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Almost a great boot
To make a boot this stiff and supportive this light is a remarkable accomplishment. The boots are obviously well made. Glue seams are tight with no gaps, and there were no stray threads or sloppy cuts on my pair. It's a small thing, but the loop at the ankle is genuinely helpful in putting these stiff boots on. The upper has excellent ankle support and a decent amount of arch. Note that the insole has some contour of its own, including heel lift and arch, so if you put in aftermarket foot beds with a good bit of contour--like Superfeet--you may have too much heel lift. These boots are about halfway between the Fugitive and TPS 520 in Asolo's line, and, per Asolo's webpage, are built on the same lasting board as the nominally heavier duty TPS 520. Despite that, these boots feel quit different from the 520. The Corax is stiffer than the 520 in pretty much every direction; fore and aft flex, heel capture, and lateral stiffness of the upper. Out of the box, they are actually stiffer than my leather mountaineering boots. My first impression on putting these on was that the fit and feel was reminiscent of a plastic alpine ski boot--very different from the other Asolo backpacking boot I have tried. If these had a rear lip to accommodate semi-auto crampons, I think they would be a legitimate competitor to the La Sportiva Trango series. Traction was excellent on wet rock and in a little snow. The feel like they would edge well, and honestly I think they would do for side stepping a long way up crusty snow and ice (though I only used them on trail). The Corax also feels narrower through most of the foot than either the 520 or the Fugitive (but not as narrow in the toe box as the Fugitive).
Perhaps because of the stiffness of these boots, I felt oddly disconnected from the ground when wearing these. I also found them unusually tiring to walk in, perhaps because their great stiffness fore and aft did not allow for a natural walking motion. Despite the "Anti/Shock" logo on the PU heel frame, I did not notice much shock absorption. For comparison, I hiked a trail in these without a pack and then hiked the same trail two weeks later in Fugitives. I found hiking in the Fugitives less tiring, even though I was carrying a pack that time. The lacing hardware on these is nearly the same as on Fugitives, but without the lace locking clamshell at the ankle. This limits your ability to adjust different parts of the boot for different tightness. It's also worth noting that all interior surfaces have some texture; the ubiquitous Gore-Tex sock liner and Asolo's ribbed foot bed. These surfaces will thus generate some friction and heat during hiking. I personally prefer a smooth leather lining, though that's hard to find these days. On the whole, I find these boots uncomfortably stiff for backpacking, and will be returning them. I do greatly appreciate Enwild's generous return policy which allowed me to try out these boots that are hard to find on the shelf at local stores.