The first thing to catch our eye on the AKU shoes stand was a rather gorgeous looking shoe featuring a Michelin sole. The Low Val GTX is made from beautiful Nubuk in Italy and that tyre sole isn’t just a swanky marketing tie-in, it’s tread echoes that of mountain bike tyres giving you added grip.
The story of these shoes doesn’t end there – it also features the new AKU Elica natural stride system. This is a bit tricky to describe, but if you look straight down at the the shoe you can see that one side of the front and rear are slightly flared – this gives you opposite inclination, meaning it allows the foot to roll naturally, but gives it added support whilst doing so.
I appreciate that you will probably say that this sounds a bit hocus pocus, but a quick try-on and I was aware of something going on. A longer term test will be required to see if it helps with fatigue etc over longer hikes.
However AKU seem pretty confident as the Elica system appears across a range of products including the rather lovely looking Alterra GTX boots – these boots also benefit from a ‘sock fit’ meaning that it has an all-in-one padded tongue, which felt pleasingly cosy.
Low Val GTX shoes £130 Altetrra GTX boots £180 (RRP)