Meindl Vakuum GTX notable features
-This boot's outer material is made of premium Nubuck leather that offers high resistance to abrasion. Inside is the Gore-Tex membrane that protects against rain or water. For the sole, it features the Vibram Multigrip 2 that has solid traction on soft, loose ground.
-The Air Active footbed makes this boot even more comfortable. This insole also has a moisture management system to keep the foot fresh and cool.
-Lastly, the Vakuum GTX integrates the Memory Foam System (MFS) in the major sections for a glove-like fit.
Size and fit
The Meindl Vakuum GTX men's and women's shoe is a mid-cut model that is suitable for normal to slightly wide feet. The shaft can be pulled so the wearer can easily slide his foot into the boot while the Nubuck leather ensures a precise fit after a significant amount of breaking in. It also features four laces on the instep for a secure fit. The tongue also has a hook so it stays in place despite movement.
Furthermore, the Vakuum GTX MFS involves placing a memory foam on the collar, tongue, ankle, and along the Achilles, toes, and ball of the foot, creating a customized and comfortable fit.
Underneath this leather boot is the Multigrip 2 outsole by Vibram. It's a stiff sole that features aggressive lugs that are less likely to clog with mud. It's a double-density sole which means that some parts are softer than the others, which contributes to the stability and flexibility of the shoe on uneven grounds.
As reflected in its name, this specialty sole delivers a good grip on different terrain. It is also long-wearing and highly resistant to abrasion. Lastly, the Vakuum GTX boots are resoleable.
Meant for extreme use and abuse, this backpacking boot features a sturdy and long-wearing polyurethane (PU) foam. Unlike EVA, PU is less likely to flatten or compress over time because of its solid structure. This means that it will not lose its cushioning despite heavy use. The same material is also used in other high-end performance footwear products. One drawback of PU midsoles, however, is that they don't make for a lightweight hiking boot.
The Vakuum GTX boots also come with the Air Active footbeds which are also Meindl-exclusive. Such removable insoles not only provide added cushioning but also help with moisture control.
This mid-top hiker has an upper that's completely made of Nubuck leather, including the tongue and collar. Inside is a Gore-Tex lining that provides superior protection against water intrusion. With such a combination of the upper material and interior lining, this boot can get really warm sometimes, especially in really hot days. Nonetheless, they also make a perfect pair in terms of durability and protection.
Completing the upper is the Digafix lacing system that extends to the collar for a secure fit. There's also a rubber that provides additional protection particularly around the part where the upper and outsole are glued or stitched together.
Meindl Vakuum GTX vs. Meindl Bhutan MFS
Both the Vakuum GTX and Bhutan boots are mid-top hikers that feature Nubuck leather uppers, Gore-tex lining, and MFS so many people get confused as to which model is best for them. Here are some notable differences:
Use. Both the Vakuum and Bhutan fall under Meindl's Category B hiking boots which means they are designed for hiking at Trekking Alps, difficult trails, or off-trail paths in the high mountains. However, the Meindl Bhutan is listed as a three-season boot while the Vakuum GTX is listed as a 3-4 season boot. Thus, it's apparent that the Vakuum boot has a thicker and stiffer sole.
Insole. The Bhutan boot has the basic Air Active footbed whereas the Vakuum boot uses the more advanced Air Active Vakuum which is like a memory foam that perfectly adjusts to the shape of any foot.
Price. While these two popular Meindl boots are premium footwear, the Vakuum GTX has a lower price tag than the Bhutan MFS.