There’s nothing like finding a bit of kit that feels as if it was tailor made for you. Kit so good that when it eventually falls apart, you’ll need someone else to actually dispose of them as you just haven’t the heart to do so. Or to even go to the effort of finally burying them in the garden as a mark of respect (let’s see the future archaeologists work that one out!). Following that, replacement is even easier as you just re-order exactly the same item in the same size for as cheaply as you can.
For me, it’s the Meindl Burma Pro GTX boots that are my permenant bit of kit, I’ll probably be buried in them. Only not, I hope either in the garden or soon.
Even as I write this review, I’ve just purchased my third pair for a significant discount online. The first pair lasted a good few years, though I cannot state how long exactly. Just that they appeared just after a failed attempt at Yr Aran some time in 2005, where I was slipping and sliding with my older £30 boots. It was immediately to Betws y Coed to find a decent pair and after some umming and aahhing, these won out.
The first pair lasted up until I did my ML assessment in May 2008, when I had to complete a night nav exercise in soaking wet feet as they’d given up on me. A bit of TLC saw them last a little bit longer, and replaced officially in August 2008. I even started to log the kilometerage, and to date this pair has managed exactly 1360.8km. I would have considered re-soling them but it was the uppers that had terminally cracked at the fold where the tongue is attached.
They still keep my feet wonderfully dry, though the rand along the front is starting to separate from one of the boots. I reckon they’ll easily last another 300km plus with a bit of Shoo Goo to keep them together, and maybe relegated to those less intensive walks. They’re showing signs of wear at the top of the foot where the boot bends, exactly how the previous pair went.
The boots are not the lightest, but they’re a perfect fit for me and suitable if you’ve got a slightly wider foot. Italian fit boots such as Scarpas are just no good for me and I’d have to surgically remove my small toe to make them fit. The GoreTex liner may be too warm for some, but I rarely wear these in warm weather as that would be asking for trouble. They’re there for when it’s not wintery for my winter boots (I’ve used them with crampons, but they’re not sold as being suitable) and just a little too damp for my Inov8 fabric boots or trail shoes. I suppose in Snowdonia, that is unfortunately most of the time.
The only improvement to these boots would be the addition of a rand along the front of the boot that went a little bit higher to protect the boot from knocks and bumps as that seems to be where they start to lose it and start to let the water in.
Overall, boots are a personal thing and while they’re almost a 5/5 for me, for someone else they’d merit a 1/5. Get yourself to a specialist store, not a box shifter, where you can get them fitted properly. Shell out for them there too if you can, as the habit of trying on and buying on-line is ultimately self-defeating if you want to keep your specialist retailer open.If you’re going to do it to the big boys, you have my blessing! Next time you need some specialist gear, try getting advice at one of the box shifters and you’ll start to appreciate the extra value the local retailers mostly provide – though you’ll always find exceptions to this rule in both directions.
TL;DR – Excellent boots that are worth every penny.[divider /]
What the Manufacturer Says:
Oiled Nubuck leather uppers with Memory foam fit in heel area for added comfort. Waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex lining. Meindl Multigrip sole by Vibram. Digafix lacing system.
MFS® – Memory Foam System The latest AIR-ACTIVE® Technology optimises ventilation. Includes Air-Active® Technology, an improved lacing system and Air-Active® SOFT PRINT drysole footbed.