/ Hiking boot recomendation - Meindl any good?

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Rob Halliday - on 16 Apr 2013
Hello!

I'm going to buy some hiking boots as a present for my girlfriend. I've seen mixed reviews for Meindl boots online, anyone had particular bad/good experiences of the Burma/Boreno boots? Any other 2/3 season boots I should look at?

Thanks for your help!

R
andic - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday:

I've got some cant remember which they are the ones with goretex liners. Good boots, comfy, supportive, waterproof maybe a bit heavy and quite stiff. Have lasted well.

They are quite expensive now though, would it be worth the extra 20-30 quid for some B1 boots if you are thinking of climbing/scrambling? They are alright for a bit of climbing but bend a bit. Depends what you are into i guess for walking they are bomber.
JeroenandTimo - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday: Hi, in my experience Meindl boots are excellent. Used to work in an outdoor-shop in Holland before moving to the UK and we sold loads and had lots of people coming back for them, Superb quality. Have had several pairs of boots from them myselfs (though not the models you describe), but the Island Pro and Magic mid and they lasted very long and were super comfortable.

Definately recommend.
Dauphin - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday:

They are goodreally but like all footwear, it is essential to try on and get properly fitted.

I don't wear such heavy boots any longer. Technology has moved on in the last decade.

D
In reply to Rob Halliday: Meindl make excellent boots. Typically they tend to suit a wide-toed but fairly low-volume-at-the-front foot, though the fit varies considerably between models. Very few traditional all-leather boots are made without a 'breathable' lining, and for this reason I prefer the Borneo to the Burma because it (Borneo) doesn't have said waterproof lining. This makes it cooler and less sweaty, and if you look after the leather properly it doesn't really have a bearing on water getting into the boot. They were my standard summer boot for a couple of years and took a fair bit of abuse.

Alternatively, on a similar note, I'm currently on a pair of Scarpa SL Activ. These are also traditional all-leather-upper boots, and another of the very few not to have a membrane lining. That's a big point in their favour for a start. They are also superbly made, and for me at least the fit is great - again, fairly wide in the front of the foot (not always the case with Scarpa). They're slightly stiffer and heavier than the Borneo but I like that on rough ground, when carrying heavy loads or for scrambling (good edgeing at the toe). Proper review of these coming out soon-ish.

I don't think your girlfriend would be disappointed with either. Provided they fit her of course. That's totally fundamental. It might ruin any element of surprise but she's got to try them on properly before buying anything.
Rob Halliday - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday: Cheers - thanks for your help all. Sounds like Meindl's it is. Agreed - although must admit I've never volunteered to take HER shoe shopping before!!
Jenny C on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:
> (In reply to Rob Halliday) .........Very few traditional all-leather boots are made without a 'breathable' lining, and for this reason I prefer the Borneo to the Burma because it (Borneo) doesn't have said waterproof lining. This makes it cooler and less sweaty, and if you look after the leather properly it doesn't really have a bearing on water getting into the boot.............

And as far as I know Meildl are the ONLY company to offer leather boots without a membrane liner in their women's range - pity they didn't fit my feet :(

b/f has had a pair of Borneos for around 2 years and although very battered they are still good boots and despite the lack of a waterproof membrane they are still keeping his feet dry.
martinph78 on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday: My Burmas have been all over the world, and trekked in the Himalaya and the Andes. They are in desperate need of replacement now, or at least a resole, but they have worn very, very well.

I am going to buy the Borneo next as my ONLY complaint with the Burma is that the goretex lining makes them very sweaty.

I found them comfortable right out of the box and like the stiffness of them. They aren't a B1 boot but I've used my flexible crampons with them with no problems. I don't get the whole "scrambling boot" thing if I'm honest. I've scrambled plenty in these and never found them to hold me back.

I recommend them, if you haven't guessed :p

Ridge - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday:

I'm going to be the voice of dissent as usual..

Meindl make a reasonable boot, but like all the others in that price range, (mammut, raichle etc), the leather is of indifferent quality and the soles are designed to be knackered within a couple of years. In typical British conditions, (wet), the leather will crack at the flex point of the toe box, regardless of treatment, which is why they have the reliance on goretex or similar linings to keep them watertight for a couple of years.

They're not a bad boot, but 'excellent' is pushing it somewhat.
andymac - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday:

Got a pair of Burma Pros.

still at the breaking in stage ,but so far very supportive.

got mine of ebay for 130 (private auction) ,saving myself 50.

great looking boots too.
martinph78 on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Ridge:

Can I ask where you got the information from for the following points that you have made?

>the leather is of indifferent quality

>the soles are designed to be knackered within a couple of years.

>the leather will crack at the flex point of the toe box, regardless of treatment


I must have been lucky with mine, but I don't think 7 years is bad for a boot.


Ridge - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Martin1978:

Anecdotal. Myself, Mrs Ridge and a number of friends have had Meindl boots over the years. All have cracked at the flex point, and Mrs Ridge's began to lose the sole, which wasn't too much of an issue, as the Goretex liner was beginning to ruck up behind the sock liner at the heel, making them unwearable. My soles were worn out after a couple of years light use.

Talking to people in the boot trade, boots used to be full thickness leather, taken from the thicker skin on the back. Now it's often split thickness, and taken from the flanks and belly. The 'eco' glues aren't as good, and the newer multi-coloured soles seen on new boots are often hollow in parts and drop apart.

Most boots are similar, although altberg seem a bit better constructed thsn others in the price range. IMHO modern leather boots aren't anything like the quality of boots in the 80s.
ollieollie - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday: quality boots in my experience
nrhardy - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com: what's the heel volume like on the Scarpa?
Ben Sharp - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Ridge: Think the Borneos are meant to be full-grain oiled nubuck, not split grain. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with split grain in a boot although full-grain will last longer and breath better.

