Hiking Boots

#2
I've had a pair for about 18mths and they're cracking, comfortable and robust. If you've not had Meindl boots before its worth getting professionally fitted to make sure they're right for you.
 
#4
Not had Meindl boots before; did you go a half size up on your normal size?
Yes i'm normally a 10.5 went up to an 11. Width is important though, the guy who fitted me has done a lot of walking and climbing and was a real font of knowledge. I've got wide feet so he recommended Meindl.
 
#5
Surprised by the wide feet thing -I'm 8.5 G and had to have mine stretched on the ski boot stretcher at Ellis Brigham. When I bought them they were £125 which was a reasonable price.

I had non-GTX ones and my feet dried out considerably faster than in any GTX boot I've worn (do enough walking and your feet will get wet at some point).

The boot itself is a good weight, sturdy enough for an ML course and comfy enough to be worn day after day. The ankle support is very good and the on Snowdonia mountain race my feet were the only bits of me not in agony. They were described as 3/4 season boots but they're definitely not for use above the snowline if you'll need to fit crampons.

I replaced them with a pair of Altberg Fremingtons where the wider fit feels more natural.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#8
I've just spent 10 days hiking in Peru, Inca trails etc. I wore Meindl Desert Foxes. The mut's nuts. I did not want anything Gortex because unless its cold and wet my feet tend to sweat a lot and get wet and manky in Gortex boots. Frankly I could not find any other suitable non-Gortex boots - not at least without shelling out mega bucks.

I had worn them on the Mournes doing a bit of pre-trek training and despite going through bogs, fording sallow rivers (in Norn Iron and Peru) my feet never got wet. Obviously they are not going to stay dry in full immersion but Gortex boots don't stop water coming over the top but do hold it in.
 

Fronty

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#9
I've just about given up trying to find a decent pair of boots to replace my North Face ones... Traipsed round countless shops over the last couple of months trying to find something, but people either don't have clown sizes (I take a size 12+) or are out of stock, or my wife has said that they looked like "special shoes". Bless her...

I've always liked Meindl, but are the Desert Foxes really that good?
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#10
I've just about given up trying to find a decent pair of boots to replace my North Face ones... Traipsed round countless shops over the last couple of months trying to find something, but people either don't have clown sizes (I take a size 12+) or are out of stock, or my wife has said that they looked like "special shoes". Bless her...

I've always liked Meindl, but are the Desert Foxes really that good?
Horses for courses, or whatever cliché (my spell checker added the gay accent thingy) you want , but I certainly could not fault them as walking boots on a reasonably serious trek - better than anything I've had before. I've just bought myself a pair of Lowa Jungle boots because I wanted something similar I can wear in uniform in this country as I'm getting tired of wet sweaty feet from the Lowa Gortex and try as I might I cannot get on with the issue boots.
 
#11
I've just about given up trying to find a decent pair of boots to replace my North Face ones... Traipsed round countless shops over the last couple of months trying to find something, but people either don't have clown sizes (I take a size 12+) or are out of stock, or my wife has said that they looked like "special shoes". Bless her...

I've always liked Meindl, but are the Desert Foxes really that good?
Echo BA statement: personal preference really I have a Pr as I got them for a bargain & could'nt recommend them highly enough for the job there mean't for, for all other jobs outside MDF remit I've got the Lowa Mountain Bt..
 
#13
I mean flimsy in the sense that they don't offer as much support as other options. Definitely comfortable but more something for a slightly more waterproof stroll than a shoe, as compared to a serious walking boot.
 
#14
The Aku NS 564 is a super-lite multi terrain boot. Developed in conjunction with the US Navy Seals, this boot is a tough, rugged all-rounder and with NO Gore-Tex liner it makes it perfect for European backpacking and travel. Now a favorite with our own 'Armed Forces'. The breathability is superb, leaving your feet comfortable all day and your socks almost dry at the end.

At first they seem weird as they have a very low sole profile, if you are tabbing for a longer distance, I would put in a pair of sorbathanes. If you buy from Trekkit and state you are forces, you get a discount.
 

Fronty

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#15
I have to admit that my last pair of Akus did last a long time, but then the gore-tex liner started going and no amount of re-proofer would keep my feet dry.
 
#16
Re my earlier post about my Burma pro's, having now read the latest posts I also agree it's horses for courses, I like them but I had tried several well known makes before settling for the boot I chose. Keep looking and trying until you feel happy enough to walk out of the shop wearing them. You do get what you pay for so think what you need them for and buy the best you can afford for that task.
I like walking in winter, above the clouds but I do not like wearing heavy weight socks, so went for the Gortex option to keep warm and dry.
 
