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on September 12, 2010
I bought these last spring after a few years of being annoyed with a fine pair of boots which are just too heavy for my kind of backpacking.

I started hiking in the days when the proper pair of boots for trail hiking was something like Riekle (sp?) Rotondos, which weighed five pounds per pair and were as cozy as cast concrete. But they were tough!

After years of cutting the weight of each new pair of hiking boots, and often just wearing running shoes instead of boots, I searched for a high-topped version of running shoes because low top shoes pick up too many little pebbles, sticks, and grit. I tried these over a busy summer of backpacking, and I really like them.

They're extremely comfortable and cushion steps very nicely, even making loose-rock strewn trails tolerable. I also found that they're great for off trail on rock, turf, and dirt of all sorts. Snow isn't a strong point for them, but I carry light, instep crampons for that nasty stuff if it gets steep. On the granitic rock of the Wind River Range, and the slate and rubble of the Olympics, they stick; ascending, descending, and laterally. I didn't get much walking on wet rock this summer, but stream fordings showed that they're nothing special on slick underwater rock, but not bad.

Despite being really out of shape starting a hard Wind River trip, I had no foot problems until my final day of descending 4000' on miserable trails, and I picked up a minor blister on the ball of a foot. A week later I was totally comfortable again in the Olympics (and glad to have some oxygen to breathe for a change).

Concerning Gore-Tex vs. breathables: I've discovered that for me, non-Gore-Tex is best for summer hiking, even in the wet. I learned that just clambering across a stream and letting the water squish out after is quite pleasant. The boots still feel fine, and you've got cool feet on a hot day, too. I used to stop at every ford and change into something for wading every time, like most hikers I've seen, but wading is actually pleasant, and a lot simpler than changing footwear twice within 20', or teetering across rock steps or stray tree trunks. In miserably soggy Olympic Mountain weather, Gore-Tex boots eventually just fill up with water anyway, and are slow to drain.

Gore-Tex is best, I think, for around-town walking in wet weather, or in cold weather hiking. Just my two cents worth ...
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on November 10, 2007
This shoe walks me! I guess that means that most other shoes fight the natural ergonomics of human stride, heel to toe! It is impressive! But beware, Merrell shoes run SMALL! I wear 9 1/2 to 10. This shoe fits me at 11 1/2! I have a very similar Merrell low top hiking shoe; but it is size 11! So for mail order, MAKE SURE RETURN IS FREE! Otherwise you will have to pay as I did to return for correct size. This shoe came as an Amazon purchase from ShoeMall! ShoeMall said I was not their customer so they do not pay for return shipping. Amazon paid what ShoeMall would pay = $7.00, but the cost with FedEx was $15.80 to return. OK! I love the shoe.
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on July 15, 2015
After only 3 uses the cloth under the insole has already unraveled. This is the first shoe this has happened to. So far not a big problem but will see how it affects the insole or hiking comfort on further uses.

After another few weeks the sole of the shoe is detached. Soon it'll be completely off. Highly recommended not to buy from this dealer through Amazon. I notice because I'm past the 30 day period I can't return it for a replacement or to get repaired.
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on March 10, 2009
I love these boots and I've had several pairs. My one complaint is that the little fabric eyelets always rip. Right now I have to order my third pair because this has happened yet again. If I found a similar boot that had metal eyelets I would be ordering those instead.
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on February 19, 2010
From the trail to the street, these hiking boots are comfortable and worth their weight in gold.

I used them a lot for trail hiking in the summer time. They are very light weight and very comfortable. Mix these with Wigwam hiking socks, heavy pack in rough terrain = no blisters after days of use. I did a lot of hiking in these and never had blisters. I can't say the same for other hiking boots. A very comfortable boot. When I got blisters from other shoes, I could wear these and they would not cause friction on the blistered areas due to the excessive cushioning factors and displacement of surface area.

I bought a second pair to keep in reserve. They are that good.

Cons: They eyelets could use some re-enforced stitching to make them more durable but that is the only issue after about a year of use, they have not failed me yet.

Don't get these boots wet, they absorb water fast like a sponge. Ford the creeks / streams in flip flops. They dry out fast though if wet and keep their cushion effect and terrain gripping capability.

