Comfort from the first step can't often be said of walking boots but the Tengu Lite impressively manages to achieve this. AKU have done a fantastic job with the Elica Natural Stride System, and one of the first things we noted during testing was how natural these boots felt to walk in. The midsole sports dual density EVA which is stiffer in some places for stability and support, and softer in other areas for cushioning and protection. Softer foam at the forefoot not only cushions but helps propel you forward making the Tengu feel as lively as you are. The heel area feels stable to land on and provides good grip which continues across the outsole thanks to deep lugs and sticky Vibram rubber.
Movement through the stride, from heel strike through to toe off feels about as good as it gets in a walking boot being comfortable and stable, not to mention very natural, with a slight roll off the heel and bounce off the toe into the next stride. There's an even distribution of weight across the footbed right through the step so hotspots are minimized and thanks to a fantastically low weight of 510 grams per boot you don't get prematurely fatigued on a long hike. Lacing extends towards the toes, so you can achieve a precise fit in the toebox, which is perhaps a little more spacious than most Italian boots, overall width of the boot is narrow though, especially across the midfoot where it really tapers in. The two top lacing eyelets are on overlaid material which extends from the heel, when secured this has the effect of double wrapping your ankle for great stability and makes the boots quick and easy to get on and off.
Overall a comfortable, light, lively and nimble 3-season walking boot designed and built with great care and attention. They feel great to wear, allow you to move naturally through the environment, provide great stability and protection and are built to last so come heartily recommended by us.