Monday, 25 April 2016 21:54

Tested & Reviewed: Aku Bellamont Suede GTX

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At the tail end of last year I received an email to say “stay vibrant this autumn”, when I think back to starting out accumulating outdoor gear I started with the black “ninja” outfit. Now my colour scheme has expanded, not quite into my everyday wardrobe though.

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I opted for the Turquoise to really dive into vibrancy! They do come in a full range of outgoing colours and in Aku’s Anniversary colours.

What Aku says:-

BELLAMONT SUEDE GTX is a lightweight, refined, young shoe made in Europe to the highest manufacturing standards by AKU. The origin of 100% of product components is traceable. As well as the Vibram® outsole made with ECO STEP rubber there is the die cut EVA midsole that is also obtained using recycled material coming from rubber processing. The constructional features of BELLAMONT SUEDE GTX put it in the category of outdoor style footwear for daily use.

What My Outdoors say:-

The shoes arrived and they were definitely brighter than any other everyday footwear I have ever owned but I was committed to giving them a go. There was also a set of laces to match the main turquoise colour but I stuck with the contrasting green.

As with previous experience when I put them on at first they fitted really well. The last fits my foot really well, which is a good start.

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Over the time I’ve had them they have been my casual shoe of choice. They’ve done a few miles during the few months I’ve had them. From general about town use, shopping centres, light park use out with the family and a fair bit of pavement pounding.

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I’ve never taken them on a full blown trail/hike. This is due to a bit of a grip issue I came across in my general use. I’ve gone through the seasons with them and when the grips get wet and I end up on a smooth surface, like indoor floor tiles, it ends up like being on an ice rink. In general they do alright and the tread on the Vibram sole unit is pretty reasonable but I’d be concerned about being on smooth wet rock.

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An issue my pair have developed is one of the moulded insoles has become deformed. This happened when taking my foot out with normal everyday socks on it seemed to lift the insoles out, this repeated action has led to the right one being weak at the back so when I walk it slips back leaving a little ledge at the front for my toes to drop in to. The surface of the insole has smoothed a bit now and they don’t lift anymore and luckily my left one hasn’t suffered the same fate. Changing the surface on the insole may alleviate everyday socks causing the insole to grip, I found when I tried hiking socks there was no issue but I don’t wear hiking socks every day!

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Regardless of these blips I have worn them pretty much exclusively when not at work or in the mountains. The way the last is sculpted around the front of the foot suits my feet and they were out of the box comfortable as the boots were. The bright colours are faded slightly but I have grown to like their vibrant looks.

If I do the review solely on the left shoe, then these are another Aku classic. Comfortable, good looking, well put together, mountain inspired footwear. Not hugely grippy on flat wet surfaces but the tread on the sole will give you traction. The same workmanship is evident on the shoes as it is on the hardworking boots.

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Comfortable, Colourful, Classic!

Last modified on Tuesday, 26 April 2016 08:54
Davy Wright

Most at home in the outdoors, preferably on top of something big and pointy. Scotland is Davy's playground, which is why he doesn’t mind getting wet. But winter is where it’s at. Hiking, scrambling, camping and a bit of climbing when I can. Sucker for a ridge. At a lower altitude he try getting out on his bike and run if he has to.

Davy describes himself as "a bit of a gear geek, maybe less of the bit. I like to see how things work or don’t!" In following this line Davy has become a respected and authoritative blogger over the last few years, working with many of the UK's major manufacturers and retailers.

Preferred activities: Hillwalking, camping, scrambling, trying to get better at climbing/ice climbing, cycling/mountain biking

Areas commonly visited: Lochaber, Cairngorms, Lake District