Brand: AKU North America
Model: Suiterra Suede GTX
Big-load support, an extremely breathable waterproof liner, and a high, stable ankle cuff make this boot comfortable through a wide range of weather and terrain. And traction is outstanding, says a tester who carried 60 pounds on a 28-mile Grand Canyon hike. That’s because the low-profile lugs get progressively more aggressive toward the perimeter of the boot, so they grip like a heavier tread.
The Gore-Tex liner feels more breathable than average, because AKU uses a lacelike pattern of adhesive that covers only about 15 percent of the liner’s surface area, not the standard 100 percent, which can hinder the membrane’s breathability. A skinny-calved tester (who often suffers from shin rub) praised the tongue padding and soft leather gussets, which swaddled his ankles. Best for high-volume feet. $200; 2 lbs. 14 oz. (m’s 8.5); m’s 7-13 (D and EE widths), w’s 6-10