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Aku Superalp V-Light GTX Review

Aku trekking shoes review
Overall
4.5
  • Comfort
    (4.5)
  • Stability and precision
    (5)
  • Waterproofness
    (4.5)
  • Breathability
    (4.5)
  • Sole
    (4)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Summary

Well-structured hiking boot, ideal for those who enjoy exploring the outdoors with multi-day hikes and heavy loads. Protective and comfortable, ideal for those looking for a sturdy shoe that can be worn for long periods in warm weather.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Structured
  • Sturdy
  • Vegan and sustainable

Cons

  • Sole durability

The Aku Superalp V-light GTX version is the vegan key variant, with Gore-tex upper and membrane made of recycled material.

Aku produces the Superalp series for anyone looking for a rugged, structured boot that is reliable and comfortable. It is the ideal companion to scramble on long walks or technical hikes, perfect for carrying heavy loads..

Aku Superalp V-Light GTX

Technical features of the Aku Superalp V-Light GTX

  • Upper: Recycled microfibre RePet and 1.8 mm Air8000
  • Wide rubber perimeter
  • Membrane: Gore-Tex Performance Comfort recycled
  • Tread: Vibram Curcuma
  • Midsole: Dual density PU
  • Footbed construction: 6-4mm nylon and microporous EVA
  • IMS custom fit footbed
  • Weight (verified): 768g ½ pair size 44.5
  • Sizes available: 36 to 47 (UK 3-13)
  • Vegan friendly
  • Colour: Blue and orange
  • Country of manufacture: Italy
  • Manufacturer link
weight of the Aku Superalp V-Light GTX

Test mode

I tested the Aku Superalp V-Light Gtx between May and July, on day tours characterised by considerable development and elevation gain, some of which could be done in two days. The tours were a balance between trekking, hiking and mountaineering.

I was thus able to experience the boot in a variety of environments: low mountain forest, scree, mid-mountain pasture, mule track, high altitude rocky environment with small easy climbing steps, snowfield, glacier. In some cases I used gaiters, crampons with classic bindings and climbing spikes. I alternated between a thick and a fairly fine technical sock, finding the thick one the best.

the boot on test

Aku Superalp V-Light GTX on-site test

First impression

The Aku Superalp V-Light Gtx felt lighter than you would expect from such a structured boot. This is thanks to the RePet microfibre upper, which is 30% lighter than suede. These are shoes that are characterised by the use of vegan materials and the extensive use of recycled materials: 100% uppers and laces and 99% Gore-Tex lining. In addition, the production and almost all the raw materials are Italian.

On the foot, the feeling of comfort is immediate: I have never found a boot that fits me so well. The heel does not move a millimetre, while there is plenty of room for the toes.

Aku Superalp V-Light GTX

Lacing

The lacing is the part of the boot that convinced me the most – I found it innovative and functional. Usually boots have a loop that divides the lacing between the cuff and collar, and this is no exception. However, the collar loop is positioned further back than usual to create a support area that covers the instep. I felt the effect of this during hours of hiking: the foot stays put and does not slip forward.

The cuff loop, on the other hand, is made from the same upper and sewn in a buttonhole to save weight.

I also really liked the cord: it never came loose, even after many hours of walking or after getting completely wet.

lacing Aku Superalp V-Light GTX

The collar is very protective, with three metal loops, so high. It allows good mobility of the foot, but above all it protects and prevents sprains when walking under full load. I must say that the manufacturer’s promises have been well rewarded: I always felt protected and light.

the heel and the side of the boots

Sole and grip

The sole is Vibram Curcuma, designed by the Lombardy company to offer protection and stability with all the grip of the Megagrip compound.

vibram sole

I found it exceptional: perfect grip on wet rock, grass, stones and mud. I tried a few soft climbing steps and had a very good feeling with it. I am therefore convinced that it would be ideal for use on via ferrata routes, even the most difficult ones.

Such a high performance sole will wear out quickly if used mainly on rock, even though most trekking is done on soft terrain. In my opinion, a little less performance would have helped and increased the overall durability.

Sole wear after 30 hours of use
Sole wear after 30 hours of use

The midsole is made of dual-density PU, which is more durable than EVA. It does a good job even on long hikes: after 12 hours of uninterrupted use, I had no sore feet.

The footbed is medium stiff. This element is not fitted to all boots, but only when you want to give the boot more stability and firmness. The Aku Superalp V-Lite Gtx has been with me without me ever doubting its effectiveness, no heavy loads or rough terrain to stop it.

aku boots

There is another side to the coin: a structured boot like this gives you stability, but it makes you feel a bit uncomfortable if you have a very dynamic style. I tried jogging down a long slope that I know well and felt particularly uncomfortable. However, there is no quest for speed in the boot’s DNA: you go slow and long, so I don’t see this as a problem.

During the test, I found myself walking through snowy sections. I cannot really comment on the grip of the sole on snow, as I have always used climbing spikes or crampons in these conditions. What I can say is that, thanks to the stiffness of the sole package, it is possible to wear crampons on these boots for excursions that border on classical mountaineering. However, for reasons of thermal comfort, I would not recommend using this boot on pure snow.

on snow test

Breathability and Thermal comfort

The upper is a combination of V-Light and Air8000 fabrics. The former is a microfibre made from 100% recycled plastic, while the latter is an Aku technology that allows for more than 10 times more breathability than the competition. V-Light offers lightness and strength: during my tests it was not damaged in the slightest (even with crampons). Air8000, on the other hand, is a guarantee that Aku has been using for 30 years: the foot always felt dry, even with a thick sock and in the scorching July weather.

rubber detail

From a thermal point of view, the upper does not insulate too much, but it is not intended for snowy or icy conditions, so I consider it more than worth it. One small drawback: when I used the boot on snow, I noticed some colour migration from the upper to the lining. However, I do not consider this to be a problem as the external aesthetics of the boot have not changed.

inside of the boot
Some colour migration from the upper to the lining

Waterproof

Aku has equipped this model with Gore-tex Performance Comfort recycled. This green version of the classic Gore-tex membrane gets the job done. I never had a wet foot, even after getting soaked up to my ankles in a swampy puddle or after a couple of hours in the snow to reach a summit in still spring conditions.

waterproof test

Most importantly, my foot wasn’t even damp, which means that the synergy between the upper and the membrane allowed for excellent evaporation. What more could you want? Maybe a little more thermal comfort, but that would be at the expense of breathability, which I think is more useful in a boot of this type.

Fit

I appreciated the fit of the Aku Superalp V-Light Gtx. Aku’s Anatomical Fit construction technology ensures a comfortable, snug and stable boot. Features that are noticeable in use. There is plenty of room for the toes. Despite this, my foot always stayed firmly in place without any problems on the descent: I therefore consider them ideal for long-term wear. I chose a 44 and a half, which is the size I would normally wear for trainers.

aku superalp v-light gtx

Recommended for

I recommend the Aku Superalp V-light Gtx to anyone who uses the boot intensively, especially in warm weather, and who values stability and protection over agility. We are not in the fast-and-light dimension: sky runners refrain!

The high level of robustness combined with great comfort and the stability and precision of the sole make them ideal for trekkers and hikers who hike high routes (including via ferrata) with heavy loads on their shoulders. Finally, given the materials used to reduce environmental impact, I recommend it to those looking for an eco-sustainable and vegan-friendly product.

PRICE: 289.90 Euros

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