Once there were proper boot manufacturers in Germany – hundreds of boot factories. Today, Meindl is one of the few boot factories with proper production located in Germany. Here, in our factory in Kirchanschöring in Bavaria, over 200 colleagues are employed in making boots – good boots! We are continuing a centuries-old tradition, because Meindl has made boots in Kirchanschöring for over 300 years. Even if our hand craft production is today supported by modern equipment, each machine is operated by a person, carrying out one of over 200 work steps that are required in manufacturing a high-quality walking boot. Our master shoe-makers have the sensitivity, the experience and the commitment that a natural product such as leather, our principal material, needs, and they implement our own quality-assurance systems. We have not renounced hand-crafted quality in favour of breaking into the mass market. With ingenuity, flexibility and market focus, we make boots of hand-made quality, which is what the market expects from us.
We produce over one million pairs of boots and shoes annually and supply them for the most important outdoor markets of the world. Up mountains, when Nordic walking, in the city, out hiking – no matter where you are walking in the world, Meindl boots are reliable companions for your feet.
Our high-quality products need specialist retailers as partners. For this reason, we have further extended our sales-support team for retail sales and our subsequent-delivery service by building a new logistical centre here in Kirchanschöring. Numerous national and international prizes and awards confirm our striving for quality and innovation.
Choosing hiking boots
Already in 1976, Alfons Meindl developed boot terain categories. These categories give you a clear image of which kind of boot you need for different use and terrain. Boots are categorised based on their stiffness and weight, shaft length, leather thickness, and the pattern of the sole.
When choosing hiking boots, think about where you are going to wear them and how they fit your feet. Are you going to do a week-long hike with a heavy backpack, or little walks with your dog in nearby forests? Do you need to be able to attach crampons to the boots? As a guideline, you can use the boot classification from A to D. The A refers to the less stiff shoes, meant for roads and easy terrain, while the D represents ice climbing boots. The more there is weight on the shoe, the stiffer the base should be. In more difficult terrain, it is important that the shoe supports your ankle well, and that is also why a stiffer shoe is better choice than a soft one.
Hiking boots are made of textile or leather, often nubuck leather. Leather boots need a little bit of maintenance, but leather that has been well cared of adopts to your feet and is durable. Take also into consideration whether you want a membrane or not: the Gore-Tex membrane is waterproof but requires more careful maintenance in order to keep all its good qualities.
Choosing the right size is essential for a good fit. There should be space for one thicker sock, or for a liner sock and a normal sock. Leather boots stretch a little bit in use, but make sure that there is enough space for toes not to touch the front end of the boot in downhill.
- Try on allways both shoes. There are normally differences between right and left feet.
- Try on shoes in the morning and in the evening. The foot size changes during the day.
- Walk in the boots for a moment to give your feet and boots some time to settle.
Men's and women's lasts differ from each other. The greatest difference is the size: Small sizes come with women's lasts, and big sizes come with men's lasts. Children's boots aren't normally suitable for adults because the structure of the base is lighter, not meant to carry the weight of the adults.
Before leaving for long hikes, it's recommended to walk several shorter distances to give the boots some time to shape and fit well on your feet.
Taking care of hiking boots
Need for maintenance depends on the use. In case of hard and frequent use, you need to care for them more often, but with more moderate use, once in a month or two is enough. If the leather absorbs water, it requires waterproofing. When the surface looks dry, it's time for waxing.
Even good boots need good care. Proper care increases functionality and lengthens boot's age.
This is how it goes:
- Remove shoe laces and insoles.
- Rinse off most of the dirt and then do the actual wash with a brush and boot soap.
- For hygienic reasons, wash also the interiors of the boots. The interiors of Gore-Tex boots can be washed with warm water and mild liquid soap. Rinse generously.
- Let the boots dry slowly - never in the sun or on a radiator since the wet leather "burns" very easily, and after drying it would get hard and crack.
- You can fill the boots with paper or wooden last.
- When the boot is dry, spray Meindl Wet Proof on it. The proofer helps the leather to repell water without dicreasing breathability.
- Wax with Meindl SportWax. To stay soft and water repellant, the leather needs nutrients. Mild waxes are the best conditioners. Don't use heavy greases etc.
N.B. To keep the surface of the nubuck leather better, you can use Meindl Nubuck Conditioner spray that includes both proofer and wax. However, it doesn't give the shoe the protection it needs in a long-term or hard use and in varying weather conditions.
All the Meindl boots are delivered with complete care instructions. Read and follow them, since a boot that has been well cared for is long-lasting and functional.
Meindl boots have a one-year guarantee from the day of purchase. It covers manufacturing defects and materials, with a condition of proper use and care.
Neglected care and clear errors in use can lead to a cancellation of guarantee. If you notice defects in your boots, contact us. Clean and dry the boots before sending or bringing them to us. Tell us about the defect in detail. Remember the guarantee certificate, the purchase receipt or another document of purchase.