AKU Trekker Lite III GTX boot | Tested and reviewed

The AKU Trekker Lite III GTX boot offers the best of both worlds: durability and mountain performance, plus good value and a relatively low weight. No surprises then that it's won a Gear of the Year award from us...

from AKU
RRP  £215.00
Closeup of hiker wearing AKU Trekker Lite III GTX with Gear of the Year award logo

by Ben Weeks |
Updated on

The AKU Trekker Lite III is a proper walking boot for mountain terrain and big hill days. It has a robust, solid and stable feel, but isn’t hot, heavy or clumpy.

That is a brilliant achievement. Most proper trekking boots of this type are indeed a bit heavy and restrictive. By contrast, the boots that do offer improved flexibility and agility tend to be mid-height, lightweight boots, which are essentially trail shoes with a higher ankle cuff, and less ideal if you want a boot to tackle tougher, more technical ground.

AKU Trekker Lite III GTX ankle cuff
©LFTO

The upper of the Trekker Lite III GTX is made from suede and fabric, backed with a Gore-Tex liner. You also get a well-padded tongue and ankle.

An EVA midsole provides some cushioning, and traction comes from a Vibram outsole. An undercut heel brake gives good downhill control, while the front of the boot has a small toe ledge for easier scrambling.

AKU Trekker Lite III GTX toecap
©LFTO

The suede toe cap has proved pretty hard-wearing, despite the lack of a rubber rand, and although the lightweight midsole isn’t quite as shock-absorbing as some of the ‘bouncier’ boots on the market, the Trekker’s more cushioned insole does a lot to even things up in this department.

Ultimately, we still struggle to think of a better mountain boot at this price point, which is why it’s our 2024 Gear of the Year choice.

Gear of the Year 2024 winner

Closeup of hiker wearing AKU Trekker Lite III GTX with Gear of the Year award logo
Price: £215.00

www.tiso.com

Pros

  • Superb price-performance balance
  • Durable construction
  • Wide fit available
  • Lightweight for a mountain boot
  • Excellent Vibram sole

Cons

  • Not the most cushioned midsole

Why the AKU Trekker Lite III GTX won Gear of the Year 2024

Studio shot of AKU Trekker Lite III GTX
©LFTO

Build quality

The AKU Trekker Lite III GTX strikes the ideal balance between value and quality. The Italian footwear specialist has given us a mid-price boot without skimping on either materials or build quality.

At £215 (RRP at time of writing), the AKU is far more capable and durable than any lightweight counterpart, which cost about £30 to £50 less. The Trekker Lite III GTX is also a true performance and rival to premium competitors costing upwards of £250.

AKU Trekker Lite III GTX lacing
©LFTO

Granted, you don’t get quite the same tech as with AKU’s higher-end models, but the Trekker Lite III feels every bit as well made as its premium boots. You still get quality suede leather and AKU’s abrasion-resistant yet highly breathable Air 8000 material, which actually makes this a good boot for warmer days (or sweaty feet).

A Gore-Tex liner still ensures reliable waterproofing, and the sole unit also features a dual-density EVA midsole paired with an excellent Vibram Curcuma outsole.

AKU Trekker Lite III GTX Vibram sole
©LFTO

Low weight

Despite their solid and stable build, these boots are neither heavy nor clumpy for a mountain boot – which makes them a terrific choice for big hill routes and multiple miles. A pair of men’s size 8s tips the scales at 1140g, while a pair of women’s size 5s comes in at 890g.

AKU Trekker Lite III GTX midsole and heel brake
©LFTO

These are extremely competitive weights for a boot of this style – in fact, the Trekker Lite IIIs are lighter than some of the most popular mid-cut boots on the market, including the best-selling Merrell Moab 3, which is an impressive achievement.

Fit and comfort

The Trekker Lite III is built on a typical Alpine-style last – which means it’s not the widest – with medium volume overall. However, don’t dismiss it if you have broad feet, because a wide fit is also available, which gives considerably more room for the toes and forefoot.

AKU Trekker Lite III GTX side profile
©LFTO

According to AKU, this wide fit tends to suit a lot of British walkers. Add in the fact that it comes in a wide range of sizes, and most people should be able to find a pair that fits well.

How we tested

Our Gear of the Year award winners are, what we consider, the best products in their category that we've tested in the previous 12 months.

The products have all been used in tough real world conditions by members of our rigorous and experienced team.

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