Raichle Mountain Trekker
Materials: leather heavy hiking and backpacking boot
Use: construction work, day hiking and backpacking
Break-in Period: zero
Weight: about 4 lbs.
Price Paid: $190 on sale at EMS
I have a love hate relationship with these critters: Partly due to the rolling walker ("rocker") design.
My first waffle stomper was a Raichle from over 25 years ago and I loved that boot, but like these new ones, they had a slight fit problem.... too tight after a long day in the restuarant or on the trail.
I would recommend fitting generously with these boots. Maybe the next size up from what you feel comfortable in in the store. I don't have a problem with these new ones until after 10 miles or so....and I can only wear one sock each. But with a few years these boots are getting better with age.
Technically these are the most durable boots I've owned. They are great for winter hikes (with sealant) and seem more comfortable with a load than without.
In construction work though they tired me out as they are heavy and the rolling walker special design is not meant for stop and go and standing around...These boots are meant for walking and moving over trails and not for the town or city.
I have a couple of pair of Lowas which are more comfortable but are both falling apart. The Raichles are the ones I trust, for my winter hikes on the Long Trail in Vermont...wet and cold and steep doesn't affect them...and the Mountain Trekkers are fun with a pack and steep descents....unlike other boots I've had....including Merrills, Vasques etc.
A tough humbre of a boot.
Use: weekend overnight hikes of 20 -25 miles
Break-in Period: None
Weight: 3# +
Price Paid: $230
Hello: I first used these boots May 1998. 10-mile hike. Could have walked another 10! Had a slight hot spot on one toe. Best fitting and feeling boots ever owned (I have owned Danner, Asolo, Merrill, and Vasque).
After 166.6 miles since last May the rands were bad enough to need fixing. Due to the water proofing stuff having penetrated the leather, I was told that the glue would not "stick" to the leather so boots couldn't be fixed. I called Raichle and they told me that the probelm was caused by the wate proofing stuff I used!!! They emphasized that only Silicon liquid or spray should have been used--I used a product made in Vermont that was like grease. Basically I used what was sold to me for these boots at the store and the store is working with me to resolve this problem!!! The name of the store will be witheld to protect the guilty 8^).
Anyway, I highly recommend these boots (I have a medium wide foot and need good room in the toe) and will believe Raichle about the cause of the problem. I am now deciding whether to go for another pair or try out Limmers. I will probably will go with another pair of Raichle's!!! The main reason I entered this review is to emphasize the need to follow manufacturer's recommendations for a successful experience with equipment!.
Use: Heavy 70lb loads / broken trail / deep scree
Break-in Period: 10 miles
Weight: 4 lbs or so
Price Paid: $220
I'm about to trash my pair after 1+ year of constant hard use. I must say that they fit the best of any boot I've ever owned (really wide toes and a narrow heel). They've been through hell from "creative" routes on Kilimanjaro and other African volcanoes to winters/summers in the White Mountains of NH with brutal loads. They worked OK with strap-on crampons but suffered from rather severe abrading (sp?) from the straps.
But the leather is kinda wasted now (I did treat it regularly) and the soles are just about gone. The high rands peeled away very quickly and were a constant problem. The sole became VERY flexible with break-in which is comfy but don't even think of front-pointing in these.
Unusually warm in adverse conditions which was nice. Good moisture/water control although you can soak them through.
It would have been great if they lasted longer but if you've got the $$$$ I'd recommend it highly if they fit you.
Materials: Full leather outer and lining
Use: Rough Trails, Heavy Packing.
Break-in Period: Almost none
Price Paid: $220
Bought the boots. Wore them around town and a couple very light hikes. Then with a 40 lb. pack and my 270 lbs body. I did a two day hike of around 5000’ vertical up ... and then back down of course… :) and about 10 miles. I was on a trail.. I think.. for some of the hike but was often forced to boulder-jump jagged granite for a large portion when the trail "disappeared".
