Leather lined boots

Can anyone suggest a brand that still supplies quality leather lined walking boots.

I’ve been using Meindl Borneo or Meindl Ortler for years but the last 2 pairs have fallen apart in 45 and 25 days respectively, and as they have to be ordered from the EU (I’m in ZL), warranty returns are not easy.

I have had the Scarpa SL before, and will try those again if necessary. But ideally looking for something a bit more durable.

(Please do not suggest goretex or equivalent fabric lined boots - I’m specifically trying to find manufacturers who still make leather lined boots)


I have a pair of ‘Lowa Renegade’ LL boots, not cheap but I find them incredibly comfortable, they are definitely leather lined.

A quick google also turned up

I cannot comment on them personally but I have heard good stuff about Hanwag boots from military folks.


Thanks for that. Interesting that the LOWA don’t show up unless I specify a .uk search. Must not be widely available, and certainly not here in ZL where Lowa only sell GTX boots. However, they look a bit underprotected at the toe for our scree / rock / fern, so I’ll probably pass on an international order for that one.

The Hanwag look more like the design I’d want. And there’s even an NZ importer. So will follow that one up.

Any other suggestions from others still welcome


Last year when I (unfortunately) bought more Lowas, I did come across a pair of no-name boots that were thick leather, rubber rand, and leather lining. It was at a hunting shop.
I was rather regretting not buying them last trip, when I had a full week of Lowas full of water thanks to the damn goretex, and the totally open-cell foam cuff. Don’t know the shop name unfortunately, but next time I am out that way I will see if I can find the shop and boots.
Time for the Lowas to get the Forest Service standard 1/4" drill through the instep to let the water out.

Oh, and they seem to be narrower than the previous ones. GRRR
Anyway, it looks like our septic cousins have a wider choice of leather linings, like these tibets


I’ve had them for almost 40 years (now the 2nd pair)… as far as I know they used to be called NEPAL years ago.

However, I don’t like driving with them… they’re too stiff for me.

For easier trails I take the Hanwag Banks… which is also available in LL

73 Armin

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I got a resole on the previous ones, which was money well spent (and a plus of expensive Lowas). With hindsight, I would have resoled them far earlier, as getting sharp edges again was worth the money well before the sole was totally shot.
Sadly these Lowas are not even close to their circa 2005 predecessors (which are currently still my factory work boots - butter turns out to be a good leather conditioner).

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I don’t know of a better alternative Matt. Like you I bought a pair of Mendl Borneo leather lined boots. This was around 2010. Within 6 weeks use the sole was parting company with the boot. My local retailer sent them back to Meindl. They reglued the sole back on but within another 6 weeks it came away again, and so they went in the dustbin. It put me off considering leather lined boots again.

73 Phil


This was the latest failure for me too. The other boot is also starting to go. 4 days into my 3rd work stint in them.

I also hear that our ZL Dept of Conservation have ceased allowing their staff to purchase Meindl work boots, apparently due to too many failures and difficulry obtaining warranty replacements from the NZ importer. They’ve been DOC’s main boots for the 20 years I’ve worked for or with them. So a big shame to see the recent quality issues.

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Must be something reasonably new. I bought Meindl 3 times. I have the Burma Pro Goretex boots now. I had the previous Goretex model. Bought in April 2008, worn every weekend till April 2010 when they were worn for 6months/year around winter till 2014 whilst I had a lightweight fabric boot in the summer. When the fabrics failed I bought a pair of Burma Pro and wore the new pair alternately with the originals. By 2017 the sole detached on the originals. They were reglued by me and by a shoe repairer but after a few months the sole would detach. This is not the glue but the inner sole material decomposing. Once it happens you need to replace it or the whole boot. They were used for dog walks and lost waterproofness in 2018 when they were scrapped.

I bought a 3rd pair in 2018 and they have been worn enough to be broken in. The 2014 pair are still waterproof and have a good amount of tread but are worn. The leather is starting to crack despite regular waxing.

In my experience I have had exceptionally good service from Meindl Burma Pros (and the predecessor Goretex version) with moderate use by a fat bloke. Maybe not to the extreme use as working in them. I’ll still buy them again based on experience so far.

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I’m wearing Hanwag Tatra II GTX and they are excellent. They seem to be wearing very well.

Best thing for me is that the have multiple foot lasts for different shaped feet (mine are wide)


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+1 for the Hanwag

Nothing is now so durable as before.
For me Meindl Borneo is number 1 :exclamation:
I also have Hanwag Lhasa - fine but heavy.

73, Jarek

Hi Matt

The current Scarpa SL Active is fabric lined which may rule it out. If you can get over that, it is a much stiffer boot than the Borneo. Thicker full-grain leather vs nubuk which will probably cope better with scree.

