Back in the day there used to be a lot of manufacturing towns in Germany which helped support hundreds of factories. In recent years, due to costs, many brands have moved to China, Romania, Thailand and other Far East countries. But not Meindl, their factory is still in Germany and still located in Kirchanschoring, Bavaria, where they have been for over 300 years.
Meindl definitely have a great amount of heritage, and over the years they have developed an identity as a brand that focuses on great craftmanship. One of the great things about the production process at Meindl is that each boot has over 200 checks before it gets ship to the stores. How crazy is that! They really do take every care and consideration to ensure they produce the best quality boots possible. Also they have kept things traditional as each boot is hand made by a shoemaker, the only machinery that is used is a leather cutter, sewing machine and the Gore-Tex assurance testing equipment. Other than that all the boots and shoes are hand crafted, which is pretty rare in the world we live in now.
It’s because of the 200 checks per walking boot and shoe and the high standards they set themselves at the Meindl warehouse in Germany that they are such a key player in the walking boot and shoe world.
Here are some of Meindl’s key dates:
1683 - Petrus Meindl started to work in Kirchanschoring as a shoe maker
1928 - Lukas Meindl started up the Meindl Shoemaking company
1934 - Meindl branched out and started making clothing
1975 – Meindl started working with neighbouring countries as there was not enough qualified people in Kirchanschoring. This year was also the first time that the Meindl Outdoor Booklet was published.
1978 - Meindl sponsored the Everest-Lhotse-Expedition, Hubert Hillmayer conquered Mt. Everest using Meindl boots.
1993 - Construction of a recycling system for old boots.
1997 – Shoe and boot production reaches 750,000 which has grown each year
2000 – The first trekking boot with Gore skin technology
2001 – The Air Revolution is born
2006 – The MFS system is introduced
2013 – Did you know that Felix Baumgarner who jumped from space (39045 meters) worn Meindl Boots. So Meindl are the first boot company who have had boots travel faster than the speed of sound!
2015 – Meindl are the first to introduce Gore-Tex Surround to their shoes
So now we have spoken briefly about Meindl’s history and why they are such a key player in the hiking world we would like to share with you our favourite Meindl products.
Meindl: Womens X-SO 30 Trail Shoe
The X-SO 30 is the first of many Meindl walking shoes using Gore-Tex surround. What is Gore-Tex surround? I hear you all shout. Well we do have a blog about it (Gore-Tex Surround) but in a nut shell Gore-Tex Surround offers 360 degree protection from the wind and rain but has increased breathability due to the foot bed.
The X-SO 30 is a perfect trail shoe for day hikes on hot days, it features a toe cup to protect your toes, cupped heel stabiliser for extra stability and of course comes with the Meindl quality so you know you are getting a great pair of shoes.
Meindl: Air Revolution Hiking Boot
The Air Revolution from Meindl is a brilliant hiking boot designed for one thing… to keep air free flowing around your feet. The tongue has removable padding which helps increase the breathability of the boot.
This Meindl boot of course uses Gore-Tex waterproofing so you can rest assured that your feet won’t get wet! And with the Vibram sole you will get all the grip you need on any surface. This boot really does have the light hikers and trekkers in mind.
The Toe and Heel box offers you great protection from rocks and any uneven surfaces making this an ideal boot for level one scrambling! And a final touch that Meindl have added are bright colours which from a safety aspect is a nice touch!
Meindl: Womens Softline Hiking Boot
One of Meindl’s most popular suede leather boots is the Softline hiking boot! Because of the high ankle it offers great support, but if you don’t like high ankle support don’t let this put you off the boot because it’s so light and comfortable you won’t even realise that you have a high ankle boot until you need it!
The boot is covered in Gore-Tex making it 100% waterproof and breathable, and the Vibram sole is a really great touch. This Meindl boot uses Air-Active technology which helps increase the air flow around your feet keeping you nice and cool.
This boot is perfect for all hiking activities from level one scrambling, coastal walking, hill walking and even to walking the dog, it’s got you covered!
Meindl: Bhutan Hiking Boot
The Bhutan boot from Meindl is the reincarnation of the Burma pro. The Bhutan keeps a lot of the Burma’s features like the rand, full grain leather, memory foam lining and most importantly the classic look.
The Bhutan is Gore-Tex lined keeping the boot 100% waterproof and breathable. The Vibram sole offers amazing grip to this traditional boot. The ankle support of this Meindl boot has been softened to give it a comfort-straight-out-of-the-box feel and the weight has also been reduced!
The memory foam lining gives you a comfortable fit which works really well with the new softer ankle cuff and full grain leather. This boot is perfect for hikers carrying heavy packs and who plan to walk long distances.
So there we have it, our favourite Meindl products! We stock lots of Meindl gear so go take a look at our Meindl page on our site.
Which is your favourite Meindl product? And most importantly how long have you owned it? We would love to hear your stories so just comment below!