Our verdict


Backpackers who are looking for immediate comfort and a reassuring grip outdoors are 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.


  • Comfortable straight-out-of-the-box
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Excellent grip on wet and dry grounds
  • Excellent support


  • Heavy
  • Lack of ventilation

Who should buy the Aku Tengu Low GTX

The performance of the Tengu Low GTX on the trails earned positive remarks. It is a solid option if you:

  • Prefer a lightweight backpacking shoe ready for a variety of trails.
  • Prefer a hiking shoe that promotes trail performance
  • Prefer a hiking shoe that provides a smooth transition for a natural toe-off.

Aku Tengu Low GTX logo

Excellent traction on most types of terrain

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 which prevents soil and debris clogging.

Aku Tengu Low GTX outsole

Absorbs shock for ground impacts

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.

Aku Tengu Low GTX midsole

Lightweight cushioning

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

Aku Tengu Low GTX arch

Stiff and rigid underfoot

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.

Aku Tengu Low GTX insole

Breathable and waterproof

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

Aku Tengu Low GTX upper

Easy to wear

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.

Aku Tengu Low GTX loop