A lot of people seem to think that European stuff is always nicer than American. We definitely don’t think that’s is always the case, but sometimes the quality, craftsmanship and elegant design that a piece of European gear has just stands out. Meindl boots certainly fit that bill; a German brand with roots stretching all the way back to 1683. While we imagine none of their boots are quite that old, you can still see the quality and craftsmanship they put into them – while keeping prices and weight relatively low.
Take the Toronto GTX Walking Boots. These waterproof, full-leather boots rock a GTX Performance Comfort inner membrane that keeps all but the sliest of moisture out. The upper is made of full full-grain aniline nubuck leather, waxed to a smooth, water-resistant finish. Meindl’s Air Active Footbed provides comfort, springiness and padding for long hikes. (These are billed as walking boots, after all). On the bottom, you’ll find a Vibram rubber grip sole that will keep you sure-footed on the trails, and an EVA soft-tread wedge for that extra bit of comfort.
Looking for something lighter? You might like the Meindl Nebraska. These mid-rise hiking boots weight a respectable 420g per pair, sporting a waxed nubuck and suede upper (like the Toronto GTX). This is paired with a Gore-Tex liner for waterproofness. Comfort and support are provided by the Air-Active Wellness Sport insole, and the Meindl Comfort Sport sole – which also provides some serious traction on the trails. They’re reputation for comfort and a quick break-in make them excellent choices for all but the most rugged of hikes.
Still not light enough for you? The Meindl Respond GTX might do it. The low-rise model of these shoes packs a suede and breathable mesh upper with Gore-tex for waterproofness, an Air-Active footbed for comfort, and a Contragrip sole for stability and traction on the trails. Also, they weigh less than 400 grams a pair.
Whatever your preference of weight, Meindl has a hiking shoe that’ll work for you – while leaving some money in your wallet for enjoying them.