Lightweight, mega grippy and waterproof hiking boots for three season day hikes
Those who like to stay nimble on their feet, without sacrificing stability, protection and waterproofness, will love these AKU Trekker Pro GTX hiking boots. Their Vibram outsole is insanely grippy, and the groundbreaking midsole technology provides comfort and shock absorbency underfoot that’s so good you’ll barely notice it!
AKU Trekker Pro GTX: The stats
|Weight:||1kg / 2.2lb (per pair, women’s)|
|Waterproof:||GORE-TEX Performance Comfort|
|Uppers:||Suede + Air8000 + Welded Pu Film|
Features of the AKU Trekker Pro GTX
UppersThe combo of suede, a welded PU film, a Gore-Tex membrane and AKU’s Air8000 technology create a highly durable and waterproof upper that is also decently breathable. AKU claim that it offers some of the most effective breathability on the market that continues to improve over 24 hours.
The Vibram sole has deep lugs with tread spacing designed to minimise clogging. The lugs provide excellent traction in muddy sections of the trail, and the sticky, abrasion resistant Vibram sole can be relied upon when tackling all but the very toughest of terrains. Additionally, the soles provide very good shock-absorbency, especially in the heel area.
Insole and midsole
The combo of the anatomically shaped insole and AKU Elica technology creates an exceptionally comfortable footbed that replicates the inclination of your foot when walking. This is down to the combination of hard and soft midsole layers, which provide the perfect mix of cushioning and protection in the soft layer, and stability and support in the harder layer. The way it is layered gives more cushioning where you need it the most: on the outside of the heel where you strike the ground most.
Cushioning and ankle
There is adequate amounts of cushioning around the ankle and inside the boot. Most of the comfort comes from below with the uppers providing more support than luxury.
A great feature of these boots are the laces that extend right down to the toes. This helps you to create the perfect, customised fit. The laces are circular which means that they actually stay done up! Plus, the metal lace hooks have teeth on their underside which locks off the laces very effectively — excellent for heel lock lacing.
The toe box is not especially wide but there is enough space in there for regular width feet to use their toes when walking. There is a also a rubber bumper for extra protection over the toes.
Aku Trekker Pro GTX review
New in 2019, the AKU Trekker Pro GTXs are fairly lightweight for this style of hiking boot. They’re the sort of boots that merge very easily into everyday wear during the winter months. This is largely down to their sleek design and good looks — the boots works very well with jeans on a rainy day! But also because they’re not cumbersome and bulky. I feel nimble when I wear them on the trail, enjoying little bursts of trotting and jogging with ease. And I don’t feel like I’ve just come straight from the mountains when I wear them around town.
Grip and stability
The greatest asset of these boots, in my opinion, is the grip and stability that they provide. They deal superbly with both up and down hills on loose gravel and rock, filling me with confidence to break out into a trot regardless of the slope angle!
The deep treads shed mud very efficiently and they maintain a good degree of grip, even in the most muddy conditions. On both wet, rocky ground and wet, grassy terrain the grip holds strong. They also make me feel very stable on my feet and well protected at the ankle. Plus, there is a load of protection in the toe area — which I have needed on too many occasions already!
Comfort and fit
I didn’t find these boots instantly comfortable. That’s not to say they were really uncomfortable either. But they lack the cushioning around the ankle that I’ve enjoyed with other boots, and so it took a little time for me to get used to them.
I’ve tried playing around with the lacing to help find the most comfortable fit. But this has proved more difficult that I’d prefer. I like my boots to fit fairly snugly all over but with space for my toes to splay. As such, I’ve struggled to get the balance right. If you like to really let your toes splay, or have a wide forefoot, then these may not be the boots for you. My little toe has certainly found itself a little squeezed… only on the one side, interestingly! Perhaps it’s my wonky feet?!
The boots are true to size and although the cushioning on the uppers could be a little more plush (for my preferences!) the bottoms of my feet are VERY happy in these boots. The footbed feels so comfortable that I barely notice it. Ideal. Plus, my big toes stay well away from the front of the boot on the steep descents.
With a Gore-tex lining combined with suede and synthetic uppers these boots perform as expected on the waterproof front: they don’t let water in! However, my high expectations of their breathability haven’t quite been met. After my first hike in them — a 4 hour, moderately easy coastal route at around 10ºC — the boots felt damp inside and my socks needed a good airing. Perhaps it was my choice of socks, or maybe it’s down to the fact the AKU claim that the breathability gets better the longer you wear them? So maybe I just need to walk for longer?! Subsequent hikes have certainly been better when wearing merino socks. And I’ve not encountered similar levels of dampness in them after hiking in moderate temperatures. Overall I would say that these boots are decently breathable, but nothing to write home about.
What I love the most about the AKU Trekker boots
I really like the look of these boots and how adaptable they are to everyday life — especially on wet winter days. However, the excellent grip is what shines the most for me.
What I don’t love so much about the AKU Trekker boots
These aren’t as comfortable a I would have hoped they’d be. They lack the cushioning that I am used to, and the shape/proportions of the uppers just don’t quite work for my feet.
The lightweight and highly stable Aku Trekker Pro GTX hiking boots are exceptionally well-made providing second-to-none grippiness on all but the toughest terrain. They are ideal for three season day hikes in changeable conditions, and their waterproofness and good looks make them idea for casual wear and short hikes during the winter, too. They run true to size, but with a relatively high price tag it’s certainly worth trying them on before you commit, to ensure the proportions work for your feet.
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Aku Trekker Pro GTX
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.