Raichle is no longer in business, and the Eiger has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best backpacking boots for 2023.
Hi hikers! I bought these and broke them in on many weekends of hiking through Chequamegon (WS) park doing every possible macho stream crossing to prepare them, and me, for two glorious weeks in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area (MT) in the 1970s. They rock on rock - and roll... NEVER!
- They make Earth seem almost like my home planet.
- New skree collars were better skree collars. Get yours, sooner ;)
In my dotage, I now wear Cole Hahn "Country". Style ain't design. I never had any broken skin with the Eigers. No problems, ever. I wore them daily after the little trek.
We were soul mates. I was unable to convince the trout in the lakes in the high country that my hand tied flies were more than visual knick-knacks, but, I was watching herds of fat trout passing their sunny days at the end of a long, rainy summer. We caught a few, and fried the fillets in butter and with freeze dried hash browns and realized Earth was and is not primitive, we are :)
Eigers fit my feet, eventually. Maybe they will fit your feet, eventually. Maybe not. Do not rent a pair to try and find out, cheap. It is not a quick check ;)
Enjoy, or good hunting...
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: ??? long ago and far away
Wow. Finding these reviews was like experiencing a boot support group, finally I know that it’s NOT MY FAULT!
I experienced the same lateral movement of one of the tongues, nothing I could do would correct it (and it is not attached crooked). Unfortunately, on this foot also there is undue pressure on my shin, so that if the boot is laced too tight I end up with a bloody sore after a multi-day trip. Keeping the boot loose usually alleviates this problem, but then opens up a new host of problems with my toes. Ouch. The other boot is a perfect gentleman, although both toe areas have problems (fit?). I don’t know about the heel blisters, I usually am proactive and just tape yards of tape down there to prevent any other problems. I also tape my shins. I hate having to tape, don’t you?
I have never had problems with the boot hardware or soles. Seem to be pretty waterproof after sno-sealing. They pass over rocks and crap like nobody’s business. They kick steps in hard snow like nobody’s business. Unfortunately, the way they make my feet feel is MY business, and I’m going to junk these clunkers. There’s a reason REI doesn’t carry these any more, folks.
In retrospect, if I could have had two boots that felt like the right boot, I might not have been so disappointed.
Materials: Full Grain Lether
Use: Heavy Backpacking/Mountaineering
Break-in Period: Never got there
Price Paid: $200+
I bought these boots soon before I planned to spend some time trekking in Asia. Difficult to break them in though they fit extremely comfortably after my heels paid the price. I'd never buy these boots again though. There was a continual drifting of one of the tongues, and despite my every effort to correct it, it still remains that way, hundreds of miles later.
In a very remote area of the Himalayas, the stitching of one of the soles broke around the toe for no apparent reason. About thirty-five miles with an extra bootlace strapped around the front of one's shoe is not one of life's greatest pleasures, having to stop every mile or so to resecure it. And this was when they were relatively new. Expensive gear should not fail. Having put so much effort into breaking them in, I was still determined to love them (they did fit well) after I found someone to repair them.
What really put me off was that, soon after this incident, the lace brackets(?) began to fall out one by one, leaving holes in their places. I was still able to tighten the boots adequately though they were obviously far from waterproof. I treat my gear well, maintaining it whenever possible, so it was not by my misuse that any of this happened. Am I wrong in thinking that $200+ should buy a reliable pair of boots?
Materials: Stiff Leather
Use: rough terrain
Break-in Period: 60 miles
Weight: d--mn heavy
Price Paid: $220 or so
I bought these boots at REI while living in Seattle in 1988 or '89. I knew the name well, as my father still has a pair he bought in 1965 for climbing with the "Mountaineers" while at the U of W. I used these extensively both in the lower Cascades, and on the Lake Constance trail in the Olympics, for hiking, and also strapped on crampons for more technical climbs such as Rainier.
They have served me well, and have traveled throughout the world with them. From Mt Fuji to trekking around its namesake, the Eigerwand in Germany, they are very solid, and provide excellent ankle support over uneven terrain.
They are VERY stiff, and indeed take some time to re-break, after sitting for an extended period. Nothing standing in a warm bathtub in ankle deep water, with a fresh coat of Sno-seal can't cure though. If used in very cold weather they can get a little chilly, if laced too tight, but this is cured quickly with some relacing.
