Tested: Meindl X-SO 30 GTX Surround ladies shoes

“Once the Dutch step out of the aircraft, I immediately recognize them. They are the only people in the world who wear their hiking boots and zip-off pants during their flight.”
This is what a tourleader I once worked with during one of my previous jobs told me. First of all it made me laugh out loud, but later on the truth hit me. As I was paying attention to this (and have been doing so for 15 years, ever since I heard that remark) I realized it’s actually true. We, the Dutch, like to dress very practical when traveling. The hiking boots won’t go into the suitcase because they are too heavy and the zip-off pants are much more comfortable than jeans on a plane. Who goes on a hiking vacation wearing their jeans, anyway?
While looking back on the past years, I realized I was one of those persons who boarded the aircraft wearing her hiking boots because it’s practical. However, during recent years I decided it’s basically not practical at all because they are super heavy, you always have to take them off at security and they look horrendous. I’m not a very vain person but I still try to travel in style a bit, wherever possible, so wearing hiking boots and zip-off pants on the plane are a definite no for me nowadays. During a recent trip to Scandinavia I traveled with carry-on luggage only and so I tied my hiking boots to my backpack because I refused to wear them.
When I received the new Meindl X-SO 30 GTX Surround ladies shoes to test them, my heart skipped a beat when I opened the package. I was at the office of my daytime job and tore the box open while some of my colleagues were looking curiously over my shoulder. I was pleasantly surprised: not a lump boot that is way too large and heavy, but what I found was a hiking shoe that is more like a sneaker. My first impression of the design was very good, especially also because it’s blue, a color I happen to love. Plus they were supposed to be waterproof. Could I have asked for more? Within no-time most of my other colleagues came over to have a look (because that’s how it works in a company that mostly has female employees) and most of them approved my new patas.
During one of my most recent hiking vacations to La Palma I tested the shoes throroughly. Before we started our first hike, I figured I should let Martijn take a quick picture of them while they are still undamaged, here is the result:
So be honest with me, this is a pretty cool design for a hiking shoe, right? At least I wear them without hesitation, even when I’m not hiking and/or in the outdoors. But hey, it’s not about the design because I’m not a lifestyle blogger, so let’s talk about it’s functionality. Even though it’s not a very smart thing to wear brand new shoes for the first time on a four hour hike, I still took the risk and in all honesty, it went quite well. I only had some little scratches on my heel but that’s because my socks were too short. My new best friends completed the hike from Los Canarios to Fuencaliente without too much trouble. The only thing I ran into is that big heaps of volcanic sand ended up in my shoes because they are below the ankle, so I had to take them off and empty them all the time.
The first real test, was the ascent of the Teneguia crater, a steep climb up and down again and kind of reminded me of alpine terrain, even though it was just a couple hundred meters. I’m not the world’s best descender because I easily lose balance and slide down on steep terrain, however the profile of the Meindl X-SO 30 GTX Surround ladies shoes worked well enough to get me up and down without any trouble.
The second challenge was testing them for waterproofing. Even though we didn’t expect to have a lot of rain on La Palma as it’s one of the Canary Islands after all, we still were unlucky one afternoon when it was pouring with rain. As we didn’t “want to do nothing” we decided to take a drive up north and make our way over the El Cubo de la Galga. This is a very laurel lush wood and also carries the nickname “fairytale wood”. Even though rain isn’t exactly what you are hoping for during your vacation, it was the one place to be when it rains. While hiking on the paved road leading up to the woods we got soaked, but once inside the woods, it was nearly dry. As the rain was ticking on the leaves, the thick foliage made sure not a lot of drops actually reached the ground. We hiked around for about three hours and just to finalize my test, I also decided to hike through a waterfall just a bit further up the road near Bosque de los Tilos. Upon return to the car I took off my shoes and as just as I hoped for, my socks and feet were still completely dry.
Hallelujah! I found my perfect hiking shoes. They are hip, lightweight, comfortable and waterproof, which is basically all a decent hiking shoe needs. Even though I was offered to test them, I would definitely spend € 169,95 on them because after many years of hiking experience, I know how important it is to have a comfortable hiking shoe and that the investment is usually worth it because they last forever.
Ofcoure I also have a to mention a minus because, well, nothing is perfect, right? The only thing that bothered me along the way, is that the laces are super soft so you need to tie them at least twice and very strong in order to make sure they don’t loosen up all the time. But, as an experienced hiker should, that’s basically what I already do most of the time anyway…
By now, the Meindl X-SO 30 GTX Surround ladies shoes have become my favorite hiking shoes. They traveled along with me to Sweden, Iceland and Alaska, on this last spot I even hiked the strenuous Harding Icefield Trail without too much toruble through alpine terrain and the snow. Unfortunately they can’t come along to Nepal because I need some heavier shoes for that, but I’m sure going to miss them…
More practical information can be found on the Goretex website . I was offered to test them during the first German Blogger Hiking Day which we participated in as the only foreign blog. Unfortunately, the first pair of shoes that I received, turned out to be too large, so I swapped them and tested them on La Palma. Even though it’s a sponsored article, all given opinions are entirely those of my own.
Edit: it’s one year after testing them and unfortunately, one of the shoes has a large tear in it. I first tried to get in touch with Goretex Germany, who offered me these shoes, but they never replied to my messages. Neither did Meindl. Eventually, Goretex USA got back to my message, but they refuse to repair the shoe or send me a new one. Since I believe that a hiking shoe in this price range should never break within just one year, I don’t recommend buying them anymore…
However, I found a great alternative, which is the The North Face Ultra Fastpack hiking shoe. You can read my full review here.
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Thank you for sharing!

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