Boot review - Altberg and Scarpa

caorach

Well-Known Member
My Altberg Mallerstangs are about to retire so I thought this was a good time to write up a little review and it seemed like it might be useful to compare them to my Scarpas.

I got the Altbergs in 2015 but quite late in the year and they didn't really see much use until the summer of 2016. I have about 7 pairs of boots by a range of makers including Mendil, Haix, Scarpa and Altberg so although I have a "main" pair that pair doesn't necessarily get all the work. It is important to note that I wear boots as my "everyday" footwear even when I'm not on the moor or hill so when I retired the Scarpas in 2015 I started wearing them everyday for work, general wandering about etc. Unless I'm at a wedding or funeral I'm in the boots so the Scarpas have a lot of wear on them. I don't know exactly when I got the Scarpas but know I was wearing them in 2008 so I'd guess they have 8 years on the moor plus 3 years everyday to work/town etc.



In short I've found the Scarpas relatively comfortable but not as good a boot as the Scarpas. The Scarpas are the far ones in the image and they haven't been waxed in years as they are just used to work and about the town and so on but they have a huge amount more wear on them than the Altbergs which, as you can see, have just been waxed. Now, I'm told I'm supposed to put some magic special wax on the Altbergs but that is sod all use to anyone who doesn't live next door to the magic wax factory so if the fact that the leather doesn't seem to be of the same quality as the Scarpas is down to the magic wax then the Altbergs are sod all use to anyone.

In the photo you'll note that there are new laces on the Altbergs, the second pair this week. In as far as I can recall the Scarpas are on the second pair in their life time. Altberg, for some reason, have made the little loops through which the laces pass rectangular in section and so they chew laces - yesterday I got out of the car and climbed the hill and felt both boots good funny on me. I looked down and both laces had broken. These are good quality Scarpa brand laces and the boots get the same use as my previous boots but I've never had boots chew laces. This seems like a minor thing until it is you putting up with changing laces in the field all the time.





The photos above show the Altbergs and the Scarpas with a close up of the problem. Who thought that was a good idea?

As stated I think the leather on the Scarpas is better quality than the Altbergs and I never had the Scarpas let water in (though I think waterproof boots are over rated as you always put a foot in a 3 foot deep bog hole and get water over the top anyhow) but despite claiming a waterproof lining my Altbergs left me with damp feed after a full day out yesterday. I think the water is just starting to seep through the leather and lining.

In terms of sole wear then the Altbergs have worn pretty fast, this photo compares the Altbergs with the Scarpas and you can see more wear on the Scarpas but they've done much more work and when I stopped using them on the hill and moor (almost all soft ground) there was virtually no sole wear visible:





The wear on the Altbergs has got such that I'm starting to skate about on the wet peat and so this is part of the reason to retire them as, although it isn't completely clear from the photo, the tread on the front part of the sole has got so shallow as to not give much grip on soft peat.

So, the Altbergs were comfortable enough but not of the same quality as my older Scarpa SLs and, again, I have to highlight that the Scarpas in these photos have had maybe 20 times the miles and work on them of the Altbergs but the level of wear is comparable. I certainly wouldn't rule out Altberg especially if your use was fairly lightweight or limited but I doubt if they would have done me a full season if they had been my only pair of boots. That is a shame as I wanted to like them and liked the idea of a UK boot manufacturer but in the end it is simple, trivial, stuff like them chewing a pair of laces almost as quickly as I can change them that has made up my mind - you have to be a special kind of stupid to pull a lacing system over a square edge.
 

jb1

Well-Known Member
A very good review :finger:

I have always recommended scarpa boots, the 1st i bought were back in 86 I think they were Manta Atak, they were good for 10 years only failing due to the lack of care from myself they cracked to the point of letting in water. I am now on my 3rd pair in just over 30 years, no lack in quality or performance, but i did buy a pair of Harkila Boa to try from Chatsworth last year, so far so good.
 

