While the Winter Outdoor 100 showcases some of the most exciting new releases of the season, it also pays tribute to some of the enduring classics. Classics like this, the Bhutan MFS which was released a few years ago.
Despite the fact that Meindl’s breakthrough item, the Burma Pro, is still in production, the Bhutan MFS is generally regarded as being a successor to it, with only some very subtle changes.
It isn’t a winter boot in the technical sense, meaning that it’s not designed to take a crampon (maybe a C1-type at a push), but it’s sturdy, protective and warm enough to be used for winter hiking and mountain walking so long as it’s guaranteed that there’ll be no snowy or icy traverses involved.
“The memory foam system supposedly makes these boots suitable for hiking from the get go, “straight out of the box”, as they say. So there’s no breaking in period required.”
It has a medium weight, and a medium flex sole that’ll offer a stable and protective feel on rough terrain, particularly on rocky tracks or scrambles, and the Vibram outsole has thick lugs to give good traction.
The upper is a thing of beauty, made from a high quality nubuck leather that’s protected from scuffs and general wear and tear by a slight coat of oil and a full rubber rand. Underneath the leather there’s a Gore-Tex lining so you can count on these being fully waterproof.
The ankle reaches quite high and it fits closely in order to keep out dirt and grit, but it’s carefully cut so as not to restrict your movement. It features loads of padding around it as well, and not just any padding; it’s a memory foam that moulds to the natural contours of your feet to give top-level comfort and support. Meindl call it the Memory Foam System, or MFS – hence the name.