These are more like a mid-cut version of a multi-activity shoe than a traditional boot. This means they lack the protection and support of a sturdier model. Of course, in return they do offer great comfort levels, with the combination of a soft sole unit and flexible mesh and mixed-material uppers providing great comfort right out of the box. Although the waterproofing and breathability are sound (with a Gore-Tex membrane), the lower ankle height does mean that water can get in over the top easier than in some higher-ankle models. This lower ankle also means that locking the heel in place can be a little more difficult, with only a single lace loop above the ankle section to keep things in place. Grip is surprisingly decent in general conditions, and only falters on wet rock and stone. However, while the flex in the sole helps to boost grip, it’s at the expense of long-term comfort.
Upper: Waterproof Dura leather and mesh upper
Lining: Gore-Tex XCR
Sole: Vibram® Multi-Sport/TC5+ rubber
Women’s version: Yes
Contact: 0207 860 0100; www.merrell.com/uk
*Published in Country Walking magazine, April 2012