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Thread: Meindl Boot Failure

  1. #1
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    Angry Meindl Boot Failure

    I am writing this because I think it may save someone's hunt. I purchased a pair of Meindl Canada hunting boots from Cabela's a few seasons back. I used them a week or so every year usually on elk hunts in Colorado. I had gotten good to great service out of them; they had worked as advertised. Until I took them on a caribou hunt in Quebec this August. During the first day I noticed cracking along the mid sole, between the bottom of the leather boot and the vibram out sole. The cracking became severe by the end of the day and small chunks of the mid sole began to fall out and the sole began to spit apart from the boot begining at the back of the heel. In order to continue to hunt I had to bind the sole to the boot using (of course) duct tape and raw hide. I managed to tag out by day four. On day five even the greatness of duct tape could no longer hold the boot together. I had camp shoes but no spare boots as weight was a consideration. I chose these boots over several other pair I own because I thought they were the most versatile and would be "bullet proof". The waking was easy, mostly bogs and rocky stream beds not demanding terrain. These boots had never been dried close to a fire, subjected to harsh chemical, or in any way abused. I have no idea what caused this problem. The weak link in the system seems to be the cushiony material the mid sole is made of-similar to a running shoe mid sole. Fortunately, this situation did not ruin my hunt, but it was pure luck it didn't. Had this been a demanding hunt requiring lots of walking/climbing like sheep hunting it would have been a catastrophe. If you have a pair of these boots check the soles carefully before you bet your hunt on them. I had a spare rifle but not boots. Won't make that mistake again. BTW Cablea's gave me a store credit for the full current price no questions aske. Looks like Lowa's for me.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MckinneyMike View Post
    Looks like Lowa's for me.
    Very wise choice, my friend. I love my Lowas!

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default I have the same

    I have the same boot. I know that we depend on our gear but I don't think if it happened to me once, that I would never use the product again. Sometimes in manufacturing processes, 100% of every item manufactured is not perfect. You just might have gotten a lemon. Something wasn't heated correctly, glue not mixed correctly, boot was made after happy hour.....

    But, sorry to hear it. I will keep a close eye on mine.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    I did the same thing to a pair of Meindls a few years ago. They lasted for a couple months break in and one 10 day sheep hunt. Luckely they did not come apart til the end of the walk out.

    Now I wear wolverines and don't sheep hunt. Now my boots last a couple years.

  5. #5

    Default meindls

    Never liked them on my feet. Just got the Lowa's and WOW! they are the real deal. I took them sheep hunting brand new out of the box. Got a little hot spot on the heal, but stopped to let it breath. NO problems after that. You can't go wrong with the Lowa.

  6. #6
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Mike & RMiller,
    Were your Cabela's Meindl's made in Germany or possibly somewhere else.

    Mine went on 6 mountain hunts and numerous others. They're still in decent shape for 13 years old.

  7. #7

    Default Lessons learned

    McK. Mike,
    The same thing could happen to your Lowes after you have them for a "few seasons". Anything can fail or wear out. What lesson we all should take away from this is, to test everything before we go out on those trips. Boots, tents, stoves, backpacks, rifles and scopes, etc.. If it can happen, it usually will!
    Kudos to Cabelas with the store credit. Your boots were free.

  8. #8
    Member calndux's Avatar
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    Default Brand does not matter with todays materials...

    I have had boots and shoes do the same thing and brand does not matter. It is all about the materials used to construct. any boot or shoe with that really nice cushion feel will break doen this way with age, use, and light. That is why I like the heavier boots made with leather, and vibram soles. heavy but I have over 18 years on my Whites. I also have the Meindls but I figured that would happen eventually because of the chemical and physical structure of the materials used.

    Hope all works out with the new boots. Glad you scored on your hunt.

    calndux

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    Arrow

    I returned a pair of boots to cabela's several years ago and they gave me half my money back. I try to keep my Cabela's brand clothing purchases to a minimum. The goretex liner started to leak on the second hunt i used them on. Clearly a defective pair.

    From what I could see, the Lowa's have more exposed seams than the meindl's that can be cut by the scree. However, if they fit your feet better, then go for it. I could not see paying more for them, than the meindl's though.

