Recommended Price: £215
Weight: 1.98kg (pair, UK size 12)
Raichle was a well respected manufacturer of rugged mountain boots for many decades, before being absorbed into parent brand Mammut in 2009, but these boots – which still have a Raichle logo on the tongue – show that their tough pedigree has been retained.
The boots are constructed of full grain leather and have a high cut, with a softer Nappa leather on the cuff and tongue. The uppers feel very stiff when new, but do develop a flex after wear. The tough construction is softened with memo foam inside, which I’ve found makes the boots feel very comfortable – after an initial breaking in period. The boots really hug the feet and provide excellent support, which is greatly aided by the very adjustable lacing system. They have a goretex lining and over a four month test including some very wet conditions have not let in any water at all – though I put this down to the tough leather construction and waxing as much as to the lining.
The Vibram MT Traction II soles have provided good grip on all surfaces, and there is a rubber rand that extends high onto the boot. The boots are billed as three season mountain boots, but there is only a very modest flex in the sole unit – they are rated B1 (strap-on) crampon compatible. I’ve worn them very happily with flexible crampons on slopes that didn’t require front pointing.
I usually take a size 11 but I have pretty wide feet – I’ve found the size 12 in these to be very comfortable for me – which emphasizes once again the need to try boots on in a shop rather than rely on stated sizings.
These boots are not lightweight and so wouldn’t be my footwear of choice on good trails at the height of summer, but if you are looking for a very tough but comfortable boot that is going to keep your feet dry, cope with a variety of conditions all year round and really last, they are an excellent choice. The price is similar to other boots of this pedigree, and is good value when you consider how many pairs of synthetic boots you would wear out before these finally bite the dust.