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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Bitterroot Valley, MT
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    1,592
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    Default Why I choose Meindl over Kennetrek/Schnees/Others

    I have been on a search for the past year for new boots. I have struggled with this because I have been going through a pair about every other year or so. I hunt 60+ (at least) days each year from Lions/Wolves in Jan/Feb, bears turkeys in the spring, archery starting in August and elk and whatever else through the end of the year. I usually hunt a few states. I also believe in the Buy Once, Cry Once philosophy. I wanted to write a short post for guys looking for boots but having a hard time in finding good ones.

    I really wanted to go with Kennetrek because they are a MT company, but the foot fit was just not compatible. The placement of the arch, with 3 different insoles hurt my feet just a few steps into them. After wearing about 6 different sizes around the store for about 10 minutes each, they just would not work. I also tried Schnees, Rocky, Danners, and Irish setters.

    The simple reason I went with Cabela's Denalis, was the fit. The memory foam really does just wrap around the foot and feels incredible. I used to think my Irish Setters were the best feeling boots, not anymore. I will say I have yet to put many miles on them, and will update this when I get them broken in and have some time on them. Secondary, was the Cabelas in store replacement warranty. That is a huge feature to me, especially considering the cost to get boots repaired with other companies.

    If you are looking for new boots, it is worth the time to try many brands, styles, and sizes. I put in many, many hours at the stores, just walking around in borrowed boots. Don't get locked into a brand, just get locked into quality.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  2. #2

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    I am also in love with my Meindl Denalis. I've recommended them to family and friends, suggesting they try them on at a store before purchasing. So far nobody else I know liked them. For my feet, they are absolutely perfect.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Westen Montana
    Posts
    783

    Default

    I purchased some new boots last fall and got uninsulated Whites Outdoorsman boots with the Claw sole on them. So far they have been outstanding! They make these by hand over in Spokane Washington and I'm impressed. Their Linemen boots are all my father wore when he was working for the power company many years ago.

  4. #4

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    I have the Denali's as well and like them. Just not as much as the Meindl Island Pro's I had back in the day. IMO, the Cabelas Meindls are not as well built as the Meindl Meindls.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    294

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    I went with the Denali's due to the fact I have irregular feet and ordering boots online would likely end up with them being sent back for a different size and it's nearly impossible to find Kennetreks, Lowa's, etc here in the east. Plus the warranty on the Cabela's boots is hard to beat. I have about 75 miles on mine over the last year and have been very pleased to this point.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6mm Remington View Post
    I purchased some new boots last fall and got uninsulated Whites Outdoorsman boots with the Claw sole on them. So far they have been outstanding! They make these by hand over in Spokane Washington and I'm impressed. Their Linemen boots are all my father wore when he was working for the power company many years ago.
    Did you break in the White's or did the White's break you? I've heard its quit the chore to get them broken in.

  7. #7

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    I have had Meindl, Kenetreks, and Hanwag. 6 foot 2" and 205 to 245 depending 13 wide and flat feet. I really like the general comfort of the Meindl. I think the Hangwag is a little more supportive. Kenetreks always seemed tight but Its a toss up on which boot I choose to wear. I really think the hanwag is my serious nasty stuff boot> kenetrek gets most use hunting use> Meindl gets the whitetail and around the house use.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    In the middle
    Posts
    619

    Default

    FWIW, WHICH Meindl makes a huge difference. The Meindl Ultralights are an entirely different fit than the Perfekts. I like both of them for fit, but the latter will do much better in uneven ground. The former, is comfy around the barn and the timber out back and has a large toe box which is nice for staying warm and wearing thick socks, but it lacks traction and most specifically lacks durability. The Perfekts fit much closer and narrower in the toe and thus have much greater stability. The Denalis, I think are closer to the Perfekts but I haven't tried them yet. They do look like a great boot however.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    195

    Default

    i too own a pair of the Denali's and they are by far the best boot i've ever worn. for me there was very little break in time before my Wyoming back country hunt. i put maybe 50 or 60 miles on them hunting and not once did i have an issue. greta comfort and stability.