If you are looking for a boot suited to rough terrain hiking, and excellent water integrity...look no further. If, however, you want more of a "day hiker" boot that is comfortable out of the box...you may want to look elsewhere.
Use: Strenuaous hiking/non technical climbing
Break-in Period: Long period, due to heavy construction
Weight: Approx 2.5l bs per boot
Price Paid: $185
This is a product made for REI by Raichle. After a relatively long break-in period, I loved the way the right boot fit. However, the tongue of the left boot had a continual lateral drift that I could not control or correct. I adjusted the tongue and relaced the problematic left boot innumerable times while hiking with heavy loads. I tried to wear the boots a lot without loads when working in the yard to "train" the left tongue. I bought after-market in-soles hoping it would elevate my foot, put more pressure on the tongue and prevent the drift. I bought velcro and used it to secure the tongue in the midline. I clamped the upper tongue in an effort to crease the leather and keep in the midline.
Finally, being the genius that I am, I looked into the boot and noticed the tongue padding had been glued in asymmetrically, causing the perpetual lateral drift.
Frustrated, I took them back to REI after 10 months. They were great and gave me my $ back. I think they are basically a good, strong boot. But, I wasted so much time with them I just wanted to try something else.
Use: Rough trail w/ heavy pack
Break-in Period: 40 miles
Weight: ??(Relatively heavy)
Price Paid: $199.99 + tax (sale)
I bought these boots 5 years ago and just got them out of storage after about 3 years. They went into storage to begin with because of the extreme fit problems that I had. I am still disappointed. The tounge on BOTH boots constantly drift to the outsides of the boot. And cinching them down tight enough to get what feels like a good fit doesn't solve the problem; my feet just go numb after a couple of hours, especially if sitting for just a little while. Otherwise, they're great, very heavy-duty, great leather and good soles. Just too bad I wasted all that money on a boot I will VERY rarely wear. I wonder why REI doesn't sell these boots any longer????
Materials: Heavy Leather
Use: Mountaineering, extended long-trail hiking
Break-in Period: Eternity!
Weight: 2.5 lbs. each!
Price Paid: $210
You answered your own question. REI doesn't sell them anymore because no one is using heavy boots anymore except for the most extreme conditions AND these boots are beasts to break in, almost as if they break in your feet rather than the other way around. REI used them as their rental hiking boot for a number of years.
Unfortunately for me, they are the only boot I've found where I can get enough width in the middle while still locking in my foot in the back.
I rate them 4 instead of 5 sort of out of resentment, but even if my feet are a little sore at the end of the day, my ankles, knees, and back feel great.
Price Paid: $200
I have used these boots exclusivley for 5 years just about every weekend. My first pair I resoled 2 times and now use that pair for hikes. My second pair I reserve for the tougher outings. Although I never experienced the problem, some people require an adjustment period to the rather stout heel cup (blisters) Absolutley nothing has gone wrong with either pair I've owned and I have beat the ...... out of them. Unfortunatly I hear that REI is not going to carry them any longer. I tried to buy another pair for the future but they don't have my size.
Use: Rough Trail/ Mountianeering
Break-in Period: Depends on foot and fit
Price Paid: $250
The Raichle Eiger is a great boot for me. I purchased my first pair in 1993 and wore them through 2 pair of Vibram soles. They have never given me a blister or any foot problems whatsoever. They are an appropriate boot for everything up to 14,000 feet +. Full grain leather, crampon compatible, firm ankle support and comfy inside. Very water resistant with proper care. Eyelets, rubber rand, store-bought insoles are a plus. Good for a hiker who wears orthotics (like me!)
Use: Rough Trail, multi- week trips.
Break-in Period: 2-3 months
Weight: 5lbs./ pair.
Price Paid: $225
These boots are made for REI. I guess they are quite similar to Palue's I have never seen a Palue except the catalog). They not only gave me blisters, but also dissapointed me. The lacing hook poped up after the first use. And the back stitches were about to come off. I returned them to REI. I wrote to Raichle about it. I am waiting for their response.
They aren't worth $250.
Materials: Full Grain Leather
Use: Heavy Backpacking
Break-in Period: Supposedly long
Price Paid: $250
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