The AKU SL Hike GTX boot is extremely robust and well-designed to provide practical performance on the hill for its weight of just 1398g (pair, size 11). The upper is made mostly of a synthetic material called AIR8000, which feels far more durable and supportive of the foot compared to most lightweight boots. There’s good stiffness too in the toe and heel areas, making this well-suited to rockier ground. The ankle cuff is lower than most and also well-padded, making the AKU SL Hike GTX a useful boot for scrambling or general unrestricted movement, as well as saving a few grams. The outsole is a good all-round unit with deep, widely spaced lugs and a heel breast to provide good grip on soft terrain. But there is also very good stiffness both laterally and toe-to-heel, making this extremely good for rockier ground when walking or scrambling. It isn’t as soft on the foot as some more walking-orientated designs, however – but it will suit those who like a firm flex for better performance on rock. The shape of the boot is less climbing-specific than other scrambling boots, meaning it would not be the ideal choice for tougher scrambles. But overall the AKU SL Hike GTX is a good all-rounder for a variety of walking and easier scrambling on rocky ground.
Upper materials suede leather, synthetic Air8000 fabric
Waterproof lining Gore-Tex
Sole unit Vibram Foura
Men’s sizes 3-13
Women’s sizes 3-8
Weight 1398g (pair, size 11)
On rockier ground when weight is a priority, the AKU SL Hike GTX offers unique advantages, but on easier ground other boots are comfier.
Review by Graham Thompson
Published in Trail magazine May 2014