AKU Trekker Pro GTX | Deep Dive - Outdoors Magic

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AKU Trekker Pro GTX | Deep Dive

A boot that's both comfortable to wear over long distances and sturdy enough to handle tough terrain

This is a boot that’s made for medium to long-distance treks over varied terrain; when you’re going to be facing everything from boulder fields, scree and rocky trails, to bog, marshland and just downright muddy stuff.

Hut-to-hut trekking in the Alps, the challenging GR20 trail through Corsica, or a day out exploring somewhere like the rocky mountains of Snowdonia’s Rhinogydd range (one of the places I did my testing) those are the kind of adventures this Italian made boot, the AKU Trekker Pro GTX, seems built for.

Sole Unit Construction

The most notable aspect of the Trekker Pro GTX is the flexibility of its sole unit. It’s stiff enough to let you ride with ease over jagged rocks and to get a reliable foothold if you need to edge up any routes requiring scrambles but then it’s also got a little bit of flex – enough to support those journeys with longer mileages.

Then there’s the comfort that the shape of the sole unit brings too. Like most of the trekking and hiking boots in AKU’s line, including the AKU Alterra GTX and Tengu GTX which we’ve previously tested here on Outdoors Magic, the Trekker Pro GTX features AKU’s Elica Stride System. The result of constant research and lab tests, Elica involves careful shaping of the boot’s ‘chassis’, including the outsole, midsole and removable insole, with the intention of supporting the natural inclination of the heel and forefoot. Your heel tends to roll inwards when planting a step and then it rolls outwards at the forefoot rolls when pushing off and AKU have designed their whole system to support this, making sure that there’s an even distribution of pressure across the foot.

The overall result, as we’ve found testing this system over the years, tends to be out-of-the-box comfort and a natural, supportive ride with the right kind of cushioning where you need it. AKU’s boots do feel different – and in all the right ways.

The pair I’ve been testing are a UK size 10, my usual size, and they fit me perfectly. The toe is slightly narrow to contribute to that edging ability I mentioned but it’s not uncomfortable. I have a narrow heel and that can sometimes cause issues for me, but it hasn’t led to any problems here. The lacing system actually gives quite a lot of flexibility with the fit so I think a lot of foot shapes will be catered for here.


The Trekker Pro GTX is seriously grippy. The lugs are deep – around about 5.5mm by my estimation then there’s a big heel brake too, meaning you get a dependable amount of traction on the downhill.

Out in the the Rhinogydd range of Snowdonia on one of our recent tests.

The rubber compound, a specially-developed Vibram Curcuma, seems to be made with wet rock in mind. I spent virtually a whole day wearing the Trekker Pro GTX on rock – frosty rock at that – and it felt right at home. There was a bit of slip on the slimiest of rocks, but that’s to be expected.

The Upper

The upper features a Gore-tex membrane and AKU’s Air8000 fabric. It’s waterproof – no doubt about that. It’s also very durable. The Air8000 is comparable to Cordura; basically a lightweight mesh weave with incredible toughness. You’ve also got leather reinforcement at the base of the upper, toe and heel, plus PU overlays and a big, solid toe bumper.

The tongue has a gusset that runs almost to the edge of the ankle cuff, with the waterproof membrane extending right throughout that. Plenty of padding going on here too, particularly right at the top of the tongue and around the ankle.

A pair weighs 1320g, which is reasonably light for a boot as stiff and durable as this. If you want something lighter, there’s the AKU Tengu Lite which weighs 1020g (men’s pair) – that doesn’t have the same burliness as this though.

Breathability and warmth? I’ve been testing the Trekker Pro GTX through autumn and at the cusp of winter in temperatures ranging from 10 degrees down to as low as – 1 and I’ve not had any discomfort at either end of the scale. I’d call it a three-season boot that can stretch into winter depending on how extreme the winter conditions are. On that note, the Trekker Pro GTX isn’t designed with crampon use in mind (though it is stiff enough to work with some strap-on ones).

The Trekker Pro GTX is well-constructed and the materials are all good quality and with all that in mind, backed up by our experiences testing AKU’s other offerings over the years, I’d say it’s a boot that’s going to last well.

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