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.
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
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
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