Italian manufacturer Aku has a reputation for providing superb footwear, with everything from high-altitude mountaineering boots to casual lifestyle shoes, and for this review we have the Nuvola, a beautifully styled hiking shoe with a Gore-Tex lining and a top-quality Vibram sole.
Inside the shoe there’s a charming leather patch that says ‘handcrafted by Expert Bootmakers,’ with this particular men’s model being made in Aku’s Romanian factory.
The Nuvola’s midsole offers good rigidity, allowing a comfortable amount of forward flex while providing enough lateral support to stabilise the foot on uneven terrain. The forward flex is spot on in terms of positioning and it all combines to provide a comfortable shoe.
The shoe features a small protective rubber rand around the toe, though this area is lacking in stiffness so you’ll have to be careful on rocky trails. But the heel cup is strong and supportive and does a great job of keeping the foot in place. The Vibram sole is great quality and the tread pattern offers nice, deep lugs for improved grip in muddy conditions while the toe and heel feature a smoother pattern to help you get purchase when going up or downhill.
The level of quality here is clear: everything looks like it’s been meticulously put into position, with a great deal of thought going into the production. Comfort is great, the support is good and if you’re looking for a pair of hiking shoes that will look good around town as well as on the trail, here they are.