AKU ALPINA PLUS GTX £175.95
AKU is an Italian brand that has been making high quality footwear for more than 30 years. Some of their products are made in Italy, and some in Romania – including the Alpina Plus GTX. This is a beautifully-made unisex boot with good environmental credentials – the upper is one piece of chrome-free nubuck leather. The GTX version also has a Gore-tex layer to keep water out. I found AKU’S sizing to be on the small side and had to go half a size up – not a problem, but worth being aware of. I wore them during a short trip to Portugal and a week of so birding in Bosnia in pretty warm conditions, when you probably wouldn’t choose to wrap your feet in leather. This isn’t a two sock boot – I wore them with simple sports socks. My feet were warm, but not too warm. The boots were comfortable, protective, sure-footed with impressive grip (they have Vibram Megagrip soles) and very supportive on a rocky, hillside path. To see if they were waterproof, I took them into the edge of a Bosnian river – and the water beaded off the leather. It’s been a long time since I wore leather boots. I really like these. My notes say “great, delighted”. So, if your feet are crying out for some lovely leather, find an AKU stockist and try these.