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Meindl Island Pro

rated 5.0 of 5 stars

The Island Pro has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best backpacking boots for 2024.

photo: Meindl Island Pro backpacking boot

Meindl quality through and through. Most comfortable boot I have ever worn.

Pros

  • Smooth, tight grain leather takes an excellent shine
  • MFS guarantees a comfortable, secure fit
  • Build quality second to no one

Cons

  • No speed hooks, all are metal loops.

The version of the Meindl Island Professional boot that arrived yesterday from Germany is the Military/Police version of the Island series. 

The smooth, tight grain leather seems heavier than my other three pair of the Island series and I suppose it is because it is a military oriented boot.

These are very comfortable using the MFS in the boot cuff and the shape of the footbed secures your heel in the boot without movement. No break-in required for these or any other Island boots in this series.

Support is excellent through the ankle and no movement was experienced once laced properly. The Gortex lining and the gusset sewn all the way up the tongue will keep your feet dry in water right up to the top of the boot. 

I wore these in 90°F heat with a medium weight sock and temp control was excellent. At the end of the day after removing the boot my socks and feet were both dry if not a little warm.

The stitching and overall construction of this boot is first rate Meindl quality with no flaws. Be confident in your purchase that you are getting one of the finest German made boots in Europe. 

One drawback I found due to the nature of this particular model is the use of metal loops for the laces all the way up the shaft. This means you will have to un-lace at least the top two loops to loosen the laces enough to remove the boot. No speed laces on this model. I was informed that this is a military feature of this boot that prevents snagging on brush, rappelling lines, and parachute cord that could be caused by using hooks for the laces.

I don't have much more to add other than these are of the same great quality as my other three models of this boot and all three of those are still holding up well; the oldest now eight years old and I'm still wearing those too.

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Background

In addition to this model, I also have a pair in brown, anthracite, and the Alpin model, which is a C rated mountaineering boot in grey, red, and black.

I also have a pair of the double stitched, welted Ortler model. All excellent boots.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: €280

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 website 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 indispensable 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.

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

Had mine nine years, re-soled once, uppers still in excellent condition. Never given me blisters, never leaked, always comfortable.

Pros

  • Durability
  • Comfort
  • Tech spec
  • Support

Can't recommend these boots highly enough—no breaking-in period for my pair, always comfortable, never chaffed, rubbed or leaked, offer excellent ankle supper without being inflexible.

The uppers have taken nearly 10 years of abuse and are still in superb condition (which warrants the re-soling cost) so including re-soling they've cost me around £30/year and I basically live in them November-February.

My only actual complaint is aimed at the local dealer who took three months to complete the "three weeks" re-soling process. Can't put that on Meindl

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £200

A great boot. Extemely comfortable and durable. The only boot I would want to wear. When these wear out I will buy another pair.

They are great looking, too, and take a good shine. Excellent water resistance with the Gore Tex lining.

Materials: Leather
Use: rough trail
Break-in Period: One or two short hikes
Price Paid: Swiss Fr. 330

Best shoe I've ever seen. Bought it in 1998—still going strong. I've walked several trails with it.

Materials: gore tex
Use: trail weight nr. 2\3 Austria 40 liter pack
Break-in Period: 2 weeks trekking/ 2 weeks hiking
Price Paid: 450 hfl /

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