Review: Meindl MFS-Vakuum Hiker

Trustworthy boots are an essential possession for anyone who lives in Bozeman and likes to mix it up in the mountains, and for my first few months here, my old medium-cut, medium-quality hiking shoes weren’t cutting it. Then I picked up a pair of Meindl MFS-Vakuum Hiker boots, and they made a world of difference. Instead of skirting puddles and tiptoeing through mud, I was clomping confidently—and comfortably—through them on my outdoor excursions, and I felt prepared to handle any terrain I might find underfoot.

Of the many options Meindl offers, I chose the MFS-Vakuum Hikers for their claim to “shape to your feet for a specialized, customized fit,” and Meindl made good on that promise. As soon as my feet slid into their plush, soft interior, they felt at home there, and after a couple brief outings, the boots felt perfectly broken in—a refreshing change from the days of pain and big, blooming blisters I expect with new hiking shoes. I’ll chalk it up to MFS-Vakuum panels, Air-Active insoles, and Meindl’s DiGAfix lacing system, but all I really care about is prolonged foot comfort on the trail while the rest of my body is sweating its way uphill. Just be sure to order half a size down—I’m typically a size 12, and Meindl’s 11.5 is a snug, secure fit.

Thanks to Meindl, I finally have boots I can trust. I used to go over and around on the trails, but now with the MFS-Vakuum Hikers, I go clomping merrily through. $310;