Italian lightweight boot specialist Aku

has two new models due out shortly for winter 2009 in the form of the SL Pro LTR and a

variation of the excellent Spider, the SL Pro GTX.

Aku SL Pro LTR
Aku SL Pro LTR

The SL Pro LTR

above - stands for 'leather' we guess -  is basically a

replacement for the Edge winter mountaineering boot. Rated B2, it feels

very stiff and has a full Pertwanger suede upper completely with full

rubber rand, plus a Vibram Mulaz sole unit complete with a one-piece,

injection-moulded PU-cushioned mid-sole. There's also a neat integral

debris gaiter to keep scree and snow out of the top of your boot.

There's also a Gore-Tex liner.

At a claimed 990 grammes per boot, it's quite a chunky number and

arguably not very Aku - the company is best known for its lightweight

footwear - but we're guessing it's aimed very squarely at the Scarpa

Manta end of the market, where solidity and durability are prime

concerns.

The price when it hits the shops in September 2009 will be £215.

More in the classic Aku mould is the SL Pro GTX,

basically a lighter, less insulated  version of the radical

lightweight Spider mountaineering boot aimed at summer alpine and

Scottish winter use. The uppers are once piece synthetic fabric with

injection-moulded protection. The lasting is the same as the Sipder and

it has a carbon fibre lasting board, unlike the LTR, which uses

fibreglass.

Aku SL Pro GTX
Aku SL Pro GTX

Duratherm insulation gives some cold weather protection, though not as

much as the Spider, Air 8000 technology used in the uppers increases

breathability and the boot is rated at B3, so can be used with pretty

much any crampon out there.

Weight is 840 grammes per boot, around 70 grammes less than the Spider

and retail price is a stonking £275,

which may sound a lot, but is in line with the market.

Both boots out early autumn 2009, more information at www.aku.it