User Review: Meindl Island Pro
Materials: Gore-tex lined full nubuck leather construction
Use: multi-day back packing - rough trail
Break-in Period: 60 km
Weight: 3.5 lbs
Price Paid: $349 Can
Recently purchased these boots from AdventureGear.biz in Vancouver. They were mail ordered. I spoke with the boot fitter at the shop and he was very helpful. Meindl makes a full line of various boots which can be seen at their web site however the boot fitter was pretty keen on selling me a pair of these Island Pro's so I took his word for it. I wasn't disappointed.
They took some time to break in and they probably weren't completely so when I took them over the Earl Grey Pass trail in the Purcell Wilderness area in B.C. this past August. There's no doubt they were broken in afterwards though! These boots performed almost flawlessly while hiking this 61 km trail which has numerous creek crossings, bogs, log bridges and a total elevation gain of 5000 feet. The Gore-tex liners were indispensible in this wet environment and the Vibram soles were awesome. The boots have a special lace hook which snugs your heel back against the heel counter and prevent slippage on the down-hills and the stiff shanks provided excellent support with just enough flex in the toe to make trekking comfortable on the up-hills.
This really is an excellent boot all-around. I had some minor ankle bruising after the first day but found I had laced the uppers to tight and this put pressure on a bone deformity I have on one ankle due to previous injury. Once I adjusted the laces there were no more problems. The only hot spots I developped were the ones I always under both big toes. These I get the first day of every trip until the skin hardens up.
I've only had one minor problem with workmanship. One of the rivets holding a lace hook wasn't properly put on and the sharp edge has been digging into the leather underneath. I have yet to contact the dealer to see what should be done to repair this before it cuts too deeply into the leather.
As far as fit goes, the dealer had me trace an outline of my feet with my usual sock combination and I then faxed these to them. He was able to determine my proper size right off the bat.
These boots come highly recommended. They are heavy duty for all out rough trail and off trail scrambling.