The Rocket DFS from AKU is mostly a walking shoe, putting it at the very lower end of approach shoe to climbing shoe scale. The sole is Vibram Megagrip, which is a common choice for approach shoes, and does work well on rock. However the traction lugs counteract this a bit, and it does feel like they push you away from the rock and reduce overall contact. The climbing zone is very small and centred around the big toe, and there’s a chunky midsole, which again reduces the feeling of the rock. This sole definitely is more designed for boggy or rough ground, with a generous heel brake for descent and deep lugs for grip into mud.

Kirsty Pallas’ Verdict

Overall, the Rocket is a shoe that will work for short and easier scrambles that are part of a bigger day walking
  • Good tread on sole
  • Waterproof
  • Small climbing zone on sole
  • Lacing stops at forefoot
  • Price
Quick specs
Price: £215
Weight: 356g per pair size UK 5
Pros: Good tread on sole, waterproof
Cons: Small climbing zone on sole, lacing stops at forefoot, price
Materials: Fiber fabric and microfibra upper, double density PA midsole, Vibram Megagrip sole
Features: Dual Fit System, Goretex performance comfort lining, Vibram Megagrip sole, hell brake
Sizes: UK 4-8.5 including half sizes
Mens version: Yes

There is a Goretex membrane in the upper, and the crossed rib structure with a surrounding rubber rand provides protection in scree and scrub, both for your feet and the shoe itself. There are two different lacing systems on each shoe, a standard one tied with a knot, and then a secondary short one that uses a toggle to tighten. This allows you to adjust the tightness easily through the day, which gives you a good fit when you are on more technical ground, and a looser fit when you’re walking. The fit for scrambling would improve if the lacing ran further down the foot on both systems, so there’s not a lot to adjust the fit around the toes.

There’s a pull tab on both the heel and the tongue, which makes getting them on with everything sitting in the right place easy. There’s a bit of a stiffness in the sole, which I feel does contribute to feeling less connected to the rock when mixed with the tread pattern. Overall, the Rocket is a shoe that will work for short and easier scrambles that are part of a bigger day walking, but not the one I would choose for an out and out scrambling or mountaineering day.