As part of of The Great Outdoors magazine’s February 2021 review of winter mountaineering boots, David Lintern reviews the AKU Tengu GTX
This is the most climbing-focused boot in the test. Sole stiffness is ‘classic B2’, with a slight flex in the forefoot and very stiff laterally. The fit is ‘Italian’; on the longer, narrower side. It’s especially narrow at the toe, with a lower volume internally than others here. In practice for me this means a little toe scrunch on descent, but total confidence on ascent.
It’s a neat, low profile boot externally and the footing is exceptionally confident; you can see what you are doing and a tacky Vibram compound with a ‘climbing zone’ underfoot means it’s very positive on all terrain.
The lacing system is perhaps the best in test. There are fabric hoops at the foot, a metal semi-locking cleat at the ankle and then a mix of fabric and metal cleats, which keeps the heel snug in the boot. There’s a luxurious tongue and internal gaiter, and a fair amount of padding which alongside the goretex liner is quite warm. I’d be concerned about the padding wetting out over multi-day expeditions in mixed (Scottish) conditions. There is a low-profile wraparound rand to protect the fabric upper.
This is a more technical offering. I loved the confident footing and grip but found the fit on the narrow side.
This product has been awarded our ‘Recommended’ endorsement.