Ben P

Well-Known Member
Altbergs insistence on fitting the worst lacing eyelets ever invented means that my experience with them is the same as yours in that they break and wear through laces far too often.
In addition the lack of quick loop lacing eyes around the ankle area makes them a pain to put on and off, especially when the likelihood is that your laces are going to probably break at some point of your day!
 

Mike L

Well-Known Member
Good write up, I agree about the altberg eyelets, however I have a well worn pair of defenders and a pair of altberg bike boots I have rolled down the road in a few times and are still going strong, I do like the brand.
 

Jelly

Well-Known Member
Great review. I’ve got a pair of Altberg Defenders and have found exactly the same issue - chews through laces far too regularly!
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
….on the up side, Altberg boots do come with a spare pair of laces. At least mine did.
 

caorach

Well-Known Member
….on the up side, Altberg boots do come with a spare pair of laces. At least mine did.
Good thing to! I really want to like them and think they have a fairly good basic product but they have just done a few stupid things and aren't quite to the quality of my old scarpas. In saying that I have a bad feeling that scarpa have also maybe changed direction a bit and might now be more into marketing features. In the end most people buying this stuff will only ever use it a few times per year and their walking will be pretty limited so selling them expensive boots with lots of cheap to make features works for the maker and the end user.
 

topscots1

Well-Known Member
Good thing to! I really want to like them and think they have a fairly good basic product but they have just done a few stupid things and aren't quite to the quality of my old scarpas. In saying that I have a bad feeling that scarpa have also maybe changed direction a bit and might now be more into marketing features. In the end most people buying this stuff will only ever use it a few times per year and their walking will be pretty limited so selling them expensive boots with lots of cheap to make features works for the maker and the end user.
Altberg boots are very high quality, there is a difference between the boots produced in Yorkshire, and those produced for the military by subcontractors. They will also resoleand recondition your boots for you if you send them back in. Are they my favourite no zamberlan boots suit me and my feet. Boots are a very individual thing. Scarp as I have owned I hated they just don't suit my feet.

Good honest appraisal of what suits you.
 

Cyres

Well-Known Member
This summer I replaced my treasured Scarpa Attacks which are probably 25yrs old with a new pair of Scarpa's. Got them in Taunton Leisure in the sale £80 off and they are excellent. Spent a while getting the correct size, they fit like a glove and are a delight to wear. I will try to post pictures with correct name.

D
 

tattie

Well-Known Member
I have had 2 pairs of Altberg P3 Aquas for years and never had an issue with the laces. I also bought a pair of Alberg Raby Gamekeeper boots from a lad on here and also faultless.
I used the spare laces I got with my P3s in my regular work boots as the normal walking boot laces are invariably cheap Chinese efforts and you end up near hitting yourself in the nose every week when they snap.
I am hard on boot soles and my original P3s have had serious abuse and I have yet to wear them to the point of being needing re-soled.
Regular applications of the Ledergris is the way to keep the leather on the Altbergs in tip top condition, couldn't fault them. Ledergris is available online from Altberg and many other outlets.
Don't see the reason for spending daft sums of money on European branded, far eastern produced stuff.
Perhaps upset a few folk by saying that, but hay ho.

Made in Britian, what more could you ask for.

Cheers
 

welshwarrior

Well-Known Member
I’ve got a couple of pairs of altbergs having tried most other things the original altbergs out lasted them in fact after 12 years I’m retiring them as, no issue with any of them and laces.
 

Ben82

Well-Known Member
I have a pair of Altberg Peacekeeper P1's I wear for work and they are utter rubbish, the soles have split away from the upper on both boots in 18 months of wear. I believe that the Peacekeeper is made in Italy and the leather used is of questionable quality. I bought them as I was sick of going through a pair of safety boots every 12 month's, but these are no better than the standard PPE rubbish. Meindl make a steel toed boot I might see if they last longer......

Altberg get a thumbs down from me.
 

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