Reviewing boots you have to start with a general disclaimer: Boot reviews are very subjective, with fit and comfort dependent on the users foot shape and size. The most important aspect of selecting new boots is that they should fit your feet properly. My experience with these boots is based on the fact that they do fit my foot shape.
What the manufacturers say::
Evolution of the Trekker Lite II model, it’s shape inspired by the Tengu Lite model. Ideal for day excursions of medium difficulty on varied terrain. High level of comfort and stability. The lasting board and sole unit features the exclusive AKU Elica Natural Stride System technology to enhance the bio-dynamic performance.
· UPPER: SUEDE + AIR8000®+ WELDED PU FILM
· UPPER PROTECTION: RUBBER
· LINING DESCRIPTION: GORE-TEX® PERFORMANCE COMFORT
· OUTSOLE: VIBRAM® CURCUMA
· MIDSOLE: LIGHT PU
· LASTING BOARD (STIFFNESS): 6-4 MM NYLON + EVA MICROPOROSA (MEDIUM)
· FOOTBED: CUSTOM FIT SOFT
· MENS WEIGHT (GR. ½ PAIR): 660
· MENS SIZE RANGE (UK): 6 - 13
These are thefirst ever Aku boots I have used and owned. Even on first appearance you can’t help being envious and be drawn to the distinct blue theme and look of the Trekker Pro boots. Now a couple of months on, I can’t stop using them even over my more expensive B2 boots I purchased before Christmas.
I’m smitten to say the least!
Having used and owned a number of boots over the years, many manufacturers try to bring a touch of fashion and dare I say it, glamorous look, to make the boot appeal to a wider audience but most fall short in other aspects and compromise in the quality of the proofing, warmth or grip. To not spoil too much of the details with these Aku Trekker Pro boots, Aku have nailed not only the look and style but the quality of proofing, warmth, grip and just overall quality of these boots.
The Aku Trekker Pro GTX boots are designed to be an all-round boot, Aku describe the boots as ideal for day excursions of medium difficulty on mixed terrains, bringing a high level of comfort and stability.
From my experience with the Trekker Pro boots they have been comfortable to use throughout, whether it be hiking around my local patch of the Chilterns and South Downs, along the coast, or climbing up the snow-capped mountains in South Wales. It’s just a shame they got so muddy and wet.
Straight out of the box, the Trekker Pro boots were very comfortable and didn’t require any time easing in. Compared to my Mammut Trovat boots, the Aku Trekker boots have a very different feel with less padding around the ankle, which personally has taken some getting used to. As I have weaker ankles, I often select boots with a thicker and higher protection around this area so to have a more rigid boot took some getting used too. Although they started off a little stiff they have since eased with further use and are now very flexible and feel natural around the ankle with no issues with rubbing or flexibility.
Although stiffer and less padded out than my Mammut boots, these Aku boots will have more use throughout the year; certainly in to the summer months where I won’t need the thicker insulated padding but just a solid, all-purpose and comfortable boot that can be used in mixed terrains and provide great proofing from the wet.
On the note of proofing, the Aku Trekker GTX boots provided superb waterproofing, whether I was wading through rivers and waterfalls or general walking during the wet weather and countryside. The boots kept my feet dry and warm with no issues to comfort or rubbing after hiking 15+ miles or wearing all day.
The boots continued in a similar theme on difficult terrains to walk in, with Winter clinging on before Spring took hold, South Wales mountains had a dusting of snow and saw sub-zero conditions perhaps for the last time this year. With boggy and wet conditions at the base of the mountains and as you climbed up met the snow line and eventually walking through an inch deep of snow and ice, whilst fighting to stay stood up right with 40mph gusting winds at the summit. At no point did I feel like I was going to slip or loss my footing whilst wearing the TRekker Pros. The tread of the boots has plenty of cuts and grooves to provide all the grip needed from the mud and on to snow and ice after.
Trying not to get the boots dirty is the difficult part but as great looking as the boots are, it would be a waste to not use them and get them coated in mud. Cleaning the boots has been easy and using Nikwax footwear cleaner was all that was required, and the blue pop of the boots remained and good as new!
The past couple of months have been strange with the weather and conditions. We have seen heatwaves bringing in 20ºc in February followed by rain storms, ice and snow and throughout all of these mixed conditions the Aku boots have continued to serve their purpose and perform above and beyond, keeping me outdoors and on my feet.
Although I haven’t had the opportunity to dig out the crampons as they weren’t needed on the summits in the end I did try fitting them to the boots to see if they would sit as needed for basic snow/ice walking and they fitted well so in terms of an all-round boot they did everything needed without having to swap to my thicker B2 boots. I’m glad because it would had been a huge shame to have had to swap to my winter boots just to climb a snow topped mountain, leaving these in the car.
In the 20ºc freak heatwave we saw in February, I continued to wear these as it was a good opportunity to see how they would feel in the heat and walking without having to wait months until summer arrived. On the day we walked some 7 miles which isn’t far but certainly enough in the heat if you weren’t expecting it. The boots were still comfortable to wear but a little on the warmer side. So, I could foresee these being used for mixed terrains and wet conditions in summer as long as the heat doesn’t go higher than 26ºc plus by which point I will be giving up with boots and returning back to low ankle walking shoes.
On the opposite spectrum in the sub-zero conditions with a last bite from winter with snow on the summits of South Wales mountains, the Aku Trekker GTX boots were very warm and comfortable. With a good thick pair of socks and gaiters my feet had no issues sat around in the snow or hiking up the mountain paths.
These Aku Trekker boots really are just an all-round boot perfect for any conditions or terrains thrown at them so far.
Water resistance: 20/20
They would have been a near perfect 100/100 score and now several months on I’d be pushed to say otherwise that these aren’t the perfect boot for all-round use, throughout the year.
Superb comfort in mixed conditions from 20ºc heat to sub-zero and snow-capped mountain hikes or wading through rivers and waterfalls with bone dry feet and socks. They have been comfortable from day one, minus some personal preferences with how rigid they felt around the ankle but since continued use the flex in the ankles has improved and offers a good solid wrap and protection around my ankles, giving plenty of give for when walking. Whether this be on the coasts, mountain paths, bogs or river beds. Throughout they haven’t had any issues with the wet and are fail safe in the rivers!
Just as well as we spent several hours stood in rivers and waterfalls on our recent trip to the Brecon Beacons in the pouring rain and Sgwd Henrhyd in full force. Although I was wearing waterproof socks too for extra reassurance, I didn’t need them as the socks themselves were bone dry. The wet rocks were no issues for grip and jumping about or walking through the river I had no issues or felt like I was going to slip, the same can be said when it came to ice and snow on the mountain summits.
The Aku Trekker Pro GTX boots offer a great balance in weight, comfort and cost for a boot that can do it all and see the full year through with no issues to conditions or weather through the seasons. As my first pair of Aku boots I can now fully appreciate why many love Aku boots and are a go to brand for them. Could this be the best hiking boot for 2019? I personally think so.