The new Ecco BIOM Terrain Akka Mid Plus GTX is a mouthful to say. Perhaps we could shorten it to just “Akka.” Ecco classes the Akka as “terrain” footwear with the proprietary BIOM (“bio-mechanics”) fit technology. It is a light-hiker perfect for shoulder-season day-hikes and weekend backpacking trips, ready for the most demanding terrain and conditions.
The Akka is made with thin but extremely durable yak leather; Ecco operates its own yak tanneries in Asia and is the only major footwear maker to own and manage every step of its production process, from tannery to consumer.
We tried a pair of Akkas out on a wet riverside trail and found them feather-light yet solidly built, encasing the foot sturdily like a flexible shell. The Kevlar-reinforced upper is reassuring when hiking through sharp-rock Escarpment terrain, while the traction is especially responsive on muddy inclines. We tested them after testing a pair of Scarpa “approach” shoes; compared to these, the Eccos feel slightly stiff at first (but with this comes more protection from ankle twists). And after a few short hikes, the fit became more supple. The Gore-Tex waterproof-breathability proved more than adequate for stepping through gushing streams and wet leaves.