Conero GTX, the famous hiking boot created in collaboration with designer Pier Callegarini turns 30 years old. AKU is celebrating the anniversary with a special edition. The limited edition model has been produced in three colours variants, each one holding a specific meaning bound to the history and evolution of the brand.
An ancient manufacturing tradition
Montebelluna. Treviso. A small provincial district in Italy, quickly became one of the great world centres of sports footwear.
Some of the most popular footwear in the world (even beyond sport), such as the Air Jordan 2 (1986), have been created and produced in Montebelluna, as well as many shoes through which numerous athletes have written sports history in a wide range of disciplines: football, tennis, cycling, etc.. It is right here in Montebelluna that AKU’s story originated, in a context and environment of production and tradition that major brands have chosen to bring quality, creativity and craftsmanship typical of Made in Italy into their footwear.
Actually, all these values have been inscribed in AKU’s history since its origins. It is no coincidence that AKU was born with Galliano Bordin, who comes from a family of shoemakers, with great experience in repairing shoes using top quality raw materials and traditional craftsmanship techniques. Galliano grew up in this micro-universe, in a family expert in leather cutting, accurate selection of materials, meticulous stitching of uppers and careful fixing of soles.
Very soon Galliano Bordin evolved the business, taking advantage of the family’s ancient manufacturing tradition to inaugurate a new venture, based on the handcrafted production of footwear. The company gradually specialised in the creation of models for mountaineering, trekking, alpine skiing and cross-country skiing.
AKU, from legend to a successful business venture
The company’s first name was DINSPORT. Then, in the 1990s, the founder decided to change direction.
For the new journey, Galliano Bordin chose “AKU.” A short, easy-to-remember name that evokes the sensitivity of the world the products address. “AKU AKU” is the name given to a “benevolent spirit” (with a protective disposition) in one of the ancient legends handed down by the natives of Easter Island. The choice turns out to be a lucky one.
The first important successful model is “SLOPE,” a hiking shoe that combines functionality (it is very light and comfortable), quality (the upper is made of leather and fabric) and design (it is colorful and so meets the tastes of the time).
The Evolution: From Lenses to Footwear
In a short time, SLOPE spreads widely among hikers. Thanks to Galliano’s intuition to later insert an inner membrane to make the shoe waterproof and breathable, the model becomes a must-have for hiking enthusiasts.
Still today, SLOPE (which later became “SLOPE GTX” due to the implementation of the GORE-TEX membrane) is one of the favorite models for mountain footwear in the Italian Alps.
How the Conero GTX from AKU was born.
The Conero GTX shoe’s concept dates back to the early 1990s. To create this shoe, Galliano Bordin engaged young Italian designer Pier Callegarini, who proved to be extremely talented in implementing the innovative ideas of functionality, durability and comfort.
For the sole, an essential component of the footwear, AKU collaborates with Vibram. To support all the features required by the Conero GTX, the famous brand specially designs and develops the “Fourà” sole.
Behind the success, once again, is the meeting of functionality, quality, design, style, technology and durability. Several years and trends have gone by, but the Conero is still an evergreen.
The three hidden meanings of the Conero 30 GTX limited edition by AKU
30 years later, AKU is celebrating the anniversary by making a special limited edition model, which hides three meanings and as many intrinsic values. A true gem for mountain enthusiasts.
The new Conero 30 GTX has been conceived, designed and produced by focusing, on the one hand, on the glorious tradition that has driven its success and, on the other hand, on the technical innovation, unique design and commitment that have been the hallmarks of AKU and the brand partners that have been collaborating on the project since the 1990s. The Conero 30 GTX is available in three color variants, which contain a specific meaning and value, respectively. Let’s find out about them.
1. Tradition and Made in Italy in the brown variant
The Conero 30 GTX in brown celebrates production techniques, inspired by the tradition of Montebelluna. Still today, AKU assembles many of its footwear by traditional craftsmanship techniques. Experience, passion and expertise are at the heart of AKU models, which are designed to last and carefully manufactured from high-quality raw materials.
2. “Full Yellow” technical performance and originality.
The constant search for excellent technical partners and unique stylistic solutions is celebrated in the “full yellow” version. This color thus recalls the exact shade of yellow of the Vibram brand that made the sole of the Conero already 30 years ago, and is therefore aimed at highlighting the historical partnership to guarantee functionality, comfort, lightness, and maximum performance. Finally, yellow evokes the uniqueness and style that distinguish AKU footwear.
3. Blue variant, commitment and responsibility.
AKU has traditionally been committed to reducing the environmental impact of products and also raises awareness about responsible use of resources and reuse (circular economy). The durability of AKU products itself demonstrates a clear commitment to the direction of sustainability.
Roots and evolution
The Conero 30 GTX boot is thus a “fresh” and contemporary remake of Made in Italy and the values that have determined the AKU brand and its successes.
AKU continues to be managed directly by its founders (the Bordin family) who guard and transmit to the young employees (about 400), the Montebelluna craftsmanship tradition and processing techniques that have enabled this great history of values and quality.
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