I’ve had quite a few pairs of winter boots to review this season, which is great, but not all of my winter walking takes me above the snowline, so it was nice to get a pair of boots in that I could put to the test on less snowy days. The Superalp GTX NBK boots from AKU are as good as they look. I’m a relatively new convert to the AKU brand, having first tested a pair of their Transalpina’s earlier in 2015, but I’m now completely sold on them.
The Superalps were comfortable straight from the box, and carried me over a variety of terrain with ease. This included a handful of long ridge traverses, such as Dollywaggon Pike northwards to Clough Head over Helvellyn and half a dozen other peaks. By the end of the day my feet still felt fresh, dry, and ready for more stomping.
As I’m sure you’ll know, we’ve had the wettest December on record in Cumbria, giving some of the most consistently saturated ground I’ve ever had to cross on foot, day after day. The Superalps have really been through the mill with me over this. Yes, they’re definitely in need of a bit of TLC now – a good clean followed by a coat of Nikwax will make them look a bit more loved – but during all those floods I’ve remained dry-footed, which has to be seen as a real achievement for AKU.
AKU market the Superalp boots as being for backpackers. They say they are “designed for true backpackers who prefer long distances, preferably alone and with heavy loads on their shoulders”. I’m not sure quite how a boot can be designed for someone who wants to walk alone, but I take their point that these are great for anyone with a heavy load to carry.
I’ve also tested them out on rocky terrain, including ascents of classic ridge scrambles such as Striding Edge and Swirral Edge on Helvellyn, and Sharp Edge on Blencathra. I found them to be good on rock, though perhaps not the ideal choice for the dedicated scrambler due to a slight tendency to roll off small holds, but they are perfectly adequate for the occasional scramble.
All in all I would rate the AKU Superalps as a great boot for mountain walking below the snowline, long distance trails, and journeys into wild places where you need a product you can trust to keep you comfortable and dry.
In Cumbria you can buy the AKU Superalp GTX NBK from The Keswick Boot Company. Go to their page here: Keswick Boot Company
Or read more from the AKU website here: AKU Superalp GTX NBK