The tread is a medium wear type, not too soft, not too hard so it will wear through in a season with heavy use but being under $100 that is not a problem for the comfort level it provides you on the trail and gripping capability.

An outstanding hiking boot for it's price range.
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on March 7, 2012
I am a serious hiker, to the point that I walked all the way across Scotland, through the highlands. In living in Europe, walking/hiking is an ethic in some countries, and I can say, without reservation, that Merrel makes some of the best treaders in the industry. Have been wearing them for years, and they even finished the Nijmegen Vierdaagse (four days, 25-30 miles per day) with me, two years running. They're light, comfy, and breath better than most. I do find that they work best when I insert a good gel-sole, but that's all I do, and I'm off and running. They also last forever, and I don't pitch them until the bottoms are almost gone, which is usually around 2-3000 kilometers. Outstanding product!
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on October 3, 2010
Purchased a pair of these last year. Great hiker, light weight, good grip sole. Used almost daily for light trails. The only complaint is the material that covers the rear shank,(behind your heal/achilles, has worn through exposing the plastic shank which left the shoes unwearable. This could be solved if bit more padding or double over the material could solve this issue. Would I purchase again, yes.
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on November 22, 2015
I've put 500i-sh miles on this pair on NH trail and mountains. They're fairly light, although there are lighter options out there these days.

They're breathable, rather than waterproof, which suits my hiking style of staying on the trail, and walking through puddles rather than widening the trail like an idiot. Feet get wet on the trail, it's just part of hiking. Just make sure to dry your feet well, at night. The boots will mostly dry out by the next morning as well. Basically, still comfortable when wet.

Comfortable and breathable in the heat as well. I tried a synthetic lightweight sock, and it felt like the sweat just pooled in these. Switched back to a wool sock and the problem was solved.

Traction is good, other than on steep wet rock, or of course, ice. Haven't noticed significant change in traction at 500 miles. I only wear these on the trail, to save the sole from abrasive roads and sidewalks.

The stitching and construction is bulletproof. Not a single loose thread or separating part. I was initially concerned that the laces would saw through the fabric eyelets, but years later, there's just the hint of wear.

When I first put the shoes on, I was worried that the heel might have even too much loft, but they quickly formed to my feet, and have held up fairly well. In fact, the reason I'm here today is to buy some new sole inserts, because while the originals are still holding together, they seem a bit flat.

Good heel support, and good lateral support at the toe box. I've tried other shoes where it felt the front of my foot was spilling over the sides. I'd imagine this will vary based on your foot shape.

Edited for spelling.
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on October 25, 2015
I work in these boots everyday in the groundskeeping business. Impressed with initial quality, look, price, etc, but very disappointed that after just 2mos the soles have become paper thin (I can feel gravel pressing into my feet!) and the tread gives me almost no grip anymore on a grassy hillside. Bought some thick insoles at Walmart in hopes of stretching their lifespan to 6mos. Not the kind of quality I'd expect from spending 90 bucks on Merrell boots with Vibram soles. I've had much better luck with Merrells in the past.
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on November 13, 2014
NOTE: I wrote the following review, and posted it to the Merrell website over a month ago. It has yet to appear on the website. I guess you can add censorship to the list of Merrell deficiencies...

I am currently on my fifth pair of Moab Ventilators, dating back 10 years or so and have loved them all that time. This will be my last pair, however, as they have been nothing but problems. The materials are disintegrating and are obviously inferior to the previous quality. The tabs on both boots have torn off in under 4 months; something that has never happened on any of my previous pairs of boots. One boot has developed a squeak, and the suede upper has begun to tear away from the top of the boot.

I would tend to chalk this up to some kind of anomaly with this particular pair of boots, but I have purchased Moab Ventilators for a friend as a gift, and the recipient is having the exact same issues with his boots as I have had with mine.

I took the time to write a letter to the new president of Merrell, Gene McCarthy, explaining that I was a long time and loyal customer, and related my problems in the hopes that he would recognize and rectify any issues. I was hoping for some kind of response, but haven't received any kind of acknowledgement in the two months since the letter was mailed. I think that's a good indication of the level of concern that Mr. McCarthy has for his customer base.

In any case, it's with regret that I can no longer recommend Merrell to my friends and family, or to anyone that is looking for a long lasting, quality hiking boot.
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