Category winner in the prestigious German magazine Outdoor, "Best Buy" according to the American magazine Backpacker, the Croda GTX by AKU is a mid-height waterproof walking boot designed specifically for long mountain traverses, vie ferrate, scree gullies and demanding walk-ins. After our walks up and down the summits we too were positively surprised by the lightweight, stability and comfort of this boot. Published below is our analysis and impressions of this product hallmarked Made in Italy.
The Croda GTX is constructed in suede leather with a Gore-tex lining, which renders the boot waterproof and breathable at the same time. Despite the fact that the leather is a mere 1.8mm thick, it proved to be highly resistant to abrasion, especially on scree slopes. Without a doubt the high rubber rand helps to protect the leather from being damaged, but the rubber also has the dual function of offering serious grip in delicate moments when precision and sensitiveness are required, for example on vie ferratas or during scrambles. talking of grip and scrambling: the sole of the walking boot is in Vibram, with the by now classic Nepal design which combines very good slip-resistance and good abrasion control. The Croda's collar has been cut specifically low to improve freedom of movement while offering excellent ankle support. The cut facilitates foot entry and exit, and two loops (one of the tongue and one behind the collar) offer additional help. We would have preferred a slightly larger back loop to pull more easily. As can clearly be seen from the photos, the lacing is similar to that found in climbing shoes: slender but strong laces cross down over 10 points right to the toe, resulting in a very precise fit and control throughout the entire boot.
It must be said immediately: those searching for a leather boot which needs almost no breaking in period will find the Croda a dream. Since the outset this walking boot adapted well to the foot, never creating problems or blisters. This is due to the quality of the leather, but also due to exclusive IMS Internal midsole system. This, in short, is a new construction system developed by AKU which includes an internal midsole which is placed between the removable footbed and the hard mounting board (and not, as traditionally occurs, the inner directly on the rigid mounting board). The internal midsole is moldable resulting in a direct print of the foot and uniform weight distribution. This is the theory. But also in practice: the sensation we had was definitely great comfort and stability, during all moments of the ascents and descents. Another characteristic of the Croda is its thermal capacity: this is a boot ideally suited for colder mountain climates. Bear this is mind when choosing which boot to buy.
Lightweight walking boot, very comfortable, well-constructed.