Disclosure: The boots discussed in this review were owned and paid for by my wife. We have no relationship with Merrell. Links marked with (eBay⇒) or (Amazon⇒) are affiliate links. This means I get paid a small commission if you buy something after clicking on the links. This money helps to pay for the running of the website.
My wife and I recently purchased new walking boots. Our old pairs were purchased many years ago and had ceased to be either comfortable or waterproof. Buying a new pair each involved visiting a number of outdoor shops and we ended up learning quite a bit about boots and how they should fit. Here are a few tips we picked up:
- Walking boot fit is a pretty personal thing – although this applies to all shoes, it seems to apply more in this case.
- You need enough space – to test for length, slide your foot forwards in the boot when it’s unlaced. You should be able to get your thumb/finger down the back of your ankle.
- If the shop you are using has a ramp for testing boots, use it. We’d never come across one of these before but they are useful. Lace up the boots properly and then walk down the ramp – your toes should not get crushed against the front of your boots.
- Remember to try boots on while wearing your usual walking sock(s).
- Remember that your feet will swell up when they get hot (when you’ve been walking). Trying boots on in the afternoon can help with this, as your feet tend to get a bit bigger during the day.
- Lacing up boots – even this is an art form. As a general rule, they need to be laced tightly across the foot but looser around the ankle. This prevents your foot from slipping around in the boot (bad) but allows your ankle to bend without causing discomfort (good). One trick when lacing up boots is to bend your leg forwards at the ankle while you lace the ankle – this prevents you lacing the boots too tight to allow your ankle to bend comfortably.
The boots my wife eventually chose were Merrell Outbound Mid GORE-TEX women’s boots.
Although a little heavy for summer trail walking, we often walk in winter mud and on rocky surfaces – both of which these boots will handle well, thanks to their stiff, deep-lugged soles, waterproof membrane and generous ankle support.
The Merrells have been used a few times now and the feedback has been very good – here’s what my wife has had to say so far.
- Very rounded toes and roomy at the front
- Extremely tough sole and solid feeling boot
- Extremely supportive around the ankle
- Very good & easy to use lacing system
- Goretex waterproof membrane seems to work well
- Very comfortable with Merrell’s excellent, supportive insole
- They are quite a heavy boot for summer/warm weather use
- I did have concerns about how well the rubber strip around the body of the boot would last but it’s been OK so far
Overall, they seem to be an excellent walking boot and we’d recommend them.
Buy Merrell Outbound boots on Amazon (Amazon⇒)