Merrell Summit II
Materials: Leather uppers plastic rubber lowers
Use: Back Packing
Break-in Period: negligable
Price Paid: $150
I am a geologist and have owned a lot of boots in my career for work and pleasure. My first pair were leather hard shell "berg shue" I purchased in Germany. A lot of other boots died along the trail. I purchased a pair of Merrell's prior to a trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons 4 years ago. After the trip they sat in my closet until this weekend.
The boots were comfortable and I had no complaints and was impressed until I backpacked into the wilderness area of Enchanted Rock in Texas. BOTH soles detached the evening of the first day.
I was leery of the injection molded construction process they use on most of their boots in place of the Norwegian welt stitching. My opinion was justified. On inspecting the first blown out boot, I found that the adhesive/rubber bonding compound affixing the Vibram soles had just disintegrated into a gummy dry powder that you could rub off with your finger. This is common of untried compounds. I had the same thing happen years ago to the foam suspension ring on a pair of high dollar Infinity speakers too.
DO NOT purchase any Merrell boots with the non-stitched sole unless you want to throw them away after a year. We are apparently in the age of the disposable running shoe/boot. Boots should last a lifetime and be resolable. I still have a pair of Merrell's Wilderness with the Norwegian Welt sole that I bought in 1985 and are my warm weather boots and are still going strong. If the welt isn't stitched don't touch it. I doubt if any of their high tech looking boots which look more like running shoes anyway, are resolable. I am in the process of trying to get redress, but I am sure any warranty has expired.
Materials: Leather/Nylon tongue
Use: Short harsh scrambles
Break-in Period: almost none
Price Paid: $150
Purchased this about a year ago and I thought it would be as comfortable as the Summit 1's(which i had for 4 years prior). Have a wide toebox that accommodates my wider forefoot.
No waterproofing, but typically with a leather boot you can add oil or wax to it to get it semi waterproof. Water leaks right through the leather. Better for dryer cooler climates.
However, there is no foot bed cushioning. Your footbed is directly on the vibram footbed. no foam at all. I was a bit disappointed, but they break it really easy, and the issue can be fixed with a new insole. However, I would not recommend these for anything but short dayhikes for people who have very good feet. There is no support for the arch as well.
have taken these on 1-20km hikes. And they work well, no blisters, but you really feel it in the arches of the foot.
the trade off is that if you are in heavy scree, or lava fields, the vibram is one of the hardest grades on a boot these days.(this does not help with cusioning) And will probably outlast the boot.
Okay for the price but not my favorite boots thus far. And I wear/own/test a lot of boots as i work in the industry.
Use: light to moderate hiking
Break-in Period: 2-3 day hikes
Weight: 135 lbs
Price Paid: $160 Canadian
Comfortable boot for the first year of use (approximately 12 days of light to moderate hiking). Just after the one year warranty, the vibram sole on the right boot began to flake off in large chunks, while the left boot remained barely worn. It's been a challenge to get the dealer and manufacturer to stand behind the product, even though this is clearly a defect and not wear and tear.
Price Paid: $165 CDN
Quite comfortable with very short break in time. But good only for very light use, after 1yr I sole began to separate and boot went quickly downhill from there. I wouldn't recommend for multiday trips, workmanship just doesn't hold up to sustained use.
Use: rough trail backpacking
Break-in Period: 1 week
Weight: 2lb. 12oz.
Price Paid: $100
Love these boots, wear them almost every day. I've worn them backpacking with a 35-pound pack on a 90-mile trip this summer in the Smokies and wear 'em to class almost every day--allround great boots.
Materials: leather 2.2 mm vibram sole
Use: weekenders and every day use
Break-in Period: 3 days
Weight: 3.5 pounds combined
Price Paid: $89.99
Great everyday boots. Comfy. Wear every single day. Go with everything, awesome soles. Only complant is they sweat at the place where the sole and leather meet up.
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