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Merrell High Cascade

rated 5 of 5 stars

The High Cascade has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best mountaineering boots for 2024.

photo: Merrell High Cascade mountaineering boot

I have noticed that this is the first review for this boot, so I hope I do it justice. I purchased these boots for a couple of reasons: one, I needed a durable boot for extended winter hiking with an adequately sized pack; two, crampon compatible (not necessarily for ice climbing); three, an all round boot for snow shoeing; and four, price range.

I needed these boots in a hurry for trip to the Adirondacks, and what caught my attention was the Merrell quote, "guaranteed to fit right out of the box." To my belief, they did. The normal break-in period for an alpine boot is about 4 weeks or 40-60 miles of hard hiking (depending on brand and who you talk to), but for the High Cascades, the break-in period was minimal, if there was one at all!

The Waterproofed Perwanger leather uppers, in addition to the Waterproof glove leather linings, which conformed to my foot nicely, kept my feet dry. I also used a pair Smartwool hiking socks, which added warmth.

I am also pleased with the traction I am getting with these boots. Built on a "sharply lugged, Vibram Ice Trek sole", they have delivered a reliable grip/brake performance in all snow/rock conditions.

So if you are looking for a durable alpine/winter hiking/trekking boot, these are it. I am very happy with the purchase, and intend on keeping these boots in my trekking repertoire for a long time!

Materials: Perwanger leather, Polyurethane, Glove leather
Use: Winter Hiking, Showshoeing, Crampon Use
Break-in Period: Very Minimal
Weight: 4 lbs. 10ozs.
Price Paid: $199

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