Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve
Good compromise between a shoe and sandal that works…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $AU 180
Good compromise between a shoe and sandal that works well wet or dry.
- Easy to get on and off
- Grip well on wet slippery surfaces
- Great lacing system
- Dry quickly
- Sole stiff enough for light hiking
- Sole might wear out prematurely
- Openings let rocks and sticks in, but less than regular sandals
Background: I have only had these for four months but have walked around 100 km (60 miles). So far they have been very good. I got them for use in water on a trip to Lord Howe Island (World Heritage listed and fabulous—look it up), but my hiking boots fell apart on the first day so I finished up wearing them for everything: hiking, kayaking, coral reef walks, dinner, the lot.
Comfort: Great, straight from the box. These are sold as sandals but I think of them as shoes with holes, since the holes are much smaller than normal sandals.
The plus side of that is that water can still run out easily, but your toes and most of the foot are better protected than regular sandals. The minus side is that they still pick up a few rocks and sticks through the holes at the side and back.
Lacing: The lacing system works well. As well as the quick action laces, the back of the shoe is elasticised so they stay on for casual use even with loose laces.
For more serious stuff, the laces can be tightened for a secure fit. I also like that the laces flex as your foot moves unlike some other brands that use non-stretch laces. (I once had some Salomon shoes with Kevlar laces that were terrible).
Traction: Good wet and dry, including on slippery rocks. (See my Merrell Moab Rover shoes review. Same shoe brand, same sole brand, but very different performance on wet surfaces. Moral: don't buy just on brand names.)
Stiffness: They have enough stiffness in the sole not to feel sharp rocks under your feet. I have done a lot of hiking on very rough tracks with no problem other than small rocks getting in. I'm not sure how they would go with a heavy pack though.
Drying: They dry quickly after being in water. I always rinse in fresh water after going in the sea as I find the salt makes them feel damp even when dry.
Durability: So far no problems other than a couple of loose thread ends that should have been trimmed at the factory. One potential concern is that the heels might be wearing faster than I would expect (arrowed in top photo).