Climbing technical terrain? The Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX, LT GTX, and AR feature an earth-biting grip. What these boots don’t offer is agility. For that, you’re much better off with the Arc’teryx Aerios FL MID GTX.
The Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX, LT GTX, and AR are built for technical climbs. The Acrux TR GTX can handle varying terrains on multi-day hikes. For jagged rocky peaks, the Acrux LT GTX is a great match. Meanwhile, the Acrux AR has enough warmth and stability to tackle icy routes.
Finding a technical boot that is functional and comfortable is challenging. The Acrux TR GTX solidifies that point.
The comfort of the Acrux TR GTX is about subpar. The cushion on the midsole is not as thick as I’d like considering these are designed for rocky terrain. The fit is also tighter than I typically go for. Which, in my experience, means blisters.
What I do like about the Acrux TR GTX is the rubber toe cap. This means you’re much less likely to be cursing the trail when you stub your toe on a rocky ascent.
The Acrux LT GTX is pretty brand spanking new to the Arc’teryx lineup. From first impressions, these boots are stiff where you need it and flexible where you want it.
They do offer a degree of breathability, which is always appreciated. Unfortunately, just like the Acrux TR GTX, the Acrux LT GTX has a narrow fit. So wide feet need not apply.
As for the Acrux AR, these boots are surprisingly comfy. Don’t get me wrong; they’re not like slipping into a pair of Crocs.
But, the combo of the flexible inner bootie, warmth, and lighter weight makes them more comfortable than other options.
Break them in over a season, and they’ll grow more comfortable over time. Of course, like my prior complaint, I do wish they offered a wide version.
Aside from comfort, stability is one of the most important features of a technical boot. The Acrux LT GTX offers some excellent heel-to-toe stability. Just try it out on a talus slope.
The Acrux TR GTX and AR also offer stellar stability. However, some minor improvements could be made.
For instance, the Acrux LT GTX could use a wider outsole to better avoid ankle rolling.
As for the Acrux AR, it could take a lesson from the Acrux LT GTX and incorporate some eyelets and lacing that go higher up the tongue.
All that said, I’d still take any of these options on technical climbs and maintain confidence in stability.
Let’s get one thing straight. The Arc’teryx Acrux AR is made for ice climbing.
A good portion of the time, you’ll be heavily relying on crampons. For the times you’re not using crampons, the anti-slip tread provides reliable traction.
Unlike the Acrux AR, the Acrux TR GTX is not made for ice. What it is made for is more mixed terrain that varies from dry to wet conditions.
The Acrux TR GTX has a grippy sole that does well on talus slopes and stream crossings. I’m also digging the deep lugs, which provide sure footing.
As for the Acrux LT GTX, this is certainly an alpine boot with a sole that’s got a bite. On rocky scrambles, you’ll get a good toehold, even on edges. While this is great, it is very technical.
If you’re trekking in varying terrains, I’d go with the Acrux TR GTX.
Arc’teryx claims all three of these boots are built for alpine environments and rock climbing. Which they are, but to a different degree.
The Acrux AR is purely for mountaineering. Find yourself in sub-zero temps with an ice axe in hand, and you’ll want these on your feet.
The Acrux TR GTX is better for multi-day hikes where the trail can go from dirt to rugged slopes. This is more akin to what most hikers would need who get technical from time to time.
For those who really like to scramble up the ascent, the Acrux LT GTX would be a better bet.
Due to the technicality, I wouldn’t recommend any of these for an average, all-around hiking boot. But out of the three, the Acrux TR GTX does have the most versatility.
The Arc’teryx boot finder is a useful tool if you need help deciding.
Your feet are your biggest tool when doing any sort of trekking. I would personally pay top dollar to keep mine in working condition, blister-free.
All three of these technical trekking boots come at a high price. This is precisely what you should expect from anything sporting the Arc’teryx label.
So bottom line, the Acrux AR boots are much harder to slip on than the TR GTX or LT GTX. They also may have some durability issues with the toe. However, they provide exceptional warmth and reassurance when you’re mountaineering.
The TR GTX will offer the most versatility. However, the technical features may be overkill for those who aren’t looking to do multi-day backpacking.
The new LT GTX is a very stylish boot. But, these puppies are too new to see how they’ll withstand some serious trail abuse throughout a season.
Although, if you’re looking to start doing some rocky peak bagging, this could be a good investment for you.
One thing to keep in mind is all these shoes have a narrow fit. If you have wider feet, all the drool-worthy specs will be useless to you.
The Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX, LT GTX, and AR all have some promising features. Where they fall short is on the narrow fit.
For those who don’t need a wide fit, these technical climbing and trekking boots could be a good choice.
For more versatility, the TR GTX is a solid option. For scrambling, the lugs on the Acrux LT GTX provide great bite. And anyone looking to brave mountaineering can appreciate the warmth of the Acrux AR.
Need a warm jacket to go with your technical climbs? Check out my review for Best Arc’teryx Jackets.