These crampon-compatible B2 boots are ideal for big winter hill and mountain walking days if you’re looking for warmth and comfort with an accommodating fit.
Durable and protective
Not the lightest
Not very precise owing to broad forefoot and blunt toe box
No women’s version
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Meindl Antelao Pro Men GTX: first impressions
The Meindl Antelao Pro Men GTX walking boot comes from one of the best-known and most well established German bootmakers. Meindl have some bona fide classic models in their lineup, such as the bestselling Air Rev 4.1. In many ways, the Antelao Pro is a similar type of hiking boot, though it is slightly stiffer and more stable underfoot, with tougher and warmer uppers – which makes it much more of a specialist winter hiking boot.
• List price: $350 (US) / £295 (UK)
• Weight per boot (size UK 12 / US 13): 970g / 2lb 2oz
• Materials: Suede and mesh uppers with full rubber rand, Gore-Tex lining, Meindl Multigrip outsole
• Sizes: Men’s UK 6-12 (inc half sizes); Women’s n/a
The brand is known for its attention to fit, offering a range of different lasts designed to suit different foot shapes. The Antelao Pro GTX is from the Meindl Comfort Fit range, which has a broader forefoot, designed to allow the toes to splay whilst walking and generally providing more space for the toes to lay straight.
Though it is a hillwalking boot rather than a technical mountaineering boot, the Antelao Pro is still stiff enough to be suitable for crampons and is even fitted with a heel insert for use with C2 semi-automatic crampons.
The uppers are made from suede leather and mesh, with a Gore-Tex lining for reliable waterproof-breathable performance in all weathers. A full rubber rand provides excellent protection from trail impacts, particularly rock and scree.
Meindl Antelao Pro Men GTX: on the trails
On the foot, the Meindl Antelao Pro Men GTX Walking Boot feels like a very solid and robust boot. It isn’t the lightest, but offers plenty of all-round protection and durability, thanks to those tough suede uppers and full rubber rand. It also feels very supportive, especially around the ankle. However, it is far more supple and forgiving than most B1 or B2 boots, with softer mesh fabric and plenty of padding around the tongue and ankle cuff for extra cushioning and flexibility.
Meindl’s Comfort Fit is definitely worth trying if you’re a walker with broader feet, especially if you’ve struggled to find comfortable boots in the past. The Antelao Pro has plenty of volume throughout, with a noticeably wide and roomy toe box. We also think this is a plus for cold conditions, as it leaves ample room for the thickest mountaineering socks in winter.
Comfort is first-class, with decent cushioning underfoot, thanks to an EVA foam rubber insert in the midsole and a cosy, fleece-lined cork footbed. A pronounced rocker from heel to toe also encourages a natural stride. So this is a good boot for longer days in the hills; we put in plenty of miles on test across several of Snowdonia’s major mountain ranges in late October, including a big Carneddau circuit and an ascent up Snowdon’s Watkin Path, descending via the South Ridge. Our feet stayed consistently warm, dry and comfortable throughout.
When it comes to traction, the Meindl Multigrip outsole performs decently. The lugs aren’t the most aggressive, but the boot’s wide sole unit puts plenty of rubber in contact with the ground. It only really reaches its limits on steeper scrambles. That’s the only area where we’d possibly criticize this boot. The broader last and blunt toe box mean they don’t feel particularly nimble, which makes negotiating the most technical terrain a little more tricky. However, that isn’t really the ground for which these are designed, and it is perhaps the inevitable downside of that wider Comfort Fit. In all other regards, this is an impressive boot.
It is worth noting that there’s no women’s version of this specific boot though (the Meindl Litepeak Lady Pro is the closest alternative model).
An outdoors writer and editor, Matt Jones has been testing kit in the field for nearly a decade. Having worked for both the Ramblers and the Scouts, he knows one or two things about walking and camping, and loves all things adventure, particularly long-distance backpacking, wild camping and climbing mountains – especially in Wales. He’s based in Snowdonia and last year thru-hiked the Cambrian Way, which runs for 298 miles from Cardiff to Conwy, with a total ascent of 73,700 feet – that’s nearly 2½ times the height of Everest. Follow Matt on Instagram and Twitter.