Merrell boots: four hooks good, two hooks bad.

10:47 p.m. on June 2, 2019 (EDT)
Randall Purrett @Boulder Strider
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Who's read Animal Farm?

I think it's safe to say that I own more hiking boots and running shoes than a very high percentage of people reading this.  In fact, I'd be surprised if anyone reading this has more than me.  My most recent purchase was a pair of Merrell Terramorph mids.  That makes three pairs of Merrells I own, not counting any old ones in the back of a closest somewhere.  The other two pair I own are the Capra Rise mid and the Moab FST mid.  I think I might like the Capra Rise, if it weren't at least a half size two small.  The other two pair are a bit two wide.  That isn't a criticism, my feet are narrow.  This wouldn't be such a problem for me except that it's difficult to get them laced tightly, when I put them on, then they won't stay tight.  I've never experienced this to such an extent on any other shoe or boot.  I always stop and retighten my boots after walking for a while, but this is different.

I think a large part of the problem is that both boots only have one pair of hooks.  I've never had this problem with boots that have two pairs of hooks.  Yes, running shoes don't have any hooks, but the lacing systems are different.  Running shoes, generally, use eyelets.  Hiking boots don't use eyelets.

I know Merrells are very popular boots, partly because they are value priced, and I know various models have gotten good reviews in boot tests, but right now, I don't have a very high opinion of Merrells.  I've tried three.  I don't think I'll try anymore.  Someone with a wider foot would probably be just fine with Merrell, but if you have a narrow foot, I'd avoid them.  

5:33 p.m. on June 3, 2019 (EDT)
andrew f. @leadbelly2550
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generally agree. i have wide feet and have worn Merrell boots and shoes in the past.

For heavier boots, I wore out a pair of all-leather Merrell Wilderness boots, replaced them with a pair of Raichle boots (leather overlap style), then wore those out and replaced them with Limmer boots - haven't had the need to replace the limmers but have resoled a pair of Standards.  I also have a pair of Limmer lightweights that I also like a lot.  The heavier limmers have a combination of metal speed lace eyelets and metal hooks (i want to say 3 hooks); the lightweights have a different kind of metal speed lace and a couple rows of hooks.

with the heavier boots, i dabbled with using thin webbing as laces.  proved to be indestructible but had a tendency to untie, no matter how i knotted them. I'm now using flat nylon laces, they don't untie. These are both pretty robust leather boots, they don't loosen up much on hikes.

For lighter duty, I wore out two or three pair of low Merrell hikers, but the last time I wore a pair of Merrells was several years ago. I had no issues with the laces, but I had one sole pull away from the midsole and had the gore tex liner in another pair fail. Today, I basically have three kinds of shoes I wear for various kinds of hikes. A pair of approach shoes (current pair is the Five Ten guide tennie, very happy with them) for steep/scrambling conditions. No hooks or speed laces, all eyelets. Like any good approach shoe, they lace almost all the way toward the toe.  Very secure fit. For other hiking where I don't want an ankle-high leather boot, I'm wearing Salomon low hikers or trail runners these days because they do the best job accommodating my fairly bulky orthotics, and because they have width sizing. Salomon's regular shoes are kind of narrow, the wides are good for E width. Trail runners are the XA Pro 3d (not the waterproof version), low hikers are the X Ultra 3 (gore tex). The Salomons both have kevlar quick lacing systems, you pull the very skinny laces through a toggle that locks. They don't loosen - if anything, it's a little too easy to pull the laces very tight, and it can end up hurting your feet.  

there are some good websites about knots that can be helpful for shoes that can't seem to stay tied or that loosen easily. i don't think this Backpacker article is by any means the definitive authority, but it gives some idea of the options. I loop twice - not by double-knotting the 'bunny ears' but by double-looping one of the bunny ears before I tie the knot. someone on Trailspace recommended that knot, it has worked really well for me.  

5:44 p.m. on June 3, 2019 (EDT)
JRinGeorgia
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Try different lacing techniques. This is my favorite: 

https://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/locklacing.htm

Eyelets or hooks, doesn't matter. Instead of lacing through the second-to-top eyelet and crossing to the top eyelet, you take each lace up from eyelet #2 to #1 on the same side, creating a small loop. Then after the laces are through #1 they cross and pass through the loop on the other side. After that all I need is a standard bunny-ears shoelace tie and it holds.

3:35 p.m. on February 10, 2020 (EST)
300winmag
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Hiking Poles-> "Four legs good, two legs bad." ;o)

Eric B.

10:03 a.m. on February 11, 2020 (EST)
andrew f. @leadbelly2550
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BTW - Salomon and Scarpa tend to run narrow, but you would have to try them on to see how they work for you. Some Salomons are available in regular and wide, and I like their wide-sized shoes a lot.

1:18 p.m. on February 11, 2020 (EST)
FlipNC
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I think it's safe to say that I own more hiking boots and running shoes than a very high percentage of people reading this.  In fact, I'd be surprised if anyone reading this has more than me

Randall...if you are going to throw that kind of challenge around on this forum you need to give us numbers. There are a lot of folks with shoe collecting tendencies on here. :) 

5:20 p.m. on February 11, 2020 (EST)
ghostdog
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JRinGeorgia said:

Try different lacing techniques. This is my favorite: 

https://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/locklacing.htm

Eyelets or hooks, doesn't matter. Instead of lacing through the second-to-top eyelet and crossing to the top eyelet, you take each lace up from eyelet #2 to #1 on the same side, creating a small loop. Then after the laces are through #1 they cross and pass through the loop on the other side. After that all I need is a standard bunny-ears shoelace tie and it holds.

  We call that the Heel Lock Lace and that is the only way I’ve laced my footwear for the last thirty years. It works.

11:01 a.m. on February 14, 2020 (EST)
ppine
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I have had one pair of Merrells in my life, a pair of lightweight hikers.  They have no hooks, but are coming apart after about a year. 

May 30, 2020
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