#17
Not quite the Borneos but I can vouch for the Meindl Burma Pro MFS boots, bought almost two years ago.

My previous boots had left my feet borderline requiring skin grafts after seriously mangling them during 90-odd miles in 4.5 days thus I took my time and my brain with me on this purchase. Aesthetically slightly reminiscent of special needs boots that should have calipers strapped to them (a friend begged me on bended knee to buy them just so he could poke fun) I was intially disappointed that, after thorough research, the Burma appeared to be the best fit. I bought them and threw them into the deep end with an 8 hour hike in the Peaks (with back-up footwear in my pack as I was sceptical) for a first outing. I shouldn't have doubted my choice as the Meindls didn't let me down. I'd say they're superb for someone with lily-livered feet and have done a fair number of hefty hikes since; they are wearing well too.

Pros: There's an extra lacing hook placed centrally on the tongue for lacing to the top but with the final knot being hooked down and not manacling your ankle and so far I've not felt the need to add Sorbothane insoles or the like. I've not yet had a problem with soggy feet - well, no more than I would have with non-goretex. Cons: the MFS 'memory foam system' (in the heel cup) is probably a gimmick to add on £££ as I can't say I've noticed any difference (but have had no blisters there...) and they're fairly stiff and unforgiving when scrambling (but conversely have superb support.)

Try on as many different makes as you can; once settled on a manufacturer that seems to suit then try their range. There's worse out there than these.
 
#18
There's a lot of mixed feeling around Brashers, i don't like them at all but i know a few lads who swear by them. I've got Meindls and a pair of Altbergs which are issued for work. The Altbergs are a bloody good boot. I've a 9 year old pair of peacekeepers that have seen a lot of wear and they've never let me down.
 
#20
Putting your feet into a pair of Meindl MFS is like having a foot orgy. I will buy some when I eventually knack my Lowa's.

Presently I have a pair of Lowa Mountain GTX that I wear for serious walking. They are comfy on my feet and I have never had a blister problem with them. They have the Lowa ventilation system that keeps feet cool'ish even on hot days.

I have a pair of Meindl desert fox's that were given to me. They work well now that they are broken in but initially caused a few blisters, so personally I would not buy a pair of these. I was given these by the boxheads who wear them like the para's used to wear the old dessies from freeman Hardy and Willis.

I have a pair of Merrel Moab Ventilators. These are light, comfy, not to be taken seriosly for trogging IMHO. I wear them around and about, on the range and when skydiving for low ankle protection ....... not ankle support, landing in spiky stuff can rip up your ankles.

"Back in the day", I used to wear Karrimor KSB's (we used to get a discount from the factory through our PRI). They were always top wear. I bought some of the newer not made in England ones about three years ago as I needed a new pair of soft boots. I was training for a road walk back then so was doing 10 miles every morning. Within two weeks I was thru the sole and felt the road on my foot....yes, I could see sock thru the hole in the bottom. They are forever crossed firmly off my list.

Brashers. Nice boots dependent on which pair you get, I bought some after the Karrimor debacle, sorry can't remember which ones.

Danner boots. I was probably one of the first batch to get issued with some many, many, years ago. They are almost up there with Lowa & Meindl......I'd say at around 80 - 90%. I remember when they first came out. Danner were a maker of hunting boots for the American hunting community....which is huge. So they made brown hunting boots. The training team at Fort Lewis took to buying Danners and dyeing them black and that is why Danner have the Fort Lewis boot. Then the LA Olymipics popped up and the FBI HRT needed some boots, hey presto Danner Acadia. So, in the spirit of Tacticool every SWAT team in the USA desperately NEEDED Danner Acadia. Then in the UK the Plod Firearms Teams NEEDED them also, at the time the sub-contractor for Danner in the UK was the wax jacket people Barbour. The Barbour boots had a blue lining as opposed to the dark red/maroon lining of the US Danners.

At the end of the day boots are the most important thing a squaddie or plod wears (I've been both) so you need to get it right. Especially for the money some boots cost. Get yourself off to a Blacks camping/outdoor store and try on as many as you want, spend about ten minutes wearing each pair that takes your fancy ......... really annoy the assistant, make sure you take the appropriate socks with you also. Another good place to visit for boots is GO Outdoors if you have one near you, always loads of boots and some decent offers.
 

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