[GWA Ed: We don’t normally let our reviewers talk about products other than the ones on test, but after some deliberation we’ve decided that the below sets an interesting tone for how our reviewer expects these boots to perform.]
Before I hop to the point and start telling you about my initial findings with these Mammut Ridge High GTX boots in order to help you decide whether to commit to such an expensive and important purchase, I need to set the scene. Please bear with me: what I have to say is of relevance! I’ve long been a fan and a wearer of Raichle boots (Mammut purchased Raichle in 2003)
This picture illustrates the Mammut/Raichle family of boots that I own and wear, depending on what I’m heading out to do in the great outdoors. It’s been a beautiful love affair between my feet and Raichle for over 15 years in fact.
For example: I have leather-lined, fully stiffened Raichle 90 Degree boots which offer the very best in sure foot placement when roped up at 12,500ft clinging to the side of a French Alp, i.e., when you really can’t have your boots letting you down and compromising your safety.
I’ve also regularly worn the slightly lighter Raichle 60 Degree boots during snowy UK winters. Their 4-season durability is reliable, and to coin a phrase they are ‘as tough as old boots’.
I own and regularly wear the brand’s 3 /4 season walking boots too. These are Gore-Tex lined, with a tough rubber rand and high ankle support. They’ve been tested in harsh conditions, proofed, re-laced and donned for many a wet day out on Lakeland fells where footpaths often become streams.
Basically, I had always felt assured that the Mammut boot family were built to easily withstand the wettest UK conditions at the very least: (proven on my Mountain Leader training course over 6 days of torrential rain when my boots were the only ones in the party not to leak!) So, I’ve long been wedded to the Mammut/Raichle brand. But all that changed very recently when just 18 months into the life of wearing the All Degree Lite boots they literally started to fall apart.
Perhaps my love affair with the Mammut/Raichle brand might not have ended there if the boots’ failings were insignificant, or if the company had handled my legitimate complaint better. But, rather than a mere broken eyelet or some frayed stitching for example, both boots fell comprehensively to pieces! And so I turned to Mammut’s customer services to request some help, and to bring to their attention my disappointment and concern at their boots’ total disintegration.
In summary: both soles came away from the boots, the stitching snapping at every stress point, the leather / nubuck material perished and tore at every crease – which resulted in comprehensive and catastrophic disintegration in my opinion. Faced with incontrovertible proof of the problems I encountered you’d think that the customer services department might suggest a repair – or offer some type of reward for customer loyalty to enable me to buy a new pair of boots? Heck, maybe they’d even replace their clearly badly manufactured and faulty goods…. But no. The customer services representative put the boots’ comprehensive failure down to “wear and tear” … Err, even if I’d worn the boots everyday for their 18 month life I’d have expected them to cope better! As it was they were used on very few occasions and always cleaned, dried and aired before putting away. Outdoor kit is expensive – I look after it simply because I don’t have excesses of disposable income to chuck at it! Needless to say my divorce from Mammut was swift.
Fast forward to very recently when I was offered the opportunity to review the Mammut Ridge High GTX Boots… I took the opportunity when offered because I felt I was well placed to give the boots a good test drive, and because I know the brand so well, therefore I can hopefully offer you, the GearWeAre reader, a comprehensive review to enable your buying decision.
I’ve been wearing the boots for a couple of months; therefore this can only be considered an interim review. I intend to add more when I’ve had the boots for at least another few months so I can assess the build-quality and longevity of the boot – which is my main concern.
Out of the box the first thing to note is the garish styling of the boots – I won’t tell you what my wife said but it wasn’t particularly flattering! I’d suggest that you’d be easy to find if you got lost up a mountain, and that you might end up being the butt of your mates’ jokes when wearing these brightly coloured boots. But if you don’t care about style over substance when it comes your boots here’s how they stack up:
- They are Gore-Tex lined
- The memory foam around the boots’ cuff is supportive and comfortable for your ankles
- The lacing system has a locking eyelet which makes tightening the boot easier
- They’re not cheap (RRP £160) but I am prepared to pay for quality when it comes to my safety.
- The surface area of the heel is too small for secure foot placement, and it makes me roll my foot inwards when I walk – a problem I’ve never encountered before
- There is an excess of gratuitous and fancy stitching that serves no purpose other than decoration – I wonder if it will start to leak
So far the boots are holding together – but, the Mammut Ridge High GTX Boots need a long-term test to enable me to offer you a comprehensive review. We’ll update this review as they progress through the year.