Nice Boots, Poorly Executed.
Footwear. One of, if not the, most important piece of equipment/clothing any self respecting hiker can own. There are so many forms available on the market now, with a massive range of price points. From sleek and lighweight trail runners, all the way up to fully fledged mountaineering boots with built-in snow gaitors, it can all get a little overwhelming when considering what to buy.
Having spent alot of my teenage years in the cadets, the thought of wearing anything less than high/mid ankle boots with a hug amount of ‘spit shining’ was solitary. This attitude has seen me through to now; luckily, boot technology has moved on massively in recent years regarding weight and waterproofing.
So here are the Meindl Litepeak Pro GTX. This boot is a nice balance of good looking suede leather (The yellow bits) and synthetic materials (The black bits), rounded off with a gore-tex lining and a relatively lightweight package (650g).
I went for these boots for the ‘jack of all trades’ approach they took; they seemed lightweight and breathable enough for mild spring & summer hikes, but insulated and rigid enough to use above the snow line with crampons and ice tools. The sole is aggresive enough to find enough traction in mud, but ‘flat’ enough to feel comfortable on the most mettled of paths.
The most substantial feature in these boots were the excellent amount of ankle support and protection they offered. Along with the ‘Vario-Fix’ heel locking cables, I never suffered the typical rolled or bruised ankle from being a little over-confident on the descents.
The first 5 months worth of use went dreamy. Short of replacing the insoles for something a little more substantial (Meindl insoles are just a little on the thin side), the boots wore well. They were cleaned and maintained within Meindl recommendations and were brilliantly waterproof and breathable.
But then came the issues; During a cleaning & maintainance of them (I can’t stress how important servicing your equipment is, especially when you rely on it in all conditions!), I noticed that one of the lace ‘loops’ had started to disintergate and some of the stitching on the synthetic upper has started to part (See Images Above). After a quick look online, I found atleast 2 other people that had suffered the very same issues with their pair. Not good.
This pair of boots was my first ever pair of Meindl’s, having only ever heard good things about them as a manufacturer, but this experience was disapointing.
In defence of Go-Outdoors (Where I purchased them from), they immediately refunded the full value of the boots in store credit, so I bought a different pair from Mammut (More to come on those!).
Could this be a case of bad luck? A one off? A speedbump in an otherwise good reputation of Meindl? I’m sure I’ll find out should I ever purchase another pair, but for now, these boots were a no-go for me.
Upper: Suede, Mesh
Footbed: AIR-ACTIVE® SOFT PRINT drysole
Sole: Vibram® Alpin Rigid rubber grip sole with PU wedge and integrated spoiler
Compatibility Rating: B/C
Reccomendation Rating: 30%
Meindl Litepeak Pro GTX (Size 9) – £234 – Available at Go Outdoors