Flattery, hot baths, cursing, beach bumming, changing governments, volcanoes, desserts, caving, sports cars and river cruises. A very strange list at the start of a boot review I admit but all will be revealed. It is of course the result of the google search “Ten things Italy does better than anywhere else” (CNN)
I would like to add a few of my own to this list coffee, great motorcycle racers and of course hand stitched leather boots.
If you’re not easily taken in by flattery, prefer a Costa to a Lavazza, have no time for Valentino Rossi and can’t spot a Trifle from your Tiramisu then don’t despair I guarantee that the AKU Superalp NBK GTX will make you fall in love with Italy.
These boots are quite simply superb in every possible way. As you take them out of the box and feel, smell and look at them for the first time quality oozes from the beautiful hand stitched nubuk (NBK) leather, to the roller lace eyelets, to the sturdy rand that runs around the boot. Inside the quality is completed with a Gore-Tex (GTX) lining and full length tongue – these boots really do live up to the manufacturers’ claim of being a high end boot.
The boots are aimed at long distance walkers who want maximum support and comfort when carrying a big pack. According to AKU;
“The durability and comfort they’ve built into the Superalp comes from the footsole up, with guaranteed shock absorption and stability, tuned lateral retention and just the right torsion rigidity.”
If like me you have a healthy disregard for technical babble then let me help, this translates as the most comfortable full weight boot you have ever worn, they are brilliant. The roller eyelets and soft leather stretch panels around the ankle let you adjust the boot to fit your foot perfectly and the rand and strong toe and heal construction protect your feet from rocks and stones and Rain.
The firm construction makes a very secure base even on smaller footholds and so makes scrambling safe and secure. After a record breaking wet Cumbrian winter they have never even felt damp after a long day and certainly never leaked. The sole is deep for good durability but still feels solid and firmly planted.
If you are looking for a lighter more 2/3 season boot for rocky GR’s in the Dolomites or boggy trots in Scotland then I would not dismiss the Superalps, whilst not being light at 810grams the all-day comfort and protection would more than compensate.