AKU Arriba II GTX – Go Hike!


My new go-to light hiking shoe is the Arriba II GTX from AKU. As more and more of my spare time is taken up with wildlife photography, I’ve found that I need a good pair of low hikers that can handle a variety of terrain, keep me upright, and provide comfort when I am carrying up to 20 pounds of gear, spare layers, water, and snacks. Just as important as the hiking part, they need to take care of my feet when I am standing for long periods of time. Some days, animals just seem to appear, and all I have to do is start taking photos. Other times, it’s a hike in followed by a long wait. I can hear a small buck working his way down the loose rock on a hillside, but it might be 20 minutes or more before he steps into my field of view. Standing around in any old shoe won’t do.

This low cut boot has an upper with a mix of suede and 3D air mesh, for just the right amount of air flow, without being too heavy or warm. Inside, the Gore-Tex lining keeps my feet cool and dry, and the IMS 2 footbed is key to the comfort I have only found in AKU. A Vibram S368 outsole provides all the traction I need for the loose dirt and occasional wet crossing I may encounter. For the bulk of my testing, I hiked in dry Utah mountains, on steep and narrow deer trails, and dusty open fields. I also put quite a few miles on them across parts of Katmai National Park, in Alaska. All the while, I had confidence in each step, and stayed upright, even when my pack threw me a bit off balance. No hot spots, no blisters, and very little aches, except at the end of a very long day.


I love AKU for the way they seem to mold to my feet. So far, they are the only brand that always have a perfect fit, right out of the box. This is a big deal, as I recently tried six boots from four brands, and only one, the Arriba II GTX, felt “just right”. There is no doubt that my feet may be a bit out of the norm, but when no other major brand can do what AKU does, I have to offer praise. All I need is to pair them with some thin to medium weight socks, and I am ready to go, no break-in is needed. And while comfort and utility is key, looks count too. The Arriba II GTX hold up well to a little muck and dust on the trail, and go well during the week with jeans. Wear them for work or play. I do. Aku.it

– Brian

I‘d like to thank AKU for providing the Arriba II GTX boots for this review. Like most people, we have a limit to the funds we can spend on our gear. So to be able to review them, then share that review with our readers, allows us to pay it forward in a way that we hope will benefit everyone.

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