My Meindl Women’s Toronto GTX Walking Boots came into my life after my previous boots came to a very sorry end in the Grand Canyon.
After an emergency repair on the Bright Angel trail, I spent the rest of the hike thinking about the places they had taken me.
From hiking the Inca Trail in Peru to walking the Routeburn Track in New Zealand, these boots had so many memories attached to them. Granted, a few of those memories were “Do I really have to put these boots back on again?” during long multi-day hikes. But on the whole I’d loved the adventures I’d had in them.
Having owned my old boots for ten years, I was slightly daunted by the task of finding a new pair.
I knew I was looking for something very sturdy, as I like a lot of support for my ankles. As someone who often hikes alone, the main terror I torture myself with is that I’ll trip and sprain my ankle. I also wanted something waterproof, as there is nothing as soul-destroying as knowing you’ve got to trek another 12 miles with soggy feet.
Meindl Women’s Walking Boots
As I started reading reviews, I was instantly drawn to the Meindl brand. It is a family company which has produced hand-made footwear for more than 300 years. I guess after that amount of time they know what they’re doing and other reviewers raved about the comfort of their boots, especially the wide fit. Some people said they had found their first ever well-fitting hiking boots.
As I have quite wide feet, I thought this would be a good boot to go for and decided on the Meindl Women’s Toronto GTX Walking Boot. (Sadly this exact boot is no longer available, but the Meindl Women’s Bhutan GTX Walking Boot appears to be very similar in style, price and comfort, judging by reviews.)
The main attraction of these boots is that they are made from sturdy leather and have a GORE-TEX® membrane. This means that they are both breathable and waterproof. The soles are also made of Vibram rubber, which provides good stability and grip.
At £175 they are pretty pricey, but I sincerely believe that comfort on a hike is worth paying for.
Putting the Meindl Women’s Walking Boots to the test
As soon as my boots arrived, I tried them on and spent the next half hour stomping around the house. I was instantly pleased with the comfort. The wide fit means no pinched toes and the heel of the boot, which can sometimes rub, was comfy. The leather around the top of the ankles was also super-soft, so didn’t feel like it would chafe.
But the real test came a few weeks later when we went on a hike in Wiltshire. Thanks to days of snow, followed by days of rain, the fields we were walking through had pretty much turned into a sea of mud. Thinking there was no time like the present to test out the waterproof abilities of my boots, I marched through the middle of the muddy mess as my friends attempted to scurry round the edges.
While I may have ended up with most of the field on my boots my feet stayed warm and dry. A definite big tick!
I was also really impressed with the comfort. They’re not the lightest boots in the world, but they are so comfortable. Usually on a first walk you can expect at least a little rubbing while your feet get used to the new boots, but these were perfect. It was as if I’d already had them for years.
Summing up the Meindl Women’s Walking Boots
The Meindl Women’s Toronto GTX Walking Boots definitely get a thumbs up from me.
I’ve now owned them for six years and they are still as comfortable as the day I got them. I would say I do a moderate amount of walking each year, ranging from rambles through the countryside to strenuous mountain hikes, and have had no problems with their durability so far.
As I mentioned in my review, unfortunately this exact style of boot is no longer available.
However, here are some similar options:
- Meindl Women’s Bhutan GTX Walking Boot – £175. These boots have all of the same selling points as my boots and are reviewed very highly.
- Meindl Women’s Kansas GTX Walking Boot – £187.50. These also look like a very similar style, with a leather upper and GORE-TEX® membrane.
- Meindl Womens Respond Mid GTX Boot – £163. If you find walking boots too heavy, this looks like a good option. It’s lighter and more flexible than a boot, but offers more support than a trainer.