To make a long story short. I abused my feet and my boots. Both came through unscathed. I had a couple of hot spots but no blisters. When I bought these boots the sales guy was giving me some spiel about the "all leather lining" molding to my foot and fitting like a glove. I was somewhat skeptical but now I am a convert. I pay homage to this boot, and worship at Mr. and Mrs. Raichle’s preverbal boots.
Use: rough trail with heavy pack
Break-in Period: 5 miles
Weight: 280 lbs
Price Paid: $240
I bought a pair of these boots last summer for a trip I took to the Wind River. I broke them in with a couple of 2-3 mile hikes before the trip and they felt great. I put about 45 miles on them with a heavy pack (80lbs) and they began to delaminate where the sole attaches to the uppers. I bought them at REI and did not use any thing on them. By the time I got back to the truck they were falling apart. They felt comfortable, my toes got a little hot and I got a couple blisters but if they hadn't fallen apart I would have liked them.
Use: 2 - 3 day trips with 35-45 Lb pack
Break-in Period: hardly any needed
Weight: 4.2 lbs
Price Paid: $225 EMS
I have been through: Danners, Vasque Sundowners, Asolos and Merrill Wilderness boots and all caused or had some problem (for me). I really think after 27 miles that these boots are THE ONES that are going to work for me!!! My first trip (10 miles) - minor mark on toe where boot bends (break in should eliminate this) and one hot spot on heel requiring mole skin. Second trip of 17 miles on AT in NH over VERY rough terrain with mud and water these boots were terrific!!! Could have walked another 10 miles with no problems! Highly recommended. However, boot fit differs person to person. Personally, I love these boots!
Use: Rough Trail
Break-in Period: 50 miles
Weight: 3 lbs
Price Paid: $225
All things considered, a solid boot. Despite the amount of stitching on the upper these boots are very water resistant (I coated them). The toe box is a little narrow. Traction is excellent. Support and protection are superb.
My main gripe is durability. The rand has started to chip away and I've worn a large hole where my heal goes inside the boot. The metal hooks for the laces have bent outwards, making lacing a pain. This is after a year's worth of wear. I've done extended backpacking trips in the White Mountains, Wind Rivers, and Sierras in these boots along with rountine day hiking.
Use: Rough Trail, pack, crampon compatible
Break-in Period: Practically none
Price Paid: US $210
They fit me right out of the box. Thanks to the full leather lining. There was practically no break-in period required.
I expected $210.00 boots to last like Toyotas. However, I had plenty of durability issues. The stitches came apart too soon, the leather lining rotted (I kept the liner clean) and the rands kept on getting unglued. I went through three pairs under warranty in less than two years. Finally I returned them for a refund.
What a waste for well-fitting boots.
Use: Very rough stuff, mountaineering (not ice climbing)
Break-in Period: approx 20 miles
Price Paid: $225 from EMS
These boots are simply awesome. I've got this bizzarely-shaped foot with a narrow heal and wide "toe section" so it was very hard to find anything. These fit awesome from day 1. Totally waterproof for about 2 hrs in a heavy downpour, puddles etc. Great for long distances, really cool "rocker" type of action. Highly rec. for anyone. But the rule is, "TRY IT ON!" Wear any $200+ boot for at least 30 minutes walking around the store.
Use: off trail, rough trail, mountaineering w/pack
Break-in Period: less than 15 miles
Weight: 4.38 lbs
Price Paid: $230
I tried 11 pairs of different boots and sizes before landing on the Trekkers. I've put over 1000 miles on a pair with no problems. These have to be the best boots around. Only waterproof using Aquaseal along with SNO-SEAL. The combo does the best job. (apply the aquaseal first.) I wear a 1/2 size larger than my lighter weight Spirit boots, which are a little wider than the Trekkers.
Materials: Full grain leather, Vibram sole, leather lined
Use: heavy pack, rough trail, up to 4th class mountaineering
Break-in Period: Less than anything else.
Weight: 3.9lbs mens
Price Paid: $225
A boot which is the best fitting and best value for the money. Where others skimp in using synthetics, the Mountain Trekker uses full grain leather, leather linings, and the hardware (grommets, etc.) is hidden much the same as in a custom boot. Nothing in the market currently compares with the ease of usage of this boot.
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