When you test a lot of outdoor gear, you often have a pretty good sense of a product before you even begin the process. Some of it comes from a familiarity with a brand or the materials that are used in the construction of the item (Acrux TR GTX Boot).
Other times it’s because you already recognize that the product you’re about to test is a knock-off of something you’ve already seen elsewhere. On rare occasions, however, you come across something that you didn’t expect at all.
Something that surprises you and defies expectations, making it something that you truly want to continue using even after the review is done. Such is the case with the new Acrux TR GTX hiking boots from Arc’teryx, which recently blew me away with their fit, quality, and comfort.
Testing the Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX
My testing process for the new boots began a few weeks back, just a couple of days after Christmas. With the holiday season in full swing, my wife and I flew out to the West Coast of the U.S. to visit friends and family on a road trip that went from Carmel to Seattle, with stops in Sacramento, Mt. Shasta, and Portland in between.
Before we left, we knew we were going to be doing some hiking, so I packed the Arc’teryx boots to bring along for a bit of trail testing. The problem was, that morning before we drove to the airport, I forgot to change my shoes into more comfortable travel footwear.
The ones I was wearing were fine for day-to-day stuff at home, but not what I wanted to have on my feet all day long while on the road. So, when we arrived at our destination, I changed into the Acrux boot, hoping for the best. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed.
The first thing that struck me about this boot is just how lightweight they are. Arc’teryx calls them “Superlight” because they use materials that focus more on reducing weight and making them more packable, rather than durable.
That was exactly why I had elected to bring them along on the trip in the first place, and I was thankfully rewarded for doing so with a shoe that was comfortable enough to wear all week long, both on and off the trail.
In fact, they became my go-to option for the entire trip, whether we were hiking, driving, heading out to dinner, or just relaxing at a friend’s place.
Just how light are they exactly?
Arc’teryx says that a shoe weighs 19.4 ounces (550 grams), which isn’t going to compete with a pair of trail runners for instance. But compared to other hiking boots, that’s quite light. Particularly when taking the rest of the shoe into consideration.
On your feet—and once they’re broken in—the Acrux feel incredibly comfortable. In fact, they do feel more like an athletic shoe than a boot, which is always promising.
They also offered a slim, somewhat-narrow, design that hugged the foot nicely. I happen to really like a shoe that feels a bit snug, but if you have a wide foot you might find them to be a bit confining.
For me, the athletic feel enhances my connection with the trail or the pavement, but since everyone’s foot—and preferences—are different, your mileage may vary in this department.
When I first slipped the shoes on, they immediately felt great on my feet. Walking around in them was also quite comfortable. But the longer I wore them, the less comfortable they were, developing a few hot spots on certain areas of my foot.
Thankfully, that only lasted for the first day or two that I used the boots, as they started to loosen up over time. I attributed this temporary issue to the Acrux requiring a bit of break-in time, which you may want to keep in mind if you plan on hiking in them.
Give yourself a few days of wearing them in a different environment before you set out for the trail.
In designing the Acrux TR GTX, Arc’teryx partnered with some other really good brands. For instance, they incorporated a Vibram Megagrip sole to provide extra traction and stability on a variety of surfaces and conditions.
The boot also comes with a Gore-Tex insert that allows them to be both waterproof, and reasonably breathable. My feet did occasionally get warm while wearing these shoes, but not so much so that it made my feet feel comfortable or create enough friction to cause blisters.
I also had the chance to put that waterproofing to the test with several days of rainfall in both Portland and Seattle. I’m happy to say that Gore-Tex lived up to its reputation and kept my feet dry even in some very soggy conditions.
As mentioned previously, the Acrux boot was designed to be lightweight and easy to travel with, rather than for long-term durability. Of course, this being a shoe from Arc’teryx—a brand that focuses on durability—the boot is actually much more durable than you would think considering that design premise.
After wearing these shoes nearly every day for two weeks, in a variety of conditions and locations, they still look completely brand new. They don’t show any signs of fraying or abrasions, nor do they appear to have been worn much at all.
I think it is safe to say that they’re going to hold up quite well, despite the fact that durability wasn’t one of the primary focuses.
My Thoughts on the Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX Boots
As you can probably tell, I’m very impressed with what Arc’teryx has delivered here. The Acrux is a comfortable boot that looks great, performs well, and is perfect for active travelers.
It even managed to serve as my only shoe for an entire week on the road, which isn’t easy to do for any hiking boot. That makes it extremely easy to recommend, although it does come with one caveat.
It is a bit on the expensive side for a boot of this type. You will definitely find other models on the market from competitors that will cost less than what Arc’teryx is offering.
However, when you consider the entire package—which includes the company’s trademark high-quality design and construction—you’ll likely find that these boots will exceed your expeditions too.
They may cost a little more, but they’re worth it. They’re also likely to last you a lot longer than most of the competition as well.
Find out more on the Arc’teryx website.
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