The Meindl Lite Trail GTX is a low-cut hiking shoe made of a combination of synthetic material and suede leather. On the inside it is provided with a waterproof Gore-Tex lining. Read the review!
- Weight: L 371,1 gr / R 368,4 gr (size 7.5)
- Sizes: men UK 6-12, 13, 15 women UK 3.5-9
- Price: € 179,95
The Meindl Lite Trail GTX is a low cut lite (category A) hiking shoe and it is made of a combination of synthetic material and suede leather. On the inside it has a waterproof Gore-Tex lining. The shoe is designed for hiking but also for daily use as any regular casual shoe. It is available in a men’s version and the ladies model is named the Meindl Lite Trail Lady GTX.
The fit of the Meindl Lite Trail GTX is one for normal to slightly wide feet and there is room for a slightly higher instep. In the ladies version, the heel in particular is narrower.
The upper of the Meindl Lite Trail GTX is largely made of suede leather and synthetic material. The synthetic parts are mainly situated around the ankles and at the tongue construction. At the heel the shoe is protected with a synthetic rubber cup. A decent strip of rubber protects the toe box of the shoe and extends to the mid-forefoot.
To put the shoes on, a loop at the heel is provided. The eyelets are mostly nylon loops that are attached to the suede leather. Near the ankle the eyelets are made of metal and are double ones so you can play with the lacing. The liner inside the shoe is the breathable and waterproof Gore-Tex membrane. The Meindl Lite Trail GTX is equipped with the Lite Trail Rubber Grip outsole that is designed by Meindl itself.Constructionwise the sole is stiff enough for a light hiking shoe and the flexpoint is neatly under the middle of the forefoot. Good point is that the Meindl’s are resoleable.
Due to the quite tight lacing and the small lacing loops, the tongue of the Meindl Lite Trail GTX doesn’t fold open very wide, making the entry a little bit narrow. I have to push my foot in the shoe with the help of the pull loop on the back. The loop is large enough to get a finger trough but, regrettably, is feels a bit flimsy.
The laces are round and thin. They are quite nice to the hands, but I need to apply quite some force to pull them through the narrow eyelets. The laces are easy to tie and there is no question of loosening when walking. In contradiction to some other Meindl shoes there is not a system that pulls the heel counter towards the foot when you lace the shoe. This is a bit of a pity because I have the feeling that the heel fixation is not as good as it could be. A split in the suede part of the tongue where the laces run through prevents the tongue from sloping.
The name Lite Trail is a bit of a funny one; the Lite is spot on in relation to what you can do with the shoes in the sense that they are designed for not too difficult hikes in not too demanding terrain. But Light in the sense of weight (I know, a totally different way of spelling)? The shoes are actually quite average for this type of low-cut hiking shoes. I weighted them on my precise scale at 371,1 gr and 368,4 gr (left and right) in size 7.5. Meindl claims a weight of 380 gr for a size 8 so the weight is also spot on.
The comfort of the shoe is fine thanks to the soft padding around the ankles and the foam padding in the tongue. Inside the shoe is the removable Air-Active footbed that is richly perforated at the forefoot. Sweat has a little space to move around thanks to the holes but the shoe doesn’t breathe through the sole of course.
The sole has a slight banana shape and that helps with the natural rolling walking movement. Also the heel is rounded a bit and that helps too. The cushioning of the shoe is provided by the EVA shock absorber and at the heel it works well. At the forefoot the Meindl Lite Trail GTX hikes rather hard since there isn’t of a lot of shock absorption built into the midsole here. The advantage is that I have a very direct feeling to the surface that I am walking on, but it might not be to everyone’s liking.
The grip of the outsole is good and walking on a slope the brake at the heel prevents sliding. Because of the rather thin damping and cushioning material at the forefoot I can feel stones pressing though it slightly.
About the breathable Gore-Tex membrane, no negative remarks: it turned out to be waterproof and very breathable. I did not notice sweaty feet except from what is to be considered normal with warm weather. The wading height is about 60 mm.
The Meindl Lite Trail GTX is a light hiking shoe but in the ‘light’ sense it has a quite average weight. Putting on takes a bit of force and wiggling. The soft padding around the ankles and tongue is comfortable. Heel fixation is a little bit less than I am used to with other Meindls with Meindl’s Variofix system. The shoe absorbs shocks well under the heel but is a bit harsh under the forefoot. This makes the shoe not suitable for everyone; it ensures a predictable walking behavior. A good heel brake is provided.
The shoes are waterproof and not sweaty thanks to the Gore-Tex membrane. The shoe has good protection all around. I like that the Meindl’s can be resoled since that expands the lifetime and improves sustainability. The Meindl Lite Trail GTX retails at € 179,95 and that is a bit on the high side. I rate the Meindl Lite Trail GTX at 7.8 points out of 10 total.
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