  10. #10

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    They look like the Meindl Burma, my first pair lasted almost 10 years before they leaked, the 2nd pair 18 months, but Meindl replaced them FOC as the Goretex had failed, this pair have lasted 3 years with no problems, a really comfortable boot, worn in the UK and in Montana.
    Cheers
    Richard
    That's what the actress said to the bishop

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 406LIFE View Post
    I really wanted to go with Kennetrek because they are a MT company...

    The simple reason...was the Cabelas in store replacement warranty.... Don't get locked into a brand, just get locked into quality.
    Thanks for your review! I've also wanted to go with them to support a local company, but I'm unsure how much I like the fit (and price tag). It's a good reminder to get what works.

    I recently had a TREMENDOUS experience with Cabelas warranty. Someone gave me an older Cabelas pack, and I used it for every hunt for 3 years. Last year, one of the shoulder straps just tore sheered off while I was way out on a mountain. I decided to bring it in to see if they really would cover it. Because it is older, they had no record of what kind of bag it was. But their name was on it. So they found the most similar functioning pack in the store and gave me the option of taking it or a gift card for the same value. No questions asked. I was amazed. I really like packs by another brand, but I decided to go with another Cabela's pack just because they were so great about backing up their own product. (That, and I happen to live 1/4 mile away from the Kalispell store, haha.)

  12. #12

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    Another shout out for the Denalis. I have hard feet to fit and neuromas in both feet. I put a SOLE insole in mine and they are incredibly comfortable over any terrain. I have only had them a few months but quite a few miles and they seem to be lasting well. Also another shout out to Cabelas return policy. My last boots were Cabelas Instinct brand and after a year they started falling apart. I was in the store looking at boots and the salesman saw mine and told me they shouldn't do that and he suggested I bring them back. I went home and got the receipt and they gave me full credit toward the Denalis. I also had a pack issue after 3 tears and the same thing, they gave me full credit toward another. Do save receipts though. While they will give you credit without one, it's at the lowest ever sale price which can be pretty low at times.

  13. #13

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    Thanks 406. I'm in the market for a new pair. Was going to pass on them, but now I'll take a test drive

  14. Default

    Bought a pair in the bargain cave for $100. Felt like I stole 'em at the check out. Lol

  15. #15

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    Do the Meindls run true to size, bigger, smaller perhaps?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Bitterroot Valley, MT
    Posts
    1,592
    Blog Entries
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kotikant View Post
    Do the Meindls run true to size, bigger, smaller perhaps?
    I felt they were true to size. I am a 10.5 in about everything and that's what I'm running.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    In the middle
    Posts
    619

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kotikant View Post
    Do the Meindls run true to size, bigger, smaller perhaps?
    I would say yes for Denali, Perfekts, and even Ultralights (which I despise).

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in the basalt rocks
    Posts
    4,872

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kotikant View Post
    Do the Meindls run true to size, bigger, smaller perhaps?
    True to size, but they were much too wide for me.
    Fear the beard....

  19. Default

    I was told by a guy in the footwear department at Cabela's that the Meindls run a half size bigger, so to try both your regular size and a half size smaller just to compare. I wanted so badly for the Meindls to work out, but everything, even the EEs felt narrow and pinched. I tried to convince myself it would be fine, but I, too, am on the East coast, so boot options to actually try on are pretty slim and I wasn't ruining my first Western hunt by destroying my feet on a online gamble or a hope the Meindls would break in.

    That poor sales guy... I had a stack of boot boxes up past my waist, and I'm 6'4. I went with uninsulated Danner Pronghorns. I know they get trashed a bit on the forum these days, but they honestly felt like slippers and are breaking in fantastically. We'll see how they hold up, but I'll take comfort and fit for a couple years over forcing a more expensive boot to work.

