How One Hiking Boot Is Helping a Lesser-Known Italian Brand Gain Footing in the U.S.

The outdoor market is flooded with industry giants, but Italian label Aku is holding its own with the heavyweights and experiencing strong sales North American growth in the process. The brand is attributing much of its success to one particular footwear style.

Aku said its No. 1 selling boot in Canada and the U.S. is its Alterra GTX hiker for men. The silhouette, according to the brand, is built for medium difficulty and duration trekking over mixed terrain. It is executed with a suede and stretch fabric upper, Gore-Tex waterproof membrane and a Vibram outsole.

The Aku Alterra GTX retails for $249.95.

Aku Alterra GTX

In a statement, Aku said it has experienced 16 percent sales growth in the past year in Canada and the U.S., which was aided by expanded distribution in specialty retail. Also, it stated some of its national specialty retail chain partners have increased the number of doors where they will sell Aku boots in 2019.

“The Aku brand is extremely well-known and has a strong market share in Italy and throughout Europe. This year has proven to be a significant milestone Aku’s growth in North America,” Rick Cook, owner of Aku Outdoor Inc., said in a statement. “One of our important national retail partners tested Aku boots in their stores and on their website last year, and we are excited that they have decided to maintain their Aku web presence and to triple the number of stores offering Aku boots in 2019.”

Also, the label said in a statement that it is receiving early positive feedback in Rapida GTX shoe, which arrives in spring ’19.

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