For this Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX Boot review, I've been putting this stylish hiking boot from the specialist outdoor brand through their paces. Design-wise, this is just what you'd expect from Arc'teryx: clean cut, with nary a line out of place, these radiate high-end purpose, as well as a touch of tacti-cool, especially in this all-black test pair. Fortunately, it's not a case of style over substance. There's plenty of practical tech here – and simple usability – to back up that promise, and position them as a contender for today's best men's hiking boots and best women's hiking boots.
The Acrux TR boots have an RRP of GBP £220 / USD $250 / EUR €250 and are available from a UK6.5-12.5 (US7-13) in men's or UK3.5-8.5 (US 5-10) in women's. In the line, you'll also find the Acrux LT GTX, which is a lightweight mountaineering boot, and the Acrux AR, which is a more serious mountaineering boot. There's no shoe option in this particular style, but the Aerios line is similar and that one comes in shoe, mid, or boot options (head to T3's Arc'teryx Aerios Mid boot review for more on that style). Read on for my full Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX hiking boot review.
Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX hiking boot review: design
Understated but purposeful, the Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX boots are not the boots you need to draw a crowd. Indeed, so lo-fi are they that the fabric upper wraps over the lace grommets, rendering them invisible. That fabric upper has a few hidden tricks to pull too, super-lightweight thanks to being made from ‘SuperFabric', itself armoured with a micro-plating technology. The result not only looks technical but also feels very robust, more like Aramid or Kevlar – just like these two, it claims to be highly slash-resistant. It's also very breathable, something particularly useful for the warmer months.
There's plenty of stiffness in the sole to defeat the most rugged terrain, and enough ankle support for long days in the hills too, although the ankle is more mid-height than high – ideal for summer rambles. Reinforced rubber rand on the toes and heel adds to durability without adding weight, and indeed, there's very little weight here at all to complain about. Even on longer days, the fabric construction never weighs you down.
Hidden inside the construction is the inevitable Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, which does the job of being fairly breathable while keeping sogginess out. Another hidden extra is the Vibram sole, grippy as usual, made from Vibram Mont, a compound specifically designed to perform at low temperatures as well as it does in warmer ones – ideal for a mountain boot.
Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX hiking boot review: performance and comfort
That trainer-like lack of weight is a key attribute here, as is the lack of bulk. The understated design means there's nothing to snag on passing vegetation or rock, and the laces are super-short so highly unlikely to catch and trip you. The result is a very accurate boot, allowing sure-footed navigation of whatever obstacles appear, whether they be loose scree or mud, larger boulders and rocks. A neat old-school lockable eyelet as the top of the foot lacing allows you to get the toe and forefoot lacing set to perfection, then adjust the ankle depending on the terrain, which is an underrated tool for steep ascents and descents.
The sole unit is stiff enough for long days with a pack, but not stiff enough for winter jaunts, which is fair enough for a summer boot. There is a fair bit of support in that almost-half-height ankle, but again these are all about manoeuvrability and being fleet of foot, rather than super-supportive (and they'll still deliver better support than the best walking shoes). Think glorious alpine days and warm rock, rather than heavy packs and soggy hiking socks and you're there – as am I, at least in spirit.
An aggressive sole geometry gives plenty of grip on loose ground or mud, while a section of solid tread on the toe makes short work of more technical rock moves too. The armoured fabric glides off hard surfaces smoothly and without fuss, leaving you able to concentrate on the outdoors and environment, not being forced to look down at your boots.
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Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX hiking boot review: Verdict
The Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX Boot is a fantastic summer mountain boot, great for trekking or hiking too, although the low ankle emphasises trainer-like precision over outright protection. If you're planning to carry very heavy loads or spend a lot of time winter walking, then you might want to look elsewhere, but as a breathable and light boot the Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX does what it says on the tin.