Daniel Neilson reviews a comfortable and lightweight pair of three-season boots.
This review was first published in the September 2018 issue of The Great Outdoors, as part of a comparative review.
‘Jazzy’ is how my daughter described these hiking boots from Aku, and if we were to extend the metaphor a little too far, I’d suggest they were a Blue Period Miles Davis: crowd-pleasing footwear, with a slightly discordant aspect. There’s no doubt that these boots from Italian workshop AKU, are interesting. One of the most important features of the Tengu Lite is the use of AKU’s own Air 8000 fabric in the uppers. According to the company, the fabric increases the breathability of the footwear by as much as 11.5 times ‘than normal standards identified by Gore-Tex’. So, there is still a Gore-Tex lining, and as to 11.5 times more breathable, we couldn’t say; what we can be sure of however is that they do seem significantly cooler than many boots tested as part of the September 2018 comparative review.
The ‘unisex’ Tengu Lite are lightweight with a wider fit than most, but an elasticated sock-like construction helps them fit snugly. The lacing around the ankle brings together two flaps. I’m not sure of the reason, but it doesn’t make too much difference to the fit. The Vibram sole has a medium flex and an aggressive grip, making it suitable for the UK. Nice to see something different, and I’m sold!