SELECTING THE RIGHT BOOT

Choosing the right boot for the task is critical to success and safety

Not all boots are made equal. True technical boots are designed and made with a certain range of tasks in mind. This does mean that a particular boot will not be suitable for some tasks and no boot is ideal for all tasks. If you are serious about your sport or profession, I want you to start thinking of your boots as injury prevention devices first and foremost. There are two classes of injury we are trying to reduce with our boot designs:

Acute injuries such as sprains, rolls, hyper-extensions, ligament tears, trips, falls, blisters and impact injuries. These are pretty obvious and painful at the time. Our boots have support and isolation built into them to minimise these injuries.
Insidious injuries such as overuse related problems, recurring acute injuries, poor posture and chronic pain. These buggars are harder to pick and build up over time. A common factor in these is using incorrect footwear. Don't be that person; choose proper Meindl technical footwear now and give yourself a break later.

Follow our simple process to determine what kind of boot you need to select for your activity.
We'll do this by defining your needs, then choose a boot category and then look at detailed design points to select an exact model.

first up we need to have some things clear in our mind

Define the Factors

Read each factor and ask yourself where you and your activity fit in:

What kind of terrain will i traverse in the boots?
Terrain

In easy country, on trails and in forests you can normally get away with less support. There is usually less risk and consequence of injuries there, touch wood.

Off trail, steep country and amongst trip and fall hazards you will need increased support and injury prevention from your boots.

What load will I carry? How heavy and awkward will it be?
Load

Risk of lower limb injury rates increase exponentially with increase in load. The greater mass of load carried, the more support and injury prevention your boots must provide. The more awkward the load is to carry, the more likely an injury becomes (esp hunters). Heavy and awkard loads have multiplying effects on fatigue and quickly erode proprioception.

How fit am I truly? How is my efficiency on the hill?
Fitness

Proprioception is the awareness of your body position and movement. Coordination is about using your body smoothly and efficiently without error. These traits are learnt and must be regularly exercised. The better your proprioception and coordination, the less likely you are to suffer related injuries. Conversely, the less fit and coordinated you are, the more support you need.

Do I injure myself easily? Am I managing injuries?
Injury Propensity

You'll probably know if you are prone to ankle rolls or trips and falls. If so, you need to look for greater support and injury shielding in your boots. The key factor for all of us though is how we function under fatigue. Fatigue quickly erodes proprioception and coordination and leaves you open to injury. Are you managing injuries? Do you have a constant lower limb weakness which you must shield. Injuries need support and augmentation, look for more supportive options.

What is the chance of incurring an immobilising injury? What will happen to me if I am immobilised?
Risk and Consequence

This is related to your intended activity in your boots and is the most important question. An immobilising injury is something like a severe sprain, break or dislocation which immediately results in not being able to move far or fast.

The Risk of this occurring is determined by the previous factors of terrain, load, fitness and injury propensity.

Consequence is foreseeing what will come of you after being immobilised and depends on the nature of your chosen activity.

It's about identifying realistic worse case scenarios that you might get into during your activity.

For example; the consequence of an immobilising injury on a very popular walking path might just be to sit and wait for the next person to come along and help you. Conversely, an immobilising injury incurred while hunting, far from support and gear, may result in hypothermia and death.

Very simply, the greater the chance of, and the worse the consequence of being immobilised; the more injury preventative your footwear must be.

We separate our boot designs into different categories to make selection simpler and clearer.

Choose a Meindl Boot Category

With your factors and intended purpose in mind, you can now select the right boot category for you.

A CATEGORY

A Category footwear are shoes which are light and flexible. With excellent support qualities for a shoe but very limited utility during hard outdoors technical use. Typical uses include, wellness walking, leisure, travel, tactical shoes and approach shoes.

Suitable for:
- Flatter terrain and formed paths.
- Light or no loads for most people.
- All fitness levels in easy terrain. Good fitness levels in tougher terrain.
- Minimal acute injury prevention properties; however excellent long term support of feet.

1- A Category upper materials totally prioritise lightness and breathability.
2- The shoes have a shank which provides good arch support and load bearing under the heel and is very flexible through the toes.
3- Features such as protective rands are used to improve durability for more technical use.
4- Various width/volume options are offered depending on the use case of the shoe.
5- Soft outsole materials are used with relatively aggressive tread patterns for a shoe to provide grip on paths and formed surfaces.

AB CATEGORY

AB footwear are typically low cut boots which are light and flexible. Typical uses include bushwalking formed trails, day hikes and urban tactical footwear.

Suitable for:
- Formed paths on rolling terrain.
- Light loads for most people.
- All fitness levels in easy terrain. Good fitness levels in tougher terrain.
- Some acute injury prevention properties for light load carriage.
- Not suitable where risk of immobilisation exists.

1- More ankle support than a shoe but still very flexible.
2- Good shank support under the heel and arch with feel under foot akin to a sports shoe.
3- Leather and synthetic upper materials which prioritise lightness and breathability.
4- Very flexible shank in the toe area for high speed movement on flat, formed surfaces.
5- Generous width and forefoot volume.
6- Shallow tread patterns and soft outsole materials which favour adhesion to hard surfaces.

B CATEGORY

B Category footwear are boots with good levels of support whist remaining lightweight. Typical uses include bushwalking and tramping on formed trails with up to medium loads. Some utility off trail with light or no loads and rural tactical use.

Suitable for:
- Mediocre paths on rolling and steep terrain.
- Up to medium loads on trail for most people.
- All fitness levels on trail. 
- Good acute injury prevention properties for medium load carriage on trail.
- Suitable to mitigate risk of immobilisation for load carriage on trail.

