First Impressions

Headquartered in Montebelluna, Italy – at the foot of the Montello mountains – the folks at AKU know their hiking footwear. They should. The company has been at it for more than 50 years and continues to make its proudly handcrafted products in Europe. Expert bootmaker 206522 made our SL Trek GTX boots. And out of the box, they cut a dashing figure in orange and black.


The SL Trek GTX boots are part of AKU’s hiking product line and are designed for use both on and off trail. The company also makes products in the mountaineering, backpacking, approach and multi-sport categories.

The SL Trek GTX combines a number of killer features into a very comfortable and capable package. AKU constructs the upper from a combination of nubuck leather and Gore-Tex-lined breathable mesh which we found to be both supportive and kept us cool in our tests. To improve protection and stability of the boot, AKU wraps the exterior in a proprietary polyurethane exoskeleton – essentially a plastic reinforcing grid – that covers both sides and toe of the boot. Further reinforcements include a leather toe cap and heel counter.

Upper: Nubuck leather, nylon mesh, polyurethane exoskeleton reinforcements
Sole: Vibram Mulaz
Weight: 3 lbs 2 oz per pair (Mens size 11)

Underfoot, the SL Trek GTX uses a lugged outsole made of Vibram Mulaz. It gripped well in our hikes, and like a good approach shoe, has a smooth patch at the toe for smearing over rocks. Nice.


The SL Trek GTXs fit perfectly right out of the box. The boot is a bit stiff and requires some break in, but we never experienced any hot spots or other problems. Support is good and the toe box had plenty of room. Purchase your regular boot size.

Final Verdict

Handcrafted. Good looking. Rugged. The AKU SL Trek GTX has it all. No expense seems to have been spared when constructing the boot with Gore-Tex and Vibram, high quality leathers and innovative exoskeletons covering the SL Trek GTX from heel to toe. Fit was perfect too.

So what’s not to like? Well, U.S. distribution is very limited. At this writing, they’re only available through CampSavers on the East Coast. You can order online by clicking this link. And they’re a touch expensive, so keep an eye out for the retailer’s sales.

First Impressions:
[Rating:5/5] Features:
[Rating:5/5] Fit:
[Rating:5/5] Final Verdict:

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. And thanks to AKU and KGPR for providing product for this review. Written by Matt K.