When it comes to choosing a pair of hiking boots it can sometimes feel like there's only two types of trekkers out there - the traditional hillwalkers who favour the classic, brown leather boot and the fast and light, brightly coloured, aspirational alpinists.
It's all a bit binary for our liking which is why we were delighted to get our hands on a pair of the Alterra GTX from Italian outdoor footwear specialists Aku. With their bright pink lacing and dark brown suede/stretch fabric upper, the funky style of the Alterra GTX makes them immediately different and a really striking looking boot for those ready for a change.
Style is one thing, but as all good hikers know, substance is absolutely key. Thankfully the stylish Alterra GTX are also similarly well built for the trail and more than capable in all terrain, as long as you're not planning a month long mega bog yomp or anticipating wet scrambles at altitude.
Built to meet the demands of the majority of medium difficulty trails, the Alterra GTX come with all the features you'd need for these types of adventures. The GORE-TEX performance comfort liner offers waterproofing and breathability, the dual density PU midsole provides cushioning and protection from the trail, and the ankle cuff is soft and flexible to facilitate a natural stride whilst offering a degree of support when required.
The Vibram octopus sole with MegaGrip compound not only sounds impressive, it actually works. The suction cup deep lugs grip in the wet and the tread pattern sheds mud and debris surprisingly well.
The other feature that stood out for us was the stretchy tongue that held the foot firmly and comfortably in place all day long. It creates a sock-like fit that enhances the overall feeling of wearing a super comfortable, technical trainer.
The Aku Alterra GTX is a real eyebrow raiser of a boot that bridges the hiking style gap. Capable of way more than the pink laces would have you believe, the Alterra GTX is a genuinely impressive boot that's well worth checking out. Overlook it at your peril.