The Slopes came back out recently after it started wetting wet again, and it’s high time we had a wee update.

The fit was a little strange at first, I though the toe was narrow, but it’s tapered which is different. It’s still wide enough, but lower volume, which reminded me a bit of an old pair of Meindl Super Cracks I had a lifetime ago. This means that you feel accurate when you’re ascending steep ground on your forefoot and picking through boulders.
The upper is flexible enough, and the ankle collar soft enough that I didn’t struggle with the added height. The lacing and tongue were secure and I’m happy to sat didn’t shred the unsuspecting skin underneath. That’s often the first issue when I go to boots, abrasion under the laces.

The uppers are a retro looking mix of fabric and leather which has stood up to the scrapes very well so far. The toes have gotten a little shiny, but there’s no scores or divots yet despite playing in the rocks. I remember when rands suddenly appeared on everything, as if they were a solution desperately looking for a problem. That’s probably a discussion for another day though.
The Gore-Tex liner does it’s thing, is still waterproof and with the large fabric panels they do keep my feet dry from attacks both internal and external.

The sole defines how the boot feels on the trail, both by grip and shape. It’s very aggressive, and bites into most surfaces and after a while you tune into it and it feels predictable and reliable. The heel has an upward angle at the back edge, this gives a great rolling walking motion as there’s no sensation of heel striking. What you have to watch for is that on steep descents it curtails your ability do dig your heels in, and along with the lack of a heel breast it converts the sole into something that feels like a fell shoe on descent.
Once you know this it’s fine, as placed flat the sole is like velcro on the down hills.

I think it’s a fine walking boot for hillwalking and tracks and trails when the weathers minging (or not), but for days on open trackless mountainsides that sole unit needs a bit of concentration to get the best out of it. It’s a tough bugger too.

5 thoughts on “AKU Slope GTX”

  1. eyup!

    A question of I may on this old bean of a post…

    Any good for 40ltr/14kg load trekks accross the UK e.g. the 85mile Hadrians Wall, general (wet, gore-tex failing, arse dribble weather we get in the UK) backpacking?


  2. Also, thinking of the Meindl Island Pro MFS… purely for full grain leather water dryness when squeezing into an already wet tent & not waking up to soggy boots…?

  3. I’d say I if the fit’s good. AKU’s last is a bit different from most brands so it’s liley it’ll be just perfect for some folk who’ve struggled in tha past.
    Meindl’s are great shoes, again if the fit’s right you’d be sorted.
    I keep getting emails from Meindl, I’ll get something in for test and get some info up.

  4. Hi I bought a pair and live them but my first trip with them to the Cairngorms, walked everyday for a week my heels absolutely killed me. Red roar and a deeper pain in the heel, they still haven’t recovered properly. Has anyone else experienced this snd have snuck solutions ? I do wonder if it is the angle of the foot that I’m not used to. Ta

    1. Heel rubbing is a nightmare and it’s something I’ve had many times over the years. I had terrible blisters from a set of boots probably 20 years ago and now I get the exact same spots ready to go again if I’m not careful, it’s like I made a permanent soft spot.

      From all my time using my own boots and testing others I think I feel I know where heel rubbing problems come from, at least on my own feet.

      Volume is one. I have not skinny but quite slim heels so if the heelcup in a boot is wide or roomy my heel will move and I’ll get rubbing.
      Ankle width is another. Again, quite slim ankles so my foot can lift a little if the boot is roomy or the laces are slack. The problem here is if the laces are too tight you get a whole other set of problems.
      Socks and insoles affect you too. Too soft and insole and you get more foot movement, too hard and if the boot’s not a perfect fit your foot will try to move. All ways to get rubbing.
      Socks too thick, too thin or the wrong fabric and you might have the wrong amount of cushioning or you might have a very wet sock from sweat, again more rubbing.

      There are lots of insoles on the market you can try to tune the fit of your boot with and some might work. Socks too, find your perfect pair and wear them when you try boots on.
      Not an exact science though, there’s always a good bit of luck involved.

      I know how it feels, sore feet are the one thing you can’t work around and will ruin your day on the hills. Best of luck, hope you get sorted.

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