waterproof hiking shoes for day hikes and scrambling
Boasting characteristics similar to that of approach shoes, the Asolo Nucleon GV offer a nimble and supportive alternative that will go the distance on the trail as well as keep your feet protected and comfortable on an array of different types of terrain. Read on to see why I wear them more than all the other shoes in my life put together!
Asolo Nucleon GV: The stats
|Best for:||Day hikes and summer scrambling|
|Weight:||574g (pair size 5 UK)|
Features of the Asolo Nucleon GV
UppersThe uppers are constructed of water-resistant suede which is a fine grain and wears pretty well for suede, in terms of scuffing and durability. There’s also a soft shell section of fabric which makes up the tongue of the shoes. The whole shoe is lined with a Gore-Tex Extended Comfort Footwear lining which is designed to be waterproof and breathable.
Boasting Asolo/Vibram Megagrip soles, the rubber EVA provides excellent grip on a variety of terrain and is especially adept at dealing with wet surfaces. The low-profile lugs are self-cleaning and shed mud and dirt relatively well. Additionally, the outsoles are supported by molded EVA midsoles which are made with a new generation compound to offer balance between elasticity, fit and high absorption.
The classic lacing system extends right down to the toes for maximal adjustability. This style of lacing also makes these lightweight hiking shoes look a little more like approach shoes. The laces do a decent job at staying done up, though a double knot is sometimes needed. A minor negative is that the design of the shoes means that the lace opening is already fairly closed, leaving little room for further tightening if desired.
Like the laces, the rubber toe cap further adds to the approach shoe-like aesthetics. It also does an excellent job at adding a good degree of protection on trickier terrain or when scrambling. Overall, the toe box is on the narrow side, so not a great option for those who prefer to let their toes splay inside their shoes.
There’s a really soft collar around the ankles. This is low cut and is very forgiving on the ankles. Great if you have issues with rubbing or pressure in this area. As well as the structure of the collar being flexible and malleable, it’s also soft on the skin when ankle socks creep down into your shoes, as they do sometimes!
Asolo Nucleon GV review
We pride ourselves on our honest gear reviews, which gives me no option but to tell you that I was first drawn to the Asolo Nucleon GV’s for their looks. There, I said it! In a market where outdoor shoe design seems to be veering off towards either clumpy and, dare I say frumpy, or bravely colliding with fast fashion, I couldn’t help but be sold on the classic and understated aesthetics of the Nucleon’s. Yes, they are fairly ‘outdoorsy’ looking hiking shoes that have adopted the streamlined and practical features of climbing approach shoes. But they offer more support and robustness than approach shoes. Plus, their aesthetics just float my boat and I feel fab in them! I wear them with casual jeans and leggings as well as my walking trousers. They also work well with shorts.
Looks aside, however, these lightweight hiking shoes have fast become my favourite pair of shoes which I wear 90% of the time!
Comfort and fit
I wear a women’s size 4.5 (UK) and although they feel great on me, it’s probably worth trying a half size smaller if you are between sizes as I would say they are slightly on the roomy side. The shoes are designed with a female specific last which accommodates the anatomical shape of female feet including forefoot fit, instep, heel shape and heel height. As a result, they were delightfully comfortable from the very first wear and have remained so ever since.
The fit feels relaxed and easy, which contributes greatly to their high comfort levels. This is, in part, thanks to the soft suede uppers. The cushioned collars also feel lovely. But it’s the overall shape of the last that means my feet fit the shoes really well.
The only negative for me is that the toe box is not as wide as I would prefer. My little toes feel slightly cramped towards the end of a big day hike.
Despite the supple and low cut ankle collar and relaxed fit, I’ve been surprised at the levels of support the shoes offer. I’ve not gone over on my ankles, nor have I felt my feet moving laterally within the shoes on uneven terrain.
Additionally the shoes provide good support through the arches and midsole which feels natural and certainly not over exaggerated or insufficient. Even after 10 miles on the trail the soles of my feet don’t feel tired or achy. As mentioned, my little toes start to feel the pressure. But from a stability point of view, my feet feel as though they are neither over nor underworking on long day hikes.
One of the best features of the Nucleon’s in terms of performance, is the grip. Drawing from their approach shoe-like characteristics, they perform equally well on loose gravelly slopes as they do scrambling up dry rocks and boulders. And the levels of moisture on the ground or rock seems to have very little negative effect on how well they grip. I feel super confident striding it out on almost all types of terrain and unless it’s likely to be very muddy or I need a bit more protection in the winter, I wear them over hiking boots now.
The combo of naturally water resistant suede and the Gore-Tex membrane makes the shoes impressively waterproof. How waterproof they will stay remains to be seen, and more wear and time in the shoes is needed to judge how well the suede will hold up. Currently, however, the uppers shed water like a duck; I can brazenly stroll through streams and they come out appearing almost completely dry! Plus, the gusseted tongue is attached to the main part of the shoe over ¾ of the way up the laces, further protecting against water getting in when negotiating shallow streams and puddles.
As well as the nimble feel and sticky grip of the Nucleon’s, Asolo have also harnessed an approach shoe-like aesthetic which I really love. The rubber bumpers, toe to ankle lacing and streamlined design all add to this. But I really like that I can also wear them with jeans and still feel stylish in them.
What I love the most about the Asolo Nucleon GV
The grip and the style win for me. Oh, they’re also exceptionally comfortable!
What I don’t love so much about the Asolo Nucleon GV
The toe box is a little on the narrow side for me resulting in pressure building on my little toes over the course of a long day on the trail. Other than that, I’m struggling to find anything to dislike about them.
With approach shoe-like design and performance, the Asolo Nucleon GV hiking shoes are an excellent choice for day hikes, scrambling and general outdoor adventuring. They have a super grippy sole, supportive midsole, are highly waterproof and provide comfort that competes with trainers or trail running shoes. They’re also super stylish, if a classically outdoorsy look is what you’re after.
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Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.