1- Good ankle support and roll control with excellent flexibility for walking on trail.
2- Features such as locking eyelets and DiGAfix introduced.
3- Quality leather and synthetic uppers which balance light weight and breathability against durability.
4- Small rands or rubber toe caps employed.
5- Medium wide fit trekking last to allow natural toe splay for trekking. More aggressive tread patterns are employed for harsher trails.
6- Shank rear is stiff and isolates torsion around the heel but is nicely flexible under the toes to allow natural gait on trail.
7- B category boots are typically more durable than AB category boots. 

BC CATEGORY

BC Category footwear are boots with excellent levels of support and injury prevention. Typical uses include tramping on and off trail with heavy loads, hunting and rural tactical use with heavy loads.

BC Category boots are the best "all-rounders" and cover the broadest range of scenarios possible. If there is one category of boots that comes closest to "going anywhere and doing anything" then it's these; especially the Meindl Island model.

Flexible crampon fitment possible.

Suitable for:
- On and off trail traverse of steep terrain and broken ground.
- Heavy load carriage on and off trail.
- All fitness levels on and off-trail with light/medium loads. 
- Excellent acute injury prevention properties for heavy load carriage off-trail.
- Suitable to mitigate risk of immobilisation during heavy load carriage off-trail.

1- Strong lateral ankle support stiffening whilst being flexible in the fore-aft axis which allows totally natural heel-toe walking.
2- Lace locking eyelets to allow lace zoning.
3- Strong leather uppers.
4- Medium height protective rand.
5- Medium wide fit trekking last to allow natural toe splay for trekking.
6- Shank rear is stiff and isolates torsion around the heel and metatarsals whilst allowing natural toe flex.
7- BC boots are typically more durable than AB or B category boots.

C CATEGORY

C Category footwear are boots with excellent levels of support and injury prevention.

Typical uses include alpine trekking, high country farming and alpine hunting with heavy loads.

C Category boots are dedicated to alpine country or very steep terrain use scenarios. Standard crampon compatible.

Suitable for:
- Off-trail traverse of very steep terrain and alpine environments.
- Heavy load carriage off-trail on very steep country.
- All fitness levels off-trail. 
- Excellent acute injury prevention properties for heavy load carriage on very steep country.
- Suitable to mitigate risk of immobilisation during heavy load carriage on very steep country.

1- Very strong lateral ankle support stiffening with only residual fore-aft flex. Natural heel-toe walking aided through use of tapered sole units.
2- Lace locking eyelets to allow lace zoning.
3- Strong leather uppers.
4- High protective rand.
5- Narrow alpine fit last to firmly hold metatarsals and toes to prevent torsion during a sidling traverse.
6- Shank rear is rigid and isolates torsion around the heel and metatarsals with only minimal toe flex.
7- Narrow outsole width and hard material to provide control and edging when sidling steep gradients.

D CATEGORY

D Category footwear are boots with excellent levels of support and injury prevention and suitable for use in critical alpine scenarios.

Typical uses include alpine climbing, high country farming, alpine hunting with heavy loads and alpine tactical use with heavy payload.

D Category boots are dedicated to alpine country and very steep to vertical terrain. Standard crampon compatible.

Suitable for:
- Climbing very steep to vertical terrain in alpine environments.
- Heavy load carriage in the alpine environment.
- Suitable for alpine fit people. 
- Excellent acute injury prevention properties for climbing in alpine country.
- Suitable to mitigate risk of immobilisation during alpine climbing.

1- Virtually rigid lateral ankle support with only minimal fore-aft flex. Natural heel-toe walking is restricted.
2- Lace locking eyelets to allow lace zoning.
3- Strong leather uppers.
4- High protective rand.
5- Narrow alpine fit last to firmly hold metatarsals and toes to prevent torsion during sidling traverses.
6- Rigid shank with no torsion and no toe flex.
7- Narrow outsole width and hard material to provide control and edging when sidling steep gradients.

Once you are looking in the right category or typical use, you can use the description and tech info tabs on each model to compare. 

compare and select the right model

We have arranged the boots into collections by Category and also by typical uses. These are all accessed from the homepage

The most desirable shoe attributes are shown on this diagram. Many of them are actually in opposition when designing the shoe. Competing design requirements mean that different models will have different strengths that affect it's suitability to your intended activity.
Design Trade-Offs

 Support and durability are usually the opposite of light weight, instant comfort and flexibility. This is because more durable and supportive materials are heavier, less flexible and mould less readily. Meindl mitigate this through excellence in design and use of support materials in only the right places.

Waterproofing is usually opposite to breathability as the unit must be sealed to repel water and be watertight. Meindl mitigate this through use of the most breathable membranes and clever construction that creates airflow through and around the boot during walking.

We inform your selection by providing a clear method of comparing boot models. Check out our handy "infographics" for comparing boots
Design Attributes Infographic

This can be used to compare boots across two different categories.

How it works:
- The further out from the centre the green area is; better the boot is at that attribute.
- This shows the trade-offs in design between different boots.

We have included very detailed product info for every one of our products
Product Page

You will find no-nonsense info on every models' product page.

Be sure to read the "Advice from Meindl" section as it contains advice on care and suitability.

Also read the tech info tab.

Use the design attributes info-graphic to compare similar models.

NOW WE'RE READY TO SIZE UP

Check out our options for measuring your key foot data so we can assess your size. Select "getting the size right" on the homepage.