The shock news from top German boot brand Meindl for 2014 is that the legendary Burma three-season leather walking boot is being dropped and replaced with a completely new boot called the Bhutan.
New Meindl Bhutan
The classic Meindl Burma - and it's stablemate the Borneo - seem to have been around for years, so it's a bit of shock to see that the Burma is being discontinued early in 2014 and replaced with the Bhutan. It's a crucial big-seller for Meindl, so as you can imagine, they've taken pains to get things right.
The new boot is priced the same as the Burma at £190 and has the same sole and lasting, which means it should have exactly the same fit. Up top it's a question of evolution rather than a complete rehash. There's a new speed-lacing system for slicker fitting, the ankle cuff has been softened for better comfort and there's memory foam there too.
The construction of the rear of the upper has been changed too and there's a subtle pattern on the uppers for aesthetic reasons. Oh, and a Gore-Tex liner. We say: don't panic, it should work just as well as the classic Burma and let's face it, the looks aren't offensively radical either...
There's plenty more from Meindl for next year too including a more affordable boot for those who can't stretch to the price of the Bhutan, we'll fill you in on the details next week.