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Most Valuable Gear: AKU Tribute II GTX

A technical hiking boot with classic style!

These days, hiking boots and shoes are surprisingly technical. Colorful space aged, ultralight mesh uppers, speed lacing systems, and shock absorbing midsoles have replaced the classic full-leather boots of old. Low hikers, ultralight boots and trail runners have become the norm on hiking trails and mountain summits. While technology has made hiking boots and shoes more efficient, lighter and improved breathability, the aesthetics of outdoor footwear have also seen a shift toward futuristic styling. For someone looking to replace an old, trusted pair of leather hikers or for the outdoor lover who appreciates the classic style of older hiking boots, the selection of hiking boots available today can be visually jarring. Luckily for those fans of traditional leather boots, AKU has designed the Tribute II. Featuring a full grain leather upper and clean design, but with a modern fit and the performance of a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane and a Vibram rubber outsole. The combination of classic style with modern technology is why we’ve made the AKU Tribute II GTX a GearX.com/Outdoor Gear Exchange Most Valuable Gear pick!

Here are 3 reasons why we love the AKU Tribute II GTX hiking boot:

1. Classic leather styling

Nothing beats a leather hiking boot as a combination of style and function. Leather is naturally water resistant and, when properly cared for, can last a very long time. A leather boot like the Tribute II will break-in over time and become increasingly comfortable as it molds to your foot and ankle shapes.  Leather provides 4-season durability and weather protection, making the Tribute II an ideal boot for hiking and general wear in any season! Additionally, the leather upper has a classic look that fits in as well around town or around the campsite.

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2. Handmade construction

As AKU is an Italian company, they designed and produced the Tribute II with a respect to the storied tradition of Italian bootmaking. Every AKU Tribute II GTX boot is handcrafted  in Italy by the skilled hands of expert bootmakers. With many shoe and boot brands outsourcing the production of their products to other countries, it is becoming increasingly rare to find a boot made utilizing classic, artisanal methods. AKU resisted the trend and continues to produce the Tribute II by hand in Italy, while incorporating an exceptional modern fit and performance features Each pair of AKU Tribute II GTX boots has a leather tag sewn on the tongue declaring that that pair of boots was hand crafted in Italy by expert bootmakers!

Check out the Aku Tribute II

3. Modern materials and features

While the classic leather design and handmade Italian heritage suggest that the Tribute II GTX is a throwback, modern features ensure that this boot will perform well in addition to looking great! A Gore-Tex Performance Comfort liner provides full waterproofing, as well as breathability to keep your feet dry. Additionally, AKU collaborated with Vibram to produce an exclusive rubber outsole for excellent grip with a great look. A medium-stiff TPU shank provides arch support and comfort during long hikes.  Finally, a polyurethane midsole absorbs shock and cushions the foot when hiking over rough terrain. The technological features of the Tribute II, combined with classic style and construction, make this an excellent boot for hiking and general 4-season outdoor use!

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Published:January 20, 2015

Most Valuable Gear

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