Recommended Price: £121
Weight: 710g (Pair women’s size 5.5)
Mens version available
These traditional-looking trail shoes from Aku provide a more robust alternative to lighter, more flexible alternatives. The Montera Low GTX is made in Italy.
The uppper is primarily seude with soft elasticated material at the cuff which should elimate rubbing on the achilles area and similar material for the tongue which helps the shoe flex without forming creases and pressure points. The gore-tex lining makes this a waterproof shoe great for muddy trails and wet grass but combined with the fairly thick upper material I found my feet sweating on hot days. The low profile means that in wet undergrowth water will eventually get inside the shoes from the top and they are then slow to dry out.
The fit will suit those with a medium to narrow foot. The heel cup is more pronounced than in many shoes, holding the heel very securely and together with a supportive arch and lacing that goes right down to the toes, the fit can be snug and eliminate any rolling and sliding of the foot. As with all but the most flexible footwear, it is essential to try these on to ensure comfort for your own feet. A rubber rand protecting the toe cap has proved very robust on rocky terrain and the shoes maintained their original looks for much longer than many rivals, seeming to shed dirt from the uppers. The lurid purple laces supplied are too short for effective double knotting but Aku also supply a longer grey pair. The mid sole is moderately flexible and the Michelin Pulsar outer sole, which Aku says is inspired by mountain bike tyres, has proved fairly grippy and hard wearing on a variety of terrain. I’d still prefer footwear with deeper lugs for very muddy, steep slopes. Despite being in the mid-range for weight the shoes don’t feel unduly tiring on long days and have the advantage that you don’t feel every stone under your feet as with more lightweight, minimal shoes. They are available in full and half sizes from 3 to 13.
Pros: A robust, quality-built shoe that should last well, providing a very secure fit for confidence on most terrain.
Cons: Narrow toe box for me, waterproof lining can make them hot and be slow to dry out