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Monday, July 22, 2024

Reminiscence Foam Molded to Your Toes

I used to dread breaking in new mountain climbing boots every time I lastly needed to retire a pair I’d crushed to loss of life. New pairs of trainers all the time pinched, rubbed, and squeezed my toes in bizarre methods till, ultimately, they’d soften up and relent.

For no matter motive, that course of has gotten simpler over time. Possibly I simply acquired used to the discomfort after burning by way of so many pairs of hikers. However nonetheless, I’ve by no means put a model new pair of mountain climbing boots on that have been snug, not to mention pleasant, to interrupt in. It was all the time a chore, even with probably the most pliant and cozy boots.

As quickly as I laced up the Meindl USA Vakuum Hiker, I knew I used to be in for a unique expertise. I’d worn Meindl boots earlier than on a looking journey in Nebraska. However I’d by no means tried any of the model’s hikers or boots with its proprietary MFS-Vakuum tech. I used to be caught off guard after just some steps. They weren’t simply bearable; my toes felt like they have been enveloped in a reminiscence foam hug.

Meindl USA MFK-Vakuum Hiker hiking boots leather
(Photograph/Will Brendza)

Briefly: The Meindl MFS-Vakuum Hiker is an exceptionally steady and cozy full-grain leather-based mountain climbing boot. It leverages reminiscence foam linings that assist them break in rapidly and mould to the wearer’s toes. No boot is ideal — and these aren’t both — however they’ve impressed me sufficient to exchange an outdated, weather-worn pair I’ve been struggling to let go of. They’re a number of the most snug leather-based mountain climbing boots I’ve encountered.

If you happen to’re searching for mountain climbing boots and footwear, examine the MFS-Vakuums to a few of those who made it onto our Greatest Mountaineering Boots and Greatest Mountaineering Sneakers roundups.

  • Top
  • Weight
    3.65 lbs.
  • Waterproof
  • Higher materials
    Full-grain Nubuck leather-based
  • Insole
  • Midsole
    EVA polyurethane
  • Outsole
    Meindl Multigriff 2 by Vibram
  • Final
  • Resolable

  • Extraordinarily snug; very quick and painless break-in interval

  • Heel lock lacing system holds your foot very firmly in place

  • Nice grip and tread

  • Lacing is considerably time-consuming

  • Lace hooks prone to bending

Meindl MFS-Vakuum Assessment

I wore the MFS-Vakuum boots daily for about 2 months. I took them on dusty hikes round my residence in Colorado, forded overflowing creeks in Oregon, and trudged throughout summer season snowfields on Independence Move. However I additionally wore them by way of airports, round city, out to breweries and eating places, and even zig-zagging the aisles of the summer season 2024 Outside Retailer present.

I’ve a delicate spot for full-grain leather-based mid-hiking boots. I’ve worn them since I used to be a child. I attempted branching out and sporting velocity hikers, path runners, and even low-cut mountain climbing footwear, however they only aren’t my jam. Boots are heavier and drain your power quicker. However my ankles like the additional assist of a mid. And usually, I similar to the aesthetic. Name me old-fashioned.

Meindl USA MFK-Vakuum Hiker hiking boots leatherMeindl USA MFK-Vakuum Hiker hiking boots leather
(Photograph/Will Brendza)

I do know I’m within the minority lately. Gentle, low-cut hikers are all the craze, and I get why. I gained’t set any velocity information in my Meindl MFS-Vakuum boots, however I don’t intend to. For my supposed makes use of, although, they’ve confirmed to be fairly adept. They’ve acquired a couple of quirks and a minimum of one function I feel may very well be improved.

However these minor gripes pale in comparison with all that impresses me about these hikers.

Match & Really feel

My most beloved, best-fitting pair of mountain climbing boots felt like undersized kennels once I first jammed my canine into them a couple of years again. That wasn’t the method in any respect with Meindl’s MFS-Vakuum Hikers. They have been plush and hugged my toes like outdated mates from day one.

To me, that is probably the most spectacular facet of those boots. Nubuck leather-based mids are usually a bear to interrupt in. However the MFS-Vakuum tech makes use of an adaptable reminiscence foam lining that molds across the consumer’s foot that, based on the model, creates a near-custom match.

Meindl USA MFK-Vakuum Hiker hiking boots leatherMeindl USA MFK-Vakuum Hiker hiking boots leather
(Photograph/Will Brendza)

I can’t affirm these really feel really bespoke, however I can attest to the boots’ consolation on backpacking and tenting journeys, lengthy airport days, and each day hikes. If you happen to store for consolation, I’d rank these Meindl hikers fairly excessive on the record.

