Verdict from 4 experts and 13 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • The straight-out-of-the-box comfort of the Aku Tengu Low GTX pleased a gear reviewer.
  • Several product testers mentioned that it felt light on their foot.
  • Its protection against wet elements worked well, according to a handful of bloggers.
  • A couple of critics declared that it gripped well on wet and dry grounds.
  • The true-to-size fit of the Tengu Low GTX was appreciated by a professional reviewer.
  • An avid backpacker liked how supportive the gear was despite its low-cut design.
  • Based on most written reviews, the comfort provided by the Tengu Low GTX was satisfying.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A couple of aficionados mentioned that it was a bit of a heavy investment considering its price point.
  • A gear tester discovered that it was too warm for use in hot weather hikes.

Bottom line

The performance of the Tengu Low GTX on the trails earned positive remarks. Backpackers who are looking for immediate comfort and reassuring grip outdoors may be captivated by this lightweight product from Aku. However, its sky-high price and suffocating feel displeased buyers. Despite these setbacks, the benefits of Aku’s Tengu Low GTX still make it worth considering.

Tip: see the best hiking shoes.

Good to know

  • The Tengu Low GTX is designed as a lightweight backpacking shoe ready for a variety of trails. Its leather upper comes with an elastic Gore-Tex sock which promotes trail performance.
  • Its sole unit is powered by the brand’s very own Elica Natural Stride System technology which yields a propulsive stride. The mechanism starts by promoting a more shock-absorbent heel strike to assisting the foot in a smooth transition for a natural toe off.

The Aku Tengu Low GTX is a low-cut backpacking shoe for men and women. It is available in a range of whole and half sizes and is offered in medium width. It fairly runs true to size.

This gear is shaped using the Performance Fit last. It aims to deliver precision for ice and rock climbing. The overall volume and fit of the shoe are customized using a lace-up closure.

This low-cut backpacking shoe comes with a Vibram Curcuma. The large contact area at the toe and heel assist wearers during ascents and descents. Its abrasion-resistant profile also includes boots that anchor on most types of terrain. These lugs are also strategically spaced to prevent soil and debris clogging.

The brand’s designers incorporated the Internal Midsole System (IMS) in the Tengu Low GTX. It renders underfoot comfort by distributing pressure across the foot evenly and absorbing shock from ground impacts.

For lightweight cushioning, it comes with a double-density ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole. The Exoskeleton construction of light polyurethane (PU) protects and provides support for a more secure and stable ride.

Additionally, a lasting board (4-2 mm nylon and die-cut EVA) yields stiffness and rigidity underfoot. A Custom Fit Soft insole, on the other hand, conforms to the shape of the foot and offers a decent amount of insulation.

The Tengu Low GTX upper combines a durable suede leather and Air 8000 special fabric. The latter is a brand-owned system which optimizes the breathability of the shoe. Inside is an elastic Gore-Tex Extended Comfort laminate which prevents water penetration and expels moisture out.

Trail protection is enhanced thanks to the incorporation of a Liba Smart PU rand. For the shoe’s closure system, it employs webbing eyelets and a round lace. Donning it on and off is made easy with the tabs at the top of the tongue and in the heel area.

  • The mountaineering boot version of this product is called the Aku Tengu GTX.


How Aku Tengu Low GTX ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 37% hiking shoes
All hiking shoes
Top 1% Aku hiking shoes
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Bottom 37% backpacking hiking shoes
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The current trend of Aku Tengu Low GTX.
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Paul Ronto
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Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.