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New "heavy" combat boots of the Swiss Army - KS SCHWER GTX (AKU)

The second type of new boots, anticipated for introduction by the Swiss army is KS SCHWER GTX, i.e. "heavy" military boots manufactured by "AKU" company. Sufficiently reliable and comfortable, they are designed for more severe conditions, as compared with the previously described "lightweight" boots.

Let's consider the results of AKU Kampfstiefel (KS) schwer 14 GTX tests and evaluation.

These combat boots are quite sturdy and fit good for rough work and challenging mountain hiking, they are waterproof and easy to use. Despite of comfort of use, it is still necessary to "break in" these boots until it acquires the form of the feet and stop rubbing or pressure. These footwear manufacturing quality is high, and quality raw materials are used for its production.

According to the test results of AKU Kampfstiefel schwer 14 GTX, they received an average rating of 6.5 out of 10: functional characteristics (Funktion) = 6.8 points, the quality of workmanship and materials (Qualität / Verarbeitung) = 8.4 points, weight (Gewicht / Packmass) = 5 points, resistance to environmental impacts (Umwelt / Nachhaltigkeit) = 7 points, price / quality ratio = 5.5 points.

Among the advantages of these boots one should mention: high quality, beautiful appearance and good functionality. Among the deficiencies the following characteristics were identified: high price (perhaps, reasonably high) and creaking noises, that appear in the beginning of the boots wearing, however this effect goes away after some time of wear. r

The tests were carried out with the AKU KS schwer GTX 14 boots of the European size 39.5. The weight is a pair of such boots is 1905 grams (according to the manufacturer's information, the weight is to be 1820 grams).

The materials used:

+ The boot's upper is made of quality leather (2.6 mm of thickness) produced by "Perwanger", a long-term supplier of cattle leather (of "meat" breeds) from the Alpine regions. This company is specialized in providing the leather to the manufacturers of hiking boots and equipment;

+ Gore-Tex® Insulated Comfort (Duratherm XL) liner provides a favorable microclimate inside the boot;

+ The out-sole is made of composite material: glass fiber plus polyurethane and 4-6 mm layer of hard ethylene - EVA ("Mischung aus Glasfasern und extra steifem Ethylenvinylacetat"). EVA is a light and resilient material having good damping properties, adhesion to various materials, and resistance to solvents, oils, ozone and high temperature;

+ The junction of the sole and the boots upper is covered with wear-resistant protective rubber welt, just in the same way as in KS90, the previous model of Swiss combat boots; the boot's welt is adapted for fastening of skis and such climbing equipment as crampons;

+ The out-sole tread pattern is Vibram® Fourà,

The manufacturer of KS HEAVY 14 GTX is positioning them as safe and comfortable footwear for hiking and work, for bad weather and even winter. These boots not only allow the feet to "breathe", but also protect them against the ingress of moisture from the outside. The crampons mounting option defines the basic consumers of such boots: the Armed Forces, the hunters, the forestry workers, etc ..

These boots are made in Italy, and they are provided with two-year manufacturer's warranty. The price of a pair of such boots is 398 Swiss Francs.

The abbreviation "KS" ("Kampfstiefel") - i.e. "boots for combat operations" is used in the name of this model because the Swiss Armed Forces has chosen them as the new boots candidate model for introduction.

The testing of AKU KS schwer GTX have been performed for a week during the winter, in a mountain forest terrain, including bad weather conditions. These boots showed good moisture protection and robustness, but during prolonged exposure to the snow the feet began to freeze, however, it is peculiar to any boots. During the testing of these boots no blisters or chafing did appear.

The boot-tree design has proved to be quite convenient and comfortable for the feet, while the overall boot design appeared to be rigid and classical, strong and heavy. At first these boots were creaking a bit, but eventually this stopped. The out-soles tread showed good and stable adhesion on different types of surfaces, even on steep slopes. It is easy to work in these boots, but it's hard to wear them really long. Although the cost of a pair of such boots is about 400 Swiss Francs, in case of beed the worn-out soles can be replaced with a new ones, that will eventually cost less than a pair of new boot, while one can enjoy the undeniable advantages of a well-worn and "broken-in" habitual boots.

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