Merrell Phaser Rush Gore-Tex
I tried on over probably 60+ pairs of hiking boots…
Materials: leather & goretex
Break-in Period: minimal
Weight: extremely light
Price Paid: Aprox $89 on sale
I tried on over probably 60+ pairs of hiking boots from $50-$300 in the course of a couple of months trying to find the right boots. I even returned a few pairs of much more expensive boots and one of them was after a weekend of hiking. I was beyond my wits end and ready to give up until I tried on the Phaser Rush for the first time.
I was amazed how closely it fit and how extremely comfortable it was in the store. Since buying them in August of 08 I have done several hikes in them and one of them required 2 miles or more of crossing a boulder field without a trail. I weigh 210#'s and was carrying a 20# pack. I was hiking in them non-stop for 12 hours and when I got back to truck at the end of the day I didn't want to take them off WOW! They were that comfortable.
I have since used them every week since the deer season opened in Montana. They are super light and super supportive and very close fitting and seem to breath very will. So far they don't leak and I would not expect them to since it is quality Goretex and not some knock-off to it.
I do a lot of side hilling in very rugged conditions and they work great. I would use them with up to a 40-50# pack with no concerns and possibly more. The only thing I notice is that I never use the top eyelit since it is to close to the top of the tongue and you actually loose support when you do because you then can't snug the next eyelit down enough without giving a pressure point.
The soles grip very will but I wish they had more of a pronounced heel for slippery down hills to act more like a brake. I really like the way they flex forward without anything hendering but still giving incredible amount of support as will as tons of tortional support.
The most comfortable boot I have ever owned for all around hiking.