The deepest, sturdiest, most formidable of the hiking boots tested in this sample group, and the one that looks most at home in the mountains. I expected the Trekker Lite III GTX to feel heavy and restrictive on my foot but instead found it to be comfortable straight from the box, a good fit for my odd-sized feet with just the right amount of wriggle room.

John Manning Recommends

The deepest, sturdiest, most formidable of the hiking boots tested in this sample group, and the one that looks most at home in the mountains.
  • triple hook lacing system
  • deep instep
  • comfort
  • security
  • wider fit available (not online)
  • Price
Quick specs
Price: £200
Weight: 1,140g (stated, men’s UK size 8/EU42)/1,283g (on JM’s scales, men’s size UK 10.5/EU45)
Eco/ethical claims: Behind the Label traceability of materials; materials sourced within European (German, Italian and Romanian) to reduce transportation; ReAct Responsibly sustainability stance; £8 + VAT from each sale goes to The Ramblers’ access campaigns
Materials: air8000 suede with welded PU film upper; Gore-Tex Performance Comfort membrane; Vibram Curcuma outsole; double density EVA midsole; 6–4 mm nylon with microporous EVA lasting board
Features: soft, custom fit footbed; wide versions available; materials traceable online
Sizes: men’s 6.5–15 (EU39.5–48/49); women’s 3–9 (EU35/36–41/42)
Men’s/womens: both

At 1,283g a pair (size 10.5), the Trekker Lite III is pleasingly light for such a study boot. It’s very supportive around the ankle – higher than other boots in this test grouping – and while the upper fabric has some flex, the base and heel cup are quite rigid, holding the foot securely. The Vibram Curcuma outsole, which has an impressive lug pattern and a deep instep, provides excellent purchase: I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the grip on damp limestone, as well as wet vegetation. There’s very little flex in the sole and I found that that, couple with the boot’s firm upper, made me a little more instinctively cautious with foot placement on the fell, as a clumsy step in such firmer footwear can more easily turn a foot on uneven ground, as it can’t independently react so easily to counter such a turn.

The lacing system is excellent. The laces extend right down to the toe box so you can achieve a secure and comfortable fit down the length of the boot. Round core laces thread through the metalware up to three pairs of hooks: the lower pair gripand hold the lace fast, so there’s no loss of tension as you tie the boot firmly off at the ankle, on the two pairs of upper hooks. I’ve experienced none of that annoying lace slackening when using these boots.

The boots are made in Aku’s own Romanian factory, using traceable materials from elsewhere in Europe and transportation impacts are monitored. Sales also support The Ramblers’ campaigns to protect access to green spaces and rights of way.

Reviewed and tested by John Manning

John has medium-to-broad UK10.5 (EU45) feet; his left foot is marginally larger. He tested the boots on varied terrain, from limestone and gritstone Pennine fells to steep vegetated slopes, muddy field paths and pathless Pennine moors. The footwear was weighed at home on his kitchen scales.