In terms of durability we get pretty positive comments about them but imo I wouldn't pay that amount of money for a summer boot. But that's just me and I'm a stingy bastard!

Dan - you mentioned that they suit a wide toed but low volume foot, regarding the burma and borneo I'd agree with you on the low volume but the most common fitting complaint I've heard is that they're incredibly narrow at the toe box.
jcharles - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday:

Really rate mine. If I had to critise I'd say they're too heavy and too warm. And, as someone else wrote, they aint cheap.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday: ive got the Burma Pro MFS? They get hammered and i dont really look after them but all good after many years.
llechwedd - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Ridge:
> (In reply to Martin1978)
>
> Most boots are similar, although altberg seem a bit better constructed thsn others in the price range. IMHO modern leather boots aren't anything like the quality of boots in the 80s.

I'd agree that the leather may be better quality on the Altbergs. Their 'Tetheras' are the most comfortable boots I've owned and I found their retailers are very good at customer care. However, the Altberg factory manager appears far from customer centred.
Their blurb markets them as boots for the munroe mountains(sic)- I got through 2 pair of them there last year - afterwards the soles were shot as anticipated but what suprised me was the fact that the stitching on the leather heel cups disintegrated so that they couldn't be resoled. I had naively thought that buying British direct from the factory and using them for their intended purpose would allow me to provide constructive criticism of their boots. In essence their reply was 'we're not interested', you've used them on rough terrain and the unseasonably dry heather will have done for the stitching. when I pointed out the flaws in this line of reasoning it was suggested that I had been walking with my feet too close together!
A real shame- they appear to assume customers are trying to scam them rather than help them develop a better boot.


martinph78 on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Ridge: Fair enough, thanks. I do think the leather quality is good, but then I was still wearing plimsoles in the 80's ;)

I should stick a photo up of mine when I get the time.
llechwedd - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Martin1978:
I've been told that Altberg go to some lengths to source quality leather -Apparently this a now increasingly difficult to obtain for reasons to do with the BSE regulations leading to the killing to cattle at a younger age nowadays.
Gazlynn - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday:

I've had a pair of Vakuum and Air revolution 3.1s

Really comfortable out of the box but unfortunately didn't last very long.

Both boots lost their waterproofness after just over a year and the air revolutions fell apart and this was after going up maybe 20 munros.

Not that impressed to be honest both boots cost me over 150 and I expected better quality sorry to say.

cheers

Gaz

Ridge - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Martin1978:
> (In reply to Ridge) I was still wearing plimsoles in the 80's ;)

I've turned into a grumpy old man :-(
sargy - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Ridge:

I've had two pairs- they're phenomenally comfortable- straight out of the box. They both knackered rather disappointingly quickly. They cracked at the flex points, and the soles wore away quickly.
That said, I'm seriously considering another pair, but the price is ridiculous. I know boots have gone up in price, but it wasn't that long ago you could pick a pair up for less than 90, which made their life-span more palatable. In my experience, of course!
dutybooty - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday: I have a set of meindl desert foxes for an old "hobby".

Beautiful boots. Use them for allsorts from work, to clubbing, to going out, to approaching climbs when I know it'll be dry.

They take hammer and hammer and hammer. Must of walked 1000miles+ in them by now and a quick wash and they look nearly new again. The soles got loads of life in, you really can't underestimate the build quality.

Also, as others have said, they were comfortable straight out the box.

Just a general reference for meindl, not so much the boots you asked I know.
Solaris - on 16 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday:

I bought Meindl Borneos because they aren't lined. (Why do people believe the Goretex myth when it comes to footwear? How did people manage before we succumbed to their marketing?) I've been pleased with them, especially their comfort, but I am a bit disappointed with the quality of the leather. It's important to wax them with G-Wax - which is what Meindl recommend; Nikwax leather proofing doesn't work on them. They are fine for rock climbing if you're neat, and they'll take crampons so long as you are aware of their limitations.

My wife is now on her second pair of Island Lady boots which she has used on easy alpine routes.
In reply to nrhardy: A good snug fit on me, but not tight. I've fairly narrow heels.
In reply to Ben Sharp: Weird; not in my experience at all, and just looking at the shape of them they're quite wide at the toe compared with many other boots too
malaz90 - on 17 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday: I wear Burmas, had them for four and a half years. they have had a hard life and are still in good nick! Got myself another pair when a local store had twenty percent off them ready for when these wear out, a year or two yet i think!

Definitely recommend them :) The burmas have MFS System in the heel and around the top of the toe box! and the air active bit in the tounge and on the top of the boot!

Excellent boots though, worth every penny!
Ridge - on 17 Apr 2013
In reply to malaz90:
> (In reply to Rob Halliday) The burmas have MFS System in the heel and around the top of the toe box! and the air active bit in the tounge and on the top of the boot!

Translation - they have bits of foam padding ;-)
McT - on 17 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Halliday: I've had a pair of Meindl's for three years now.

I normally use them scrambling (winter and summer), long distance walking and for heavy loads. I even used them on my first scottish winter climb with a pair of G10s. They fit flex crampons just fine, and they still have shanks on the back half of the boot (I normally wear them if I'm travelling by plane as they take up too much room in my pack.)

I have high arches, and I find that at the end of the day my feet are in agony. Slap some good orthotics in and your set. They also do not have much cushion compared to Scarpa, which has been a issue for my bad knees. There is definite truth to the low volume comment though, so be careful. Again as many have stated, try a number of options on first.

I bought my pair because a mate had used his over 6 years, one of those years working with Mountain Rescue, and they had lasted very well.

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