Meindl Emotion XCR

This multi-activity shoe took fifth place in our tests in ’06 and ’07, and is still a great, stylish shoe. It features a Gore-Tex XCR waterproof lining, so there’s nothing better to keep you dry. The upper is a mix of suede leather and synthetic mesh to keep the weight down. The upper is reasonably supportive throughout, with a very supportive heel cup to protect the feet on uneven ground. The sole is the best feature, being stiff enough to take the discomfort out of uneven ground and cushioned enough to make hard surfaces easy on the foot. The outsole lug pattern is reasonably aggressive and a substantial heel breast adds to the grip during descents. The sole flex is nice and stiff so you can cycle in these or walk on uneven terrain in comfort, yet you may well find they’re comfortable straight from the box too.
The mesh will wear out faster than a full leather upper, while a mesh shoe without a waterproof lining will be cooler in dry, hot weather.  Some others also have a more aggressive sole unit. But those are minor drawbacks that still don’t detract from this as a useful shoe for general outdoor use.

 

Upper: suede leather and mesh, Gore-Tex XCR waterproof lining
Sole: Meindl Magic double density
Sizes: 6-14 (men’s); 3 1/2-8 (women’s)
Weight: 1072g (pair, size 11)
Made in: Far East
Stores in the UK: 180

Verdict: Great for walking, biking or travelling on most terrain with good all-round performance, and definitely one of the best in its price range.

 

First published in Trail magazine, April 2008