Boreal Aztec (2014)

The Boreal Aztec is a hillwalking workhorse with some modern design features to appeal to the less traditional hill-goer. It’s also exceptionally well-priced for what it offers, as most shoes around its price range have much less substantial designs details. The upper is made from fabric and leather, like most multi-activity shoes, but there is much more stiffness and support built into this shoe than many of its competitors at this price. By having good stiffness in the heel cup and toe box, the Boreal Aztec is better suited than most shoes to heading onto the hills and scrambling over rockier ground.  For even more durability there is a rubber rand at the toe box too. Underfoot there is a Vibram sole unit with well-spaced lugs to prevent clogging and a heel breast to aid braking during a descent on soft ground. There is also plenty of stiffness in that sole, so again it can cope better than most in its price range when the ground becomes rockier. Considering its walking-orientated design the Aztec does have quite a close and precise fit, which means it’s suitable for scrambling over easier rocky ground as well as being able to provide comfortable support for general walking. This shoe is heavier than many, though; so if you want something for fast and light activity other shoes are likely to be better.


Upper material 2mm split leather, synthetic tongue

Waterproof lining Boreal Dry-Line

Sole unit Vibram Skyrunning

Men’s sizes 6-12

Women’s sizes 4-8

Weight 1234g (pair, size 11)



The Boreal Aztec is a very good, practical hill-walking shoe for most hillwalking and more general outdoor activities; but others are lighter and some are better on rock. It won Trail’s ‘Best Value’ award.

Review by Graham Thompson

Published in Trail magazine May 2014