  20. #20

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    Thanks everyone.....since the width was mentioned and it didn't occur to me to ask....I'm a 12D mostly, except for redwings which I find weird, will the 12D fit me true to size? Sounds like the length will, but I just wanted to check on the width, too.

    Side note: Why in the heck do we not have a Cabela's in Vegas? There's Sportsman's Warehouse and Bass Pro Shops, but no Cabela's? Gun nuts, sportsmen, hunters, etc, abound here so it's puzzling.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Anduhconduh, Montana
    Posts
    310

    Default

    Good info. Can't stress enough how important it is to find a boot that fits your feet. When I was younger, it wasn't as big of a deal. Now that I'm near 50, if the boots don't feel right, there's a lot of other things that hurt as well. I can get most boots to feel decent by changing the insole and sock combinations but the real test happens on uneven ground.

    I'm on my second pair of Denali's. They are the best fitting boot for my feet as well. FYI - The perfekt extreme fit is very similar to the Denali for me. Those two boots get me through hunting season just fine.

    For lighter hikers I've been really happy with Lowa Renegade. I have some Oboz that are a tighter fit but better with a thinner insole than the factory. Just bought some Scarpa SL Active's that have a memory foam fit much like the Denali's.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Chugiak, AK
    Posts
    4,997

    Default

    I like Meindl boots, have had 5-6 pairs of them.

    I've had 3x of the Denali boots, the first pair would leak walking across wet grass on my lawn, and were exchanged, the second pair lasted about 2 seasons before the rand wore off, and they leaked badly. The third pair leaked after 2 hunts... and were returned.

    Also Cabela's boot "warranty" is per store manager. The one here gives you credit based on the purchase price and amount of sole wear... FIY one sheep hunt and one caribou hunt (18 days hunting) = 60% wear. Bought them in August, and took them back 60 days later... got $140 credit. Not sure how that worked, since he GoreTex is supposed to have a 2 year warranty. I took the credit and bought a pair of Alaska Hunters. They don't leak and are a much better boot IMO. Stiffer, a bit taller, and bigger rand. I've had the current pair for 2 seasons (inlcuding 3 sheep hunts which destroy boots) plus lots and lots of other hunts/hikes. They don't leak too badly and will make it through this year. I may try some Lowas next though.
    "No Kuiu here"

  23. #23

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    I wore Meindel Ibex from Cabellas for years til they started leaking,2nd pair replaced. I had worn Meindel hiking boots in past too. The warranty was well worth it.
    I went with Lowa Tibet superwarm for a new hunting boot & very happy with them for use Oct.-Mar.
    Lowa,Meindel & other boot makers use Euro sizing which are about half size small on most boots.
    I wear American 11's which mean 11.5 in Euro size & mMeindels have run wide compaired to other boots.
    I got the Tibets on Ebay new in box 1/3 price 2 yrs ago.
    Just scored another new Lowa boot last week on Ebay ,Lowa Camino's for 1/3 price...& they are my wear everyday boot now here in NM. Was looking for a deal on Lowa Rangers when I found these.
    Another guy who bought a boot half size too small worked in my favor again.

    Cannot stress knowing what size your feet really are NOW & trying on makes of boots before buying to see how they fit enough.....

  24. #24

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    I don’t know how I missed this topic earlier this evening when I was looking for info on Cabela’s Meindl boots. My ultralights started leaking in year 2, and I’m going to take them back to Cabela’s tomorrow. Trying to decide about trying another pair of the ultralights, or something else...maybe even different brand (though these were by far the most comfortable boots I’ve ever worn!). Sounds like the Denali are worth checking out, so I hope our store has some in stock! Thanks for all the info in this thread...

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    In the middle
    Posts
    619

    Default

    Having owned the Meindl ultralights - I know what you mean by comfort - at least on flat ground where traction doesn't matter much but the Denalis are worth every extra penny and they will do side hills and rocks.

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