Raichle Monta Rosa
Raichle is no longer in business, and the Monta Rosa has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best backpacking boots for 2023.
These boots are extremely strong and supportive, and required virtually no break-in. The sole stiching is protected by a rubber strip that extends about an inch up the boot. One nice feature are the bootlace rings, which rotate in place so you can treat the leather that is normally covered by the rings. Also, the way the tongue is fit into the boot, and the presence of a lace hook on the front of the tongue, makes it very comfortable and easy to deal with.
The one concern I have, obvious as it may be, is that the Monta Rosa has an awful lot of seams on the main body. So far they seem to have held up perfectly well, and they take several different waterproofing treatments quite well, but who knows if they'll eventually leak? Or worse yet, if they might be worn and broken by abrasion from the outside (e.g., rocks, or from the other boot's heel rubbing into the side of the boot on the up-step).
Otherwise I think Raichle boots are well-designed and very well-built. My boots actually get more comfortable with heavier loads and rougher terrain! They feel too hardcore for anything less than rough hiking with some weight on my back.
This whole review may be moot, because I don't know if the Monta Rosa is even made anymore.
Use: Backpacking to moderate mountaineering
Break-in Period: Very short/nonexistent
Price Paid: $300
Did the Bright Angel Trail from South Rim to Phoenix Ranch and back up in same day with no problems whatsoever... then the next day did the Havasupai hike... all in all about 17,000 feet of loss and gain over 40 miles in 3 days and not even the hint of a blister!
Last week did Hallet's Peak, Flattop Mtn. and Estes Cone in the same boots... I love these boots so much, and have since the first week of ownership, that I have another exact pair still in the box... I also use the Raichle Palu as a work boot and also have a back-up pair of them in a box.... my only complaint with Raichle is that I only got one pair of laces with each boot! I have know a hiker who did the entire AT on one pair of Palu's which is/was the Swedish army issue boot. I switched from Merrel to Raichle when Merrel started to dissipate its support of is retailers and have abs. no regrets.
Use: rough trails/mod to heavy backpacking/fast day hikes
Break-in Period: none
Weight: ???? but heavy
Price Paid: $329
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Reviewers Paid: $300.00-$329.00