    My Meindl's came apart on my last year, fortunately at the end of the hunt. i had them rebuilt for $140 including the shipping, new laces, two layers of innersoles and 1 pr. of heel & arch supports. Money well spent provided the leather is still in decent shape.

    good hunting.

  10. #10
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    The pair of Lowas that I looked at yesterday have the same soft "rubber" between the boot and the vibram sole as my Alaska Hunters do. Sounds like the same stuff as your Caribous. Just keep an eye out I guess. Lowas don't fit me as well as the Meindls do, so I wear the Meindls.

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    They were made in Germany.

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Mine were cabelas made in Germany. Got them in July , broke them in and destroyed them in August. Guess I should have sent them back to cabelas. I chucked them in the garbage and bought me a pair of rocky bear claws that lasted about 5 years. Now I have a pair of wolverines.

  13. #13
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    I bought a pair of boots from Cabela's .. I think they were called "Mad Dog" or something like that. After my first season in them, I'd have sworn they were the BEST BOOT EVER MADE! They had great traction, were light, provided ankle support, and my feet never got wet (even crossing creeks)... all huge pluses in Juneau!

    Then, during grouse season the following spring, they exploded. While they lived, they were the best... unfortunately, their life expectancy was slightly longer than that of a housefly.

  14. #14
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default comments...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Very wise choice, my friend. I love my Lowas!
    Ditto on that Brian! The only thing my Lowa's get a thumbs down in is driving. Most uncomfortable boot to opperate a truck with, but that's not what they were made for either
    Quote Originally Posted by MckinneyMike View Post
    They were made in Germany.
    Did extensive research on this last fall... Indeed, you are correct, they are made in Germany; however, Cabela's has unfortunately taken on the "walmart style" of product manipulation. They earn or buy the reputation/contract from a reputable manufacturer, make the product extremely marketable, and then drive the production price down to maximize profit. In doing so, the quality is also cut in this process. I spoke with Meindle about this very subject…they recommended I purchase direct from them. True Meindles are much more expensive for a reason. I bought Lowa’s instead and I am extremely happy with them.

    I will also add that I have since purchased a pair of Meindle hikers from Cabela’s (I was in a pinch) and I revamped them a little by adding a rock-guard to the leather and trimming the cork footbed…happy with them so far, but not expecting them to last real long.

  15. #15

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    I own both the Cabelas Meindls and the Lowa Sheephunters and truly they are not much different. The Meindls have seen 2 sheep seasons and the Lowas have seen one. They are quite equal IME. The only thing that is 100% for sure is that they will both fall apart at some point.

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Bummer Hal

    Sorry to hear you had an issue with your M's. I had my first pair for 11 years before they gave up the ghost. Current pair 5 years and going strong. Have no complaints about them at all. Hunting partner has been in the same brand for 12 years he purchased Canadians by Meindl from supper gaint Cabelas. Sheep, Moose, Bou and Bear no issues to date. If they have changed the manufacturing of the boot in liue of proffit shame on them! Will have to wait and see ont he next pair of boots if this is the case.

    :-(

  17. #17
    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    Best I've worn so far are Rocky's and next would be Wolverine.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

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    Default Lowas shphtr

    I have heard such good things about the Lowas that I bought a pair at the beginning of the summer. Last year my partner and I both harvested sheep in the Chugach wearing Vasques-backpacking- not mountaineering. The boots worked well, but again, I had heard so many accolades about the Lowas that I purchased a pair. As soon as I put them on I knew why they came so highly recommended. However, I soon discovered that they put pressure on an old high ankle sprain that my Vasques hadn't. I tried to return them but wasn't able to since I had worn them 3xs. I ended up wearing my Vasques 22 miles (RT) in the brooks this year and I am more sold on them now then before- I'm sure the Lowa's are great for most people- just not for me. By the way, anyone interested in a brand new pair of Lowa sheephunters- size 10w for an unbelievable price- pm me and we'll talk.

  19. #19
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Well said Cub!

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaCub View Post
    ...The only thing that is 100% for sure is that they will both fall apart at some point.
    Good point there Roland! I don't mean to sound so sour on Meindle boots, I was just really disappointed when the rep from Meindle told me of the Cabela's operation. I have got well over 75 miles on my hikers now and I have zero complaints to report. In fact, I have dragged them over some pretty rugged stuff and the only sign is on the hardware...saltwater corrosion, no biggy.

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