The Merrell Refuge Pro Gore-Tex is quite a robust shoe. The upper is a mix of leather and suede rather than cheaper synthetic materials, and there is a Gore-Tex waterproof lining. Inside there’s a Aegis antimicrobial treatment to reduce the build-up of smelly bacteria. The heel cup is firm and the toe box is well-protected by a rubber rand. Underfoot the Vibram sole unit boasts 5mm deep lugs so it offers good grip on the softer surfaces of grass and mud. There is reasonable stiffness too for general use and good cushioning. This is a good all round shoe that should be at home in the valley and on some easier hill paths. But I’d like a little more stiffness in the sole and a more distinct heel breast on the sole for better performance off the path. While the upper is good it could be slightly stiffer around the forefoot to protect for rockier ground. The Merrell Refuge Pro Gore-Tex is a good shoe, but perhaps not quite as good as others around this price. For running and climbing others are much better.
Upper nubuck leather and pigskin suede, rubber; Gore-Tex waterproof lining
Sole Merrell Air Cushion, 5mm sole lugs, EVA cushioning
Weight 1064g (pair, size 11)
Made in China
Stores in the UK no info provided
The Merrell Refuge Pro Gore-Tex is a reasonable all-round outdoor shoe, but at this price slightly better performance is available from other products.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2011