Aku NS 564 boot review

Aku have clearly modelled their lasts on my feet. These are so comfortable, it’s untrue. For me they combine the best of boots and shoes. They have the flexibility of shoes, but the security of boots. The uppers are very soft and flexible. The chances of a blister must be very slim.

No membrane means they breathe well. The downside is limited water resistance. The rubber rand will keep shallow puddles out, but after about half an hour of constant wetting, they give up the ghost. They do dry quite quickly, though. I am going to test them with a GoreTex bootie from TrekMates to see whether that helps. Sealskinz work, but the outer sock gets very wet and they are cold to put on in the morning.

The other unusual thing about the NS 564s is the thin sole. I was sceptical at first. I thought you would feel every stone through them, but that’s not the case. By placing your foot so close to the ground, it definitely helps your balance. It feels a bit weird to start with. The heel is also low, but with enough EVA padding to cushion your foot. I walked for five miles on tarmac and they felt fine.

They have a very odd tread pattern, but I found them very grippy, even on wet rock. I would imagine they would make great scrambling boots as there’s no welt, they have a substantial rand and flat surfaces on the sole for edging. I would prefer hooks rather than D rings for the last two lacing points, but it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference. I used green Superfeet insoles rather than those supplied by Aku.

If you don’t mind your boots not being waterproof, then these boys are worth a try. They are certainly different.

15 thoughts on “Aku NS 564 boot review”

  1. If you can find them try a thin pair of liner socks with the seal skinz – the ones I use are meraklon liners and they work a treat.. They’ll keep your feet feeling dry and the socks wont feel as cold to put on.

  2. THanks Robin – do terrocs fit your feet ?(just trying to virtually compare your feet to mine). Did you buy your Aku’s in your usual size or go up/down one?

  3. I found Terrocs not to be very compatible with my feet, mainly because they bruised the underside of my ankle bone on my left foot. I also found them less than secure in holding my foot. Montrail, Salomon, Aku and Zamberlan appear to fit my feet well. The North Face definitely do not fit my feet well. I have narrow heels and prominent ankle bones.

    In normal shoes I take an 8, but for all walking boots/shoes, I’ve moved up to a 9 as I find the extra space helps as my foot spreads over the day and can bump up against the end of the shoe/boot.

    Hope that helps.

  4. I got my pair of Aku NS 564’s in October 2010 after a very long wait, but the wait was more than worth while. i cannot describe how comfortable they are, yes they do not have Goretex, Hyvent or any other lining but thats the best thing. they dry quickly, and if your on the move you don’t really notice. i’ve done alot of load carrying in them as well as alot of cross country in some difficult terrain, and they are proving themselves again and again. i’ve never really needed ankle support in boots but if you are prone to the odd topple then possibly not a goer, yes they are a bit pricey but you do get a great boot, with good looks and one that can live up to the challenge.

  5. No no no these boots were designed with navy seals in mind, not he cool jumping out of a blackhawk work the drenched from swimming in the sea type. And that’s why they are a awful hiking boot they are designed to get drenched (hello blisters) stay away unless ideal summer conditions

  6. Apologies for taking so long to see this posting! I have actually been selling the Aku NS564 in the US for about a year now. I have the original NS564, the follow on NS564 Navy SEAL Spider (has a toe bumper), the KS Leight GTX (version developed for the Swiss Army and has Gortex) and we will also have the new Pilgrims available in the Spring of 2014. No more waiting to get these in from the UK. If interested, please call me 804-448-8250. Thanks for your time. April

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