There are more and more multi-activity shoes coming to market. These shoes offer a trade-off between the lightness of trail runners and the support and protection offered by hiking boots. As the name suggests, they also allow you to seemlessly blend multiple activities such as biking, walking and running without the need for seperate dedicated footwear.
The Respond XCR is Meindl’s newly launched multi-terrain shoe and comes in a mid-boot or shoe version. My first impressions of the shoes were that they looks great and are extremely comfortable, so much so that I took to wearing them while lounging around home. Weighing in at just 410g (size 8), the shoes feel very light on your feet and this combination of weight and comfort mean that the shoes are ideal for hikes where distance or speed are of the essence. The shoes feel very good underfoot whether walking or jogging and the sole offers a good level of grip when required as well as a good degree of cushioning.
Time constraints meant that I only got to try these shoes out on a shorter hike so they have not hit the toughest of ground as of yet but Meindl guarantee that the Gore-tex lined shoes are 100% waterproof. The additional toe-rand offers another level of protection to the forefoot.
Priced at €124.99, the shoes are marketed as an entry level boot. The Respond Mid XCR retails at €139.99 and offers the same qualities as the shoe only with added ankle support. Both come in women’s and men’s sizes 3.5-8 and 6-12 including half sizes.
To sum up, I really like the comfort offered by these shoes. I would normally wear Inov8 Roclite’s on a lightweight hike particularly so when that hike will involve a large degree of trail running. For hikes where the emphasis isn’t so much on running, I would certainly opt for the Meindl Repond XCR’s for the additional protection that these shoes provide.