For many years now George Fisher UK has stocked Meindl Boots on our shelves. They are a very important part of our boot range and a firm favourite with many of our staff and customers. We wanted to know why? Why they are so special, why they are so good and how do they make them?
Kirchanschöring, Germany is not an easy place to ‘drop in' to from Keswick. A couple of our staff were invited, as guests of Bramwell International to go on a factory visit. Shirley and Norm were the lucky ones and spent 3 days learning about Meindl, the company and the boots.
On the 25th of September 2017 Shirley and Norm flew from Manchester to Munich and then on to the Meindl Factory in Kirchanschoring. There has been a Meindl boot factory in Kirchanschoring since 1683 when Petrus Meindl was a humble shoemaker. Lars and Lukas Meindl now run the company and between them Meindl Boots has grown, kept up with changes and gone from strength to strength. Lukas met Shirley and Norm wearing his traditional leather lederhosen, some things haven’t changed!
'Everyone in the factory was passionate about what they do right down to the stitching'
When Norm and Shirley visited, the warehousing had just moved into a new premises. Shirley was particularly impressed with the automated ‘picking system’ that whizzed through the new technologically advanced factory. When orders come through, like the one from George Fisher, the robot shoots around the towering block of shoes selecting and collecting the ones requested and adding to the customers’ orders. Norm noticed the ancient machinery used for stitching. Some of these machines are so old and their parts so rare they need to get them specially made. The Meindl business could have moved to a bigger industrial area but have deliberately stayed in Kirchanschoring to support the local community. Everyone in the factory was passionate about what they do right down to the stitching.
There was still a very strong connection to the heritage and history of their beginnings. The sense of family within the staff and management was obvious with both Lars and Lukas knowing all of their staff by name and walking through the factory talking to people. One of their sons was starting his cobbler apprenticeship so was in the fixing and repairs department learning about shoe construction.
'The life of a boot starts with an Italian hide that arrives into the factory'
These hides have been cleaned and processed and are immaculate with no blemishes of faults. The Meindl team then stretch and lay the leather out to be cut. A full leather Meindl boot is a work of art; the stitching and bonding is meticulous, the leather is of the best quality and the final workmanship is still all done by hand. There was a strong smell of glue but loads of vents whirring overhead and a lot of noise expected from a busy factory environment.
If you have ever owned a pair of Meindl (or if you haven’t) they offer a very good resole policy on your shoes. They re-sole, re-stitch and re-furbish your footwear. Bring them into us here at George Fisher UK and we will provide you with more information and assist you with this.
Shirley has been with us here at George Fisher since 2009. She started working in our kids boot section and has been trained and worked on our boot floor ever since. Her favourite Meindl boot is the Bhutan because it’s fit and comfort suits her feet. We can safely say ‘Shirley’s knows her boots’!
Norm has been with George Fisher since 2008 and before that he worked in other outdoor retail shops. He mainly works in our footwear and equipment departments. Having completed all of our in-store training he knows how to find the right boots or shoes for your needs. He has a pair of Meindl boots and particularly likes the Comfort Fit feature of their footwear.
We are very proud of our Boot Department and offer all sorts of services to help you find the right pair of Boots: