Meindl Vakuum Men GTX
Category B trekking boots, great for hiking and trekking both on rocky terrains and in the forest.
- Gore-tex foil on the inside keeps the feet dry
- Carefully crafted, they are long-lasting
- Very comfortable
- Feet entirely protected
- Very little adherence on slippery surfaces
- 0.8 kg per boot
Greetings hiker! This is a review about the hiking boots Vakuum Men GTX produced by Meindl.
Few words about myself first to give an idea about what do I usually use hiking and trekking boots for. I enjoy hiking and trekking on the mountains in all seasons and with all types of weather. I mostly enjoy mountains that are covered by forest, but these boots I also used them on more naked rocky mountains. I enjoy also backpack traveling and hitchhiking.
I bought these boots in 2015 and by now, the moment when I am writing this review, I have been using these boots for 5 years. I bought them new, from an outdoor shop in Chemnitz/Germany paying for them 225 EUR. I live in another country and I went to Germany specifically to buy a pair of hiking boots made by Meindl. After seeing various models I opted for this model.
When I bought them one of the things that I liked is that Meindl offered me a two-year warranty included in the price. For other hiking boots produced by other companies that I had before these ones I did not receive any warranty included in the price, so it was really nice for me to see that Meindl offers this. It really made me feel that Meindl is a serious company and they know what they are doing.
When I bought them I was already at the beginning of a trekking trip through France. These are CATEGORY B type of boots; in these five years I have been using them mostly on CATEGORY A type of hikes and treks; these boots are great for both rocky terrains and in the forest. From Chemnitz to the beginning of the trek in France I hitchhiked for two days and then I finally started hiking in the nature.
My trekking in France was mostly through countryside, on common countryside paths and roads that is possible to find pretty much in any other country in Europe. As soon as I put them in my feet in Chemnitz I was really surprised by the fact that they are very comfortable, making hiking a true pleasure.
The boots have a Gore-tex foil on the inside, a Vibram sole and they are made in real leather. It is possible to see that they were crafted with great care, they are very comfortable and long-lasting. When wearing them it feels like having the feet truly protected and safe, it feels like no terrain can stop you from getting where you want, they make you feel unstoppable. Which is truly a nice feeling. However, on slippery surfaces they proved to have very little adherence.
In cold weather, like during winter day hikes in snow, the feet still feel warm; in the summer however, I noticed that after wearing them for the entire day since morning, in the evenings I couldn't wait the moment when I would finally remove them from my feet.
For the first week of my trekking through the countryside of France everything went fine. It was more or less at the end of the second week I was wearing them every day that I noticed they started to break, after more or less 14 days I bought them new. In the photo below is possible to see where they broke:
They both broke in the same spot. At the beginning the hole was about half the size as seen in these photos. These photos were made now, after five years I have been using them. What is nice to see is that for all these five years the hole did not extend much, but only a little. Originally after 14 days I bought them the hole was of about 1 cm; now after five years the hole is of about 2,5 cm.
After about one and half years I bought them, I noticed that also the Gore-tex foil on one of the two boots broke on the inside of the boot in the position where the big toe is. In spite of this, on rainy days when I hiked for 2-3 hours in continuous rain I noticed that my feet were only little wet, so they continued to keep my feet pretty dry.
While the warranty was still valid, I tried to send them from the country where I live to Germany so that Meindl can fix them; I went to different Meindl dealers and all of them told me that Meindl would repair them for free just as stated in the warranty, but to deliver them to Germany and then have them back I should pay 50 EUR.
Above I described these boots as durable, long-lasting, while from the review it seems that the point is they broke easily, which may be contradictory. Yes, the boots broke short after I bought them in the spots I described, but the rest of both boots was completely fine so the boots remained usable and did their job quite well for all these five years I have used them.
I would not buy again this model from Meindl because for 225 EUR that I paid for them I was expecting them to last at least few months before starting to break; just about a month ago I bought a new pair of hiking boots from another manufacturer, but maybe in the future I will give Meindl another try and buy from them other shoes.
Author: Adrian ~ HitchhikingTips.com
I have used the Meindl Vakuum GTX for 5 years before writing this review, in all seasons in all types of weather conditions, during the day and also at night. I enjoy hiking and trekking on the mountains in all seasons and with all types of weather. I mostly enjoy mountains that are covered by forest, but these boots I also used them on more naked rocky mountains. I enjoy also backpack traveling and hitchhiking. Hiking boots are always an essential part of my equipment.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 225 EUR
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