Gear check: boots (II)

When I recounted my experiences with the first pair of boots I wore on this trip, I promised to also review the second pair after I’d used them for long enough. So here, as promised, is a second (and less negative) review. When the boots I had bought originally for the trek fell apart after just four weeks, I bought this new pair in a sports shop in Tyrol. I rediscovered my old loyalty to the  Bavarian brand Meindl, and this time, as before, I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve practically had to live in my hiking boots for the past 10 weeks, and these ones have been perfectly livable.


Meindl Air Revolution 2.3 after 39 days of trekking

The boots (Meindl Air Revolution 2.3) have performed very well in almost every way; they’re sturdy, breathable, and warm enough. No blisters ever. Unlike the first boots, their sole has not used itself up, but rather there’s still enough left for another few weeks of trekking; and these boots have walked almost twice as far as the others. And unlike the other boots, these turned out to be genuinely impermeable to water; while with the others I had wet feet after just walking through morning grass for 15 minutes. I was surprised to find that with these I could go through entire days of rain with dry feet.


Seam coming apart

My only criticism is that the seams are slowly coming apart in a few places; one spot in particular has become so large that the other boot occasionally caught in it, causing me to stumble. But a piece of duck tape fixed that for the time-being. Besides, this broken seam never let any water in, which is good. I’ve been told Meindl have a generous repairs policy, so I expect that when I send these boots, they will fix the seams for free or a reasonable price.


Sole still usable

I guess this is one final upshot of my gear experience from this trek: no product is perfect, so the attitude of the producer our the retailer to repairs and complaints is a key issue to consider, not just the promised performance of the product. And finally overall I’ve been reasonably happy with the things I took on this trek, also the ones I didn’t review here. With under 10 kilograms I carried a fairly light pack, which always entails the risk of lacking something; but I’ve found I had just enough clothes, electronics, sleeping equipment, medicines, etc to get me from Ljubljana to Nice. That’s really the essence on such a long walk in the hills: carry enough but never too much, which even applies to food and water. There’s no point in carrying 2 kg of food for four days if there’s a supermarket in tomorrow’s village; or lugging 2 liters of water to the fountain 30 minutes away. The key is to plan smartly, and on that aspect I’ve gained some more experience now.

If anyone ever wants any advice for a trek they’re planning, just do ask.