An interview with Raphaëlle Rousseau

What outdoor activity is your passion?
I love hiking, trail running and skiing. Actually anything that evolves mountains, exploration and a fast heart rate.

How did you get involved in that activity, and how old were you when you started?
It’s funny to think that the first hike I made was perhaps the most incredible too. When I was 7 years old, my parents decided to take a year off and travel around the world. We walked a lot during this trip, but I was moved and marked by our hike in the Himalayas. We hiked the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal with a guide and two sherpas, one carrying stuff and the other one having a huge empty straw basket on his back attached to his forehead. I wondered why he was carrying it. At the end of the hike I asked my mother and she told me it was to carry me in case I got too tired. Thinking about all the children I met in the mountains who didn’t even have shoes to walk around this cold weather, I got very upset of this unnecessary luxury and carried on looking at my small boots and thanking them for making me walk these grounds comfortably. I wish I could go back and give every barefooted kid a pair of shoes.

What was the most epic trip you’ve ever taken?
My parents brought me on their travels since my young age, but this trip around the globe in 1997 was one for the books and is definitely part of my identity. We hitch-hiked through Asia and that’s how I learned to speak English (my first language being French) as I bargained taxis and made friends while playing and inventing games with kids everywhere.

What is the most important piece of gear in your pack? (other than AKU footwear, of course!)
I never leave without my Camelback.

Where do you hope your AKUs will take you in the future?
I hope my AKU boots will cross many frontiers and lead me to new challenges, great encounters and awesome picnic spots.

What AKU boots are you currently wearing?