For multi-day trips with a heavy pack. Manufacturers emphasize durability and support in the creation of backpacking boots. See backpacking boots
Designed for users who want to cover a greater distance by going fast, usually with a light pack. See speed hiking shoes.
Boots that grant insulation to the user during hikes. See winter hiking boots.
Mainly sandals. Aside from hiking they can be used for other purposes such as water activities. See multi-sport hiking sandals.
Good to know
Casual hikers can choose day hiking footwear or multi-sport sandals. More info here.
Shoes with a cuff that goes below the ankle. See low-cut hiking shoes.
Good to know
Generally, for trails that are easy to tackle, go with low-cut shoes. Go mid to high if there are more trail obstacles.
WeightMen: 24.7ozWomen: 24.7oz
WidthMen: Narrow, NormalWomen: Normal
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94 / 100 based on 9 expert reviews
If you're in the market for a new boot, it's tough to beat the AKU Superalp. It really is a fantastic shoe in every way.
Regardless of these minor issues, I still think they make wonderful hiking boots that are worth every penny.
AKU's SUPERALP mixes neat alpine styling with plenty of underfoot stiffness, but excellent all-round comfort at a decent weight.
A great alpine-capable package at an excellent weight rating.
- The Aku Superalp GTX is built on the IMS3 platform. It is a sole unit consisting of the cushy, double-density PU midsole, Exoskeleton frame, and Vibram’s Foura outsole.
- The boot’s lightweight, stitched-on upper is of suede leather layered with Air 8000—a membrane that makes the boot breathable. This upper is nested on a semi-rigid lasting board which is made of nylon and EVA.
- Defending users from all sorts of wet elements is the Gore-Tex Performance Comfort liner. Protection against bumpy and abrasive hazards, on the other hand, is granted by the upper’s full-on rubber rand.
The Superalp GTX hiking boot is an Aku offering targeted at both the male and female backpackers. It is a fairly true-to-size, high-cut footgear in standard width. It comes in a number of whole and half sizes. Its lace-up closure system provides custom lockdown from the collar line down to the toe box area. The interior of the tongue and ankle collar are engineered with adequate padding for extra comfort fit. The overall cradle of the boot is built around Aku’s Anatomical Fit last which promotes stability and maneuverability when navigating particularly challenging terrain.
Come rain or shine, the Vibram Foura outsole is designed to give Superalp GTX users traction over uneven ground. It is a component based on Vibram’s very own Megagrip rubber compound which balances ground stability and flexibility within a durable, overall construction. Blocky yet evenly spaced lugs outlining the sole’s edges and multi-angular protrusions dotting its central zones give backpackers an all-around kind of grip. The lugs on the front end of the heel and the concave dome of the arch also give the boot a heel brake—a part that assists users when tackling steep descents.
This Vibram outsole has an extended front profile, covering about a half inch of the upper’s rubberized toe box. This extension veers away from the outsole’s primary purpose of granting surface traction, but further protects the forefoot zone instead.
The Aku Superalp GTX depends on its cushy yet resilient midsole for underfoot comfort and stability. It is made of dual-density polyurethane (a.k.a. PU) from which the midsole’s shock absorption, stress resistance, and long-term durability are sourced. The frame that reinforces and adds extra support to the boot called Exoskeleton is also made of polyurethane. This component—securely hugging the midsole unit—acts as a shank which supports wearers when performing lateral and twisting maneuvers.
Doubling down on comfort is the Superalp GTX’s Custom Fit IMS 162 footbed. It is a part latex, part felt, removable insert that lends the boot a level of breathability and manages moisture for a dry and airy backpacking experience.
The primary protective coverage of the Aku Superalp GTX is chiefly made of suede leather. It is seamed at the ankle area to promote overall mobility. The engineers imbued the upper with the Air 8000 technology which is a 1.8-mm thick layer consisting of a breathable textile on a sturdy, fiber-like backing. Within the bootie of the Superalp GTX is the Gore-Tex Performance Comfort liner—a membrane that is both waterproof and breathable. There is also a rubber rand running across the entirety of the upper’s base for scuff and abrasion protection.
Securing the boot’s closure system are round laces. They are made up of interlaced synthetic cords. They pass through a series of lace tunnels (which are part of the stitched-on overlay) and metallic open hooks from toe box to ankle collar. There is also a synthetic pull tab located at the flap of the tongue.
- Aku offers a nubuck version of this boot called Superalp NBK GTX.