The Merrell Phoenix Mid Sport Gore-Tex is a very lightweight option, thanks to its construction and lower ankle cuff. It feels more like a training shoe when you put it on, which could be viewed as a benefit – although that will very much depend on what you are looking for from a boot. The Phoenix has a mesh upper with panels of suede leather, and this is a very soft and flexible combination that gives the boot its instant comfort. But when this is combined with the low ankle cuff and flexible nature of the upper it is not as supportive or as protective of the foot as other designs. The toe box is very soft for example and the heel cup is not as stiff as some others, and so this boot is going to force your feet to work much harder on rockier ground. The sole flex is quite bendy too, so again it’s not ideal for scrambling over rock; but it does have quite an aggressive pattern of lugs for keeping a grip in mud – although again others are a little better. Use the Merrell Phoenix Mid Sport Gore-Tex on level forest tracks and moorland and it is good, but it is not so great on hill paths or rockier ground.
Upper materials fabric and suede leather
Waterproof lining Gore-Tex
Sole unit Merrell Kamet
Weight 1074g (pair, size 11)
Men’s sizes 7-13
Women’s sizes 4-8
The Merrell Phoenix Mid Sport Gore-Tex is a very lightweight boot that is great on soft valley paths and moorland walks, but as you work your way up the mountain onto rockier ground its drawbacks become clear.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2012