Verdict from 5 experts and 14 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Many hikers are amazed by how breathable the Aku Tengu Lite is despite its waterproof lining.
  • Almost everyone agrees that it’s an extremely light outdoor boot
  • They like its solid grip even on soft terrain.
  • Aku Tengu Lite GTX has also received positive reviews for being comfortable. 
  • Customers say it’s great for all-day wear. 
  • One expert reviewer says its stiffness is perfect for steep snow and the boot takes crampons really well.

1 reason not to buy

  • Since the boot only comes in a unisex design, one reviewer says some women may find that other gender-specific designs fit better.

Bottom line

Designed for hillwalking, the Aku Tengu Lite GTX is a highly desired boot by trekkers and hikers alike. It’s well-touted for its waterproof yet breathable construction, versatility, comfortable fit, and its bio-dynamic performance. 

With all these qualities packed in a pair of lightweight boots, the Tengu Lite has won the hearts of many. If only it has more design variations for men and women, this walking boot would have had it all.

Tip: see the best hiking boots.

Good to know

-Designed for various types of terrain, the Aku Tengu Lite GTX is made with lightweight and durable materials.

-This trekking shoe integrates several interesting technologies for better performance. These include the Aku Density midsole, a Gore-tex waterproof membrane, and the Vibram outsole. Furthermore, the Aku air system ensures that the shoe is breathable by incorporating a special fabric that is 11 times more breathable than other linings.

The Tengu Lite GTX has a suede upper which adjusts to the shape of the foot. This hiking boot from Aku also features a wrap-around and anatomical fit to promote dynamic action when walking on rough terrain. Meanwhile, the Gore-Tex® elastic sock ensures a precise fit, along with the lacing system that extends towards the toes.

The Aku Tengu Lite GTX is made with Vibram® Curcuma outsole that has shock-absorbing qualities, particularly in the heel area. It is resistant to abrasion and has a good level of cleating. The unique design of this Vibram outsole allows for foot flexibility and protection. Furthermore, its lugs are widely spaced to minimize clogging of dirt, mud, and debris.

The Tengu boots from Aku are made with a double-density midsole which is fabricated by injecting the EVA material of a first density and EVA material pellets of the second-density into the mold. During the process, the size, shape, and location of the density sections are accurately controlled and defined. Shoes with dual-density midsoles tend to be more durable, lightweight, comfortable, and climate-controlling. They are also anti-static, which means they have low electrical resistance.

The midsole is composed of an outer skeleton in light PU (polyurethane) which goes up at the rear, protecting the heel for better support and flexibility while walking. This exoskeleton technology, which is exclusive to Aku hiking shoes, creates an asymmetrical structure with a wider inner part and more PU in the center for pronation control.

The AKU Tengu Lite has a unisex design consisting of suede and AIR8000® fabric. Suede is a pliable and durable leather which makes it a good material for hiking boots. AIR8000® is an exclusive AKU technology designed to give the boot lasting breathability. This special type of fabric is up to 11 times more breathable than other types of lining materials.

This waterproof hiking boot also uses a GORE-tex membrane for maximum water and moisture protection. A stiff material that wraps around the ankle cuff from the heel is added to provide additional support. The interior of the heel is reinforced with a very tough thread to prevent wearing.


How Aku Tengu Lite GTX ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 29% hiking boots
All hiking boots
Top 40% Aku hiking boots
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Top 33% backpacking hiking boots
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The current trend of Aku Tengu Lite GTX.
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Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

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.