I recently bought a pair of Borneos when the grip on the SL outsoles wore out. The SL uppers were still perfect after 6 years use and they will have plenty of life left in them once resoled. However, the Borneos were instantly comfortable and they went straight from the box to the summit - no break in required. The SL’s, on the other hand, were murder to break in.

73, John

I absolutely swear by Altberg. They have 5 widths in additions to each length size which for me and my antipodean wide feet means comfort on long wet or sweaty days.


Favourite is the Tethera for all round use. I order mine with a high rand.

I have several pairs, all in use. My favourite pair is on its third set of soles, as I wear them out. The leather is still going strong and has survived lots of trips onto Gabbro which just eats boots.

Thanks & 73 Tim.


More good info there.

I’ve mostly been buying a combination of leather-lined Meindl Borneo / Asolo 535 (work) and goretex Asolo Granite (now Acacongua) / La Sportiva Makalu for 20 years or so. I’ve tried a variety of others, but have kept coming back to these due to the durability. I used to keep a boot diary, and for work use, these reliably passed the 90 day mark before the first failure and generally died completely around 140 days.

Brands tried during that time have been - time to first failure (from memory as I’m away at work):
Scarpa SL - 60 days - no longer available
Andrew’s Guida Alpine - 420 days (3 sets of soles) - the most uncomfortable boots I’ve ever owned - no longer available
Meindl Makalu / Borneo / Ortler - 90 days
Alsolo 535 (leather) 80 days - no longer available
Lastrite hunter - 90+ days - too flexible for my liking

La Sportiva Makalu - 40-50 days (work), 90 days (dry mountain use)
Asolo Granite / Acacongua - 40-50 days (work), 90 days (dry mountain use only)
Grisport - 35 days - too flexible, too soft
Asolo 525 / 535 (goretex) - 35 days

I’ve not found a Lowa that fits the shape of my feet, though they look to make nice boots.


@G5OLD - doesn’t look like Atberg make a leather lined Tethera anymore. Shame - looks like a nice boot, and I like the Yorkshireness of the name. Guess #3 (tethera) beat #20 (bumfit) as a name!

@EI3KA - I did see that the Scapra SL Activ is now ‘partially’ leather lined only - just the heel box. Which is a shame. There are 3 reasons I need leather lining:

  1. I’ve never had goretex lining last beyond 45 days (typically 30-40) before starting to fail. That’s while the rest of a good boot is pristine. It really, really cannot handle being worn wet every day. But that said, the goretex always fails at the heel, so the leather-lined heel-box of the part-leather SL should resolve that one.

  2. I really do not like wearing wet boots every day. And whilst a leather lined boot can be dried out sufficiently overnight that a wipe out with a cloth in the morning and dry socks leaves me with dry feet, goretex takes days to dry.

  3. Wearing wet goretex boots on hot days leads my feet to turn bright red (‘whore’s lipstick red’) and so sensitive that even a gentle touch with my own finger is agony. Usually by about day 5 of a 10 day stint at work. I’ve tried medicated boot talcs, etc, but no difference. So not sure if its an allergy to the fabric, bacterial / fungal in the wet heat, or - as one past colleague swore who suffered the same result - an electrostatic effect of combining wool socks with man-made fibres (which seems unlikely in a wet environment)

Anyway - given all the above, fabric boots are firmly out. Though I might try the new SL and see if the part-leather lining is enough to prevent this.

The reason I moved away from the SL was poor durability. I was getting about 60 days to first failure off them, whereas the Meindl and Asolo (no longer available in leather) were giving me 90 days plus. As a comparison, the Viram soles tend to need replacing by day 140 in rocky country, more in bush, and more for the harder-wearing ‘commando’ sole material that are very rare these days.


Boots, Boots, Boots chat… It comes around at least once a year!

73 Phil

If a pair would last a year, it would come up less often!

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Wellies. You need wellies Matt. :rofl:

Rossi which is a Australian made walking boot are of all leather construction. Old school type design and are my favourite footwear for long treks.

Don’t know whether they are sold in NZ ? Online buy perhaps.

73 Wal VK2WP

Hi Matt,
I bought a pair of Anatom Q3 Braeriach from Bivouac about 5 years ago and they are my one an only boot I have for the hills. About a year in I had a razor piece of shale slice a 1 cm long cut through the leather whilst I was coming down a scree. Had Mister Minit sow a small leather patch over-top of it and they are still going strong. The soles have started to wear a bit and they can be resoled but as I am using Kahtoola Mini spikes on a lot of the steep stuff now, it hasn’t worried me to much. The inner has a fabric lining, which seems hard wearing and wicks away the moisture very well - like you, I don’t like wet feet.

I can say that I do like them and will most probably get another pair when the time comes. While I recommend them I have one caveat when it comes to you…I believe you would do the same distance in a month that I do in a year.