Meindel X-SO 30 GTX Review
At first look these new X-SO 30 GTX hiking shoes from Meindl look pretty similar to any other technical hiking shoe. There is slightly more ventilated mesh used than in similar shoes, the only areas that do not use mesh are the heel cup, which fully encompasses the heel offering great support, and the minimal toe protector. The rest of the shoes design features a mainly transparent rubber ribbing that reduces the weight of the overall appearance of the shoe.
However under its glitzy facade hides venting that has been adapted from a previous version of Gore-Tex Surround that has been present in urban footwear for some years. The issue with the previous GTX Surround, and why it has not been utilised in outdoor footwear before, was that mud blocked the venting and prevented the vents from well, venting. Enter GTX Surround Outdoor, where the venting has been moved from the bottom of the shoe to the side and base just above the rubber sole unit that runs around the shoe via a 6 mm open cell spacer. This offers a full 360° of venting that allows for better breathability and dryer feet. Drier feet, of course, reduces the likely hood of getting blisters or chafing. The Gore-Tex waterproof membrane is built in to the shoe, like an inbuilt waterproof and breathable sock, completely surrounding the foot.
The lack of a rubber rand around the base of the shoe, that allows this extra breathability, and shallow lug pattern mean this shoe will not be the best for tackling rough terrain. However as a warm weather walking shoe it really will excel.