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Thread: Ex-army boots - Haix Vs Alltberg

  1. #1

    Ex-army boots - Haix Vs Alltberg

    After all of the chat on this forum about two years ago regarding how good the ex-army boots are, I bought a set of the Alltberg Defenders as back-up pair to my usual ones. I didnít know which to buy, Haix or Alltberg, so I plumped for the ones that I thought looked nicer. In the two years since Iíve worn down the soles to the extent that it was time for either a resole or a new pair, and since theyíre so cheap this time I bought a set of Haix hi-liability ones. Since there are many boot questions generally and questions about these boots in particular, I thought that Iíd write a post about my impressions and someone may find it useful.
    My ďgoodĒ boots, which I wear for the majority of my stalking and hill walking, are a set of Meindl Burma Pro and I really like them. The ex-army boots are worn for general messing around outside, gardening, rabbit shooting, etc.

    I got the Alltbergs direct from, grade 1, for £50. They had been worn but obviously not much, and they were in very good condition. The Haix boots came from an ebay shop which turned out to be; these cost me only £30 and were unworn. Bargain!

    I take a size 10.5 shoe and always wear an 11 boot. Both of these boots fit me perfectly in a size 11. The Haix boots come in two width fittings Ė normal and wide. I got the normal and despite having relatively broad feet across the forefoot this width fitting is fine. Straight out of the box I found the Haix a better fit Ė the Alltbergs were not completely comfortable where the leather creases across the toe box, but as the leather softened they became more comfortable. I find the Haix boots slightly stiffer and feel that they provide much better support.

    Lacing System
    I only mention this because the Haix system is different to any other boots Iíve worn. Usually boots have eyelets for the first few holes up from the toes and then toggles thereafter (the Alltbergs only have three toggles and I would find it better if they had more, much like Meindl boots). The Haix boots have speed-lacing eyelets all of the way up, but half way up the eyelets lock down so that once you have tightened the first few holes they donít loosen again until you unlock those eyelets. I didnít think that Iíd like it but I really do; getting the boots on in a hurry is easy, and I prefer the Haix lacing system to the Alltberg.

    I think the Alltbergs look better and actually find the Haix boots a bit ugly, but I prefer function over form so it doesnít bother me much. Itís the fact that the laces start so high up that I think makes the Haix boots harder on the eye Ė the big toe box make them look a bit like clown shoes, especially in the larger sizes, but having the laces start so high up probably also means that leakages are less likely. The Haix boots have a brown rubber rand right around the boots are partially over the toe caps, so wading through stubble fields or heather doesnít wreck the toes to the same extent.

    I have no problems with either, although the Alltbergs get slightly damp if theyíre sodden for a long time. I had my doubts about the Haix because they are partially fabric, but so far they have been great (wading through puddles that come almost to the top of the boot).

    As a cheap second pair of boots you canít really go wrong with either of these but I prefer the Haix boots. I would have never worn the Alltbergs out hill stalking for reds because I didnít feel that they provided enough support but I would wear the Haix. Yes, theyíre not the prettiest but that doesnít bother me and Iím really happy with the Haix boots so far.

  2. #2
    That is good review, thank you.

    I bought a pair of the extreme cold weather condition ex army boots...maker unknown, to alternate with my Meindl Dovres. From the British military surplus site you list for around £60 brand new. Reasonably comfortable and the support is almost equal to the Meindl's. They have been fine for beating...but they squeak something awful...much too noisy for stalking.

    I am am still trying different waxes/waterproofers to resolve the squeak.


  3. #3
    Probably the best £50 i've ever spent - no complaints with my Haix boots.....

  4. #4
    I recently spent £55 on Haix boots and am really pleased with them after hammering them beating for 13 days, comfortable and dry so far.

  5. #5
    I bought a pair of Haix cold wet weather boots off here last year for £80. Best boots I've ever had.

  6. #6
    great review!
    I've got a pair of the Altberg Defenders and love them, comfy and tough. I use Ledergris for waterproofing, good stuff it is too, and they dry out pretty quick if they get really sodden and for totally dry feet I wear sealskins socks (army surplus again).

  7. #7
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Yorkshireman in Darkest Cornwall
    Wearing a set of Haix Desert High Liability now and have done every day for the last 3 weeks. They're like slippers.
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  8. #8
    Great review, thanks for the heads up. I use a pair of ex military Karrimore's, following the advice of my stalking buddy and think they are the mutts nuts. I looked at the Altbergs as an alternative, which are cheaper than Karrimore but canot fault my Karrimore choice.

  9. #9
    I wear altberg every day although they are the field and fell. They took a while to break in but they are cracking and keep me dry in all weather. I did need a size up though.
    Great review!

  10. #10
    The Haix might be ok for lowland use, but they are no use for mountains and certainly don't keep the water out after a day on the hill.
    Just my opinion but I find Meindle Glockners are far superior.
    Cheers MW3

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