These Boots Were Made For Walking
Tagged: meindl, gore-tex, kapstadt, great gable, tanya oliver
My Meindl boots have certainly had an extensive test! From Sussex to Shropshire and from North Wales to Cumbria and in sunshine, snow, heavy rain, deep puddles and a lot of mud over mountains, through woods, across meadows, up and down rocky scrambles and (of course) to a few pubs on the way.
The verdict? They have been outstanding. I have worn a lot of walking boots over the years and been very impressed with some (less so with others) but my Meindl’s will take some beating.
I went straight in at the deep end – climbing Yewbarrow in the Lake District from the Overbeck side, which before long turns into a rocky scramble. I admit I was hesitant initially as with any new boots it takes a while to gain confidence in what they are capable of and the scrambles of Yewbarrow are not a place to take chances. I need not have worried however as they have excellent grip and didn’t falter once. Within a few days I was climbing Great Gable for Remembrance Sunday. It was a frosty day with snow on the higher fells so I packed my microspikes. I climbed up from Honister with a few friends and again, even with slippery rocks and frosty grass I stayed on my feet. The biggest test was the final scramble to the summit of Great Gable. Following in the footsteps of literally hundreds of people that morning, the snow was compacted and very slippery on the ascent. My boots just kept going though and without even a tiny slip I made it to the summit. On the descent a little while later I donned my microspikes as it was looking even more precarious. Microspikes and Meindls made good partners.
Whilst recording a “walk and talk” with BBC Radio Cumbria I ventured through puddles that were more like lagoons. It was a wet walk for around two hours but my feet stayed dry on the walk and even several hours later no water had seeped through.
I have been on Fix the Fells work days in some of the most appalling mud and torrential rain, using shovels and spades, dragging helicopter bags full of gravel but the boots took everything I threw at them in their stride.
For boots to last longer-term, you have to be diligent about after care. Taking time to clean boots is not my strong point (I am sure this applies to many people) but it has proved easy so far and they came up really well each time. They certainly don’t look pristine any longer that’s for sure but hardly surprising after nearly a year of hard graft. Their rather “lived in” look has not affected their performance though.
My Meindl’s have been comfortable from the moment I put them on. The longest I have worn them for is around 15 miles and my feet had no complaints at all. I really cannot praise them enough in terms of comfort and functionality and would recommend them to anyone. The only downside I can find is the colour. The range of colours could be more extensive as I like colourful walking boots. In the short-term I will jazz them up with some pink laces but in the long-term I have heard that there are some rather colourful boots coming along next year featuring the new Gore-tex Surround technology. I shall certainly be keeping an eye out for those!
You can keep up with Tanya and her travels on her blog here