The Mallerstang is the original ALTBERG classic Alpine-style mountain boot and in severe winter conditions it can be used with articulated crampons.
As many JOINT-FORCES readers will know, ALTBERG have an extensive range of boots which extend from military and police through civilian hikers and hill walkers to more specialised footwear such as fighter pilot and aircrew boots.
Typically for ALTBERG, their civilian boot names reflect the area around their North Yorkshire origins and in this case, appropriately, a wild area of the Pennines at the head of the Eden Valley and not so far from the factory. So, if you are looking for something a bit gnarly for the higher more rugged hills the Mallerstang may well be worth considering. A bit unusually for this section, I have sadly not had a pair of these to try out for myself but as my son Angus was looking for a hill boot because he had just moved into Wales and, like me, often heads off to the Lakes and other places, it seemed fitting he should give these a go.
As well as taking feedback from Angus I have been able to tap into the significant experience of a good friend of mine, Keith, who also has these boots. Keith has had his Mallerstangs for some time now, as well as a pair of ALTBERG Tetheras, as I do, and uses them on Dartmoor and so on. Possibly far more appropriate, he wore them on a trans-Scotland trek he and his wife Anabelle completed during 2019 as well as on some Alpine treks they have taken on. Although Angus has not had anywhere near the ‘foot in boot’ time that Keith has with the Mallerstangs, so far he is very happy indeed with them and was wearing them on his Christmas visit to us down here in Devon.
The Mallerstang boot is a four-season Alpine design and able to take crampons. It is made from the very high grade Anfibio Culatte leather, befitting of a boot such as this. So that these boots are a perfect fit for those long hard days on the high hills, there is an extensive range of sizes (UK5-UK14) as well as no less than five width fittings; XN, N, M, W & XW. The ALTBERG website Fitting Page has good information on this. The soles are, for most sizes, the Vibram Ice Trek Mountain pattern which has deep rubber cleats for good grip in those high places; UK13-UK14 boots have the Vibram Commando sole as the Ice Trek is unavailable in these sizes.
All in all these are serious boots for the serious hill walker and will offer comfort and security on those tricky mountain surfaces and will keep your feet dry unless you go wading. Having penned this and talked to both Angus and Keith about their feelings on the Mallerstang, I really want a pair of these now!
[images © Mike Gormley]