Be conscious of the proper match, although: Measurement a half-size down. Meindl recommends this for all its boots. I’ve been a ten.5 all of my grownup life, and a dimension 10 within the Meindl MFS-Vakuum Hikers matches me completely.


The very first thing you’ll discover once you lace up the Meindl MFS-Vakuum Hikers is how far down the lacing system begins. There are solely six eyelets and 11 hooks — one among which is located lifeless heart of the tongue to forestall it from shifting round.

It’s a rock-solid assist system, and the variety of hooks actually means that you can management how tight the cinch is round your foot.

Meindl USA MFK-Vakuum Hiker hiking boots leatherMeindl USA MFK-Vakuum Hiker hiking boots leather
(Photograph/Will Brendza)

A kind of lace hooks attaches to a flap of nubuck leather-based that connects to the boot about 1.5 inches again towards the heel, relative to the others. That’s Meindl’s heel lock lacing system, which the model claims helps safe your heel in place. In comparison with a few of my different mountain climbing boots, my heels really feel notably safer after a couple of miles of mountain climbing in these Meindls.

Not like quite a lot of mountain climbing boots, the tongue on these isn’t simply hooked up to the shoe at its backside however alongside most of its size. That capabilities nearly like a tiny inside gaiter, protecting dust and small rocks out of the shoe.

Meindl USA MFK-Vakuum Hiker hiking boots leatherMeindl USA MFK-Vakuum Hiker hiking boots leather
(Photograph/Will Brendza)

The Vibram sole and tread are fairly commonplace. They grip effectively on rocks and free dust. And the GORE-TEX waterproofing is spectacular thus far. Water appears to bounce off of them as in the event that they’re hydrophobic. We’ll see how effectively that holds up over time, however a minimum of thus far, they’ve saved my toes constantly dry.

Room for Enchancment

The lacing system on these boots is exclusive, and I prefer it. But it surely falls quick in a few areas for me. First, lacing these boots is extra time-consuming than another mountain climbing boot I personal as a result of there are such a lot of hooks on either side. I’m speaking a couple of matter of possibly 10 or 15 seconds additional per shoe — so it isn’t an enormous distinction. However over time, that provides up.

Meindl USA MFK-Vakuum Hiker hiking boots leatherMeindl USA MFK-Vakuum Hiker hiking boots leather
(Photograph/Will Brendza)

I additionally suppose the lace hooks themselves may gain advantage from some enchancment. I’ve seen hooks like these earlier than, and they tend to get bent off form.

I’ve already seen one among mine has bent barely outward, and one other has been bent in. When sufficient hooks get bent, it drives me nuts. You possibly can rebend them into form — however solely so many instances earlier than they break.

My remaining quibble with the Meindl MFS-Vakuum Hikers is the breathability. These boots cook dinner my toes. This summer season, I’ve had to decide on the thinnest and most moisture-wicking socks in order that I don’t soak the boots with foot sweat. This may very well be a deal-breaker for individuals who extremely worth breathability of their mountain climbing footwear.

Meindl MFS-Vakuum Hikers: Who Are They For?

Meindl USA MFK-Vakuum Hiker hiking boots leatherMeindl USA MFK-Vakuum Hiker hiking boots leather
(Photograph/Will Brendza)

If you happen to’re like me and you favor a mid-height leather-based mountain climbing boot over a low-cut mountain climbing shoe, I’d advocate that you just a minimum of think about the Meindl MFS-Vakuum Hikers. It’s powerful to strive them on as a result of the model at the moment solely sells its footwear within the U.S. direct to customers. So, you gained’t discover them at any retailers.

If you happen to hate sizzling toes and prize breathable footwear above all else, cease right here and look elsewhere. Nonetheless, you may love these boots for those who’re a hiker with two key ache factors (actually). When you have a bent to roll an ankle on path, these are price a glance. The Meindl lacing system on these boots held and braced my ankles higher than simply about another boot I’ve examined.

However the greatest promoting level for the MFS-Vakuum Hikers is for individuals who hate spending weeks breaking in a pair of trainers. For that motive alone, these are price rolling the cube on an web buy. You possibly can all the time change them for those who get it flawed. However the reminiscence foam linings make a world of distinction relating to out-of-the-box consolation and match.

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