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Merrell Blade

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Blade has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best trail shoes for 2023.

photo: Merrell Blade trail shoe

I am on my second pair. They are very comfortable and seem to get better when they age.

Use: day hikes
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $90

This is my 2nd pair of these things (I wear them until they wear out - about 2 seasons of serious everyday use). They are great for any sorts of light(er) hiking and/or outdoor activities. I find they dry super quick if they get wet canoeing/kayaking. Roomy toe and pretty snug heel (I'm female but find the men's fit wide feet better.) My only complaint is there is no second (heel) lace hole at the top to lock-lace your laces to pull the heels in even tighter. Otherwise, a great all-purpose light hiker.

Materials: leather upper
Use: light-moderate hiking
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $80

Version reviewed: Women's

Very comfy. Roomy in the toes, and a little too roomy for my narrow heel, but I threw in Spenco heel cups and they're perfect now. I enjoy walking and trail-jogging in them.

The outsoles are "sticky rubber." I think I could walk up a vertical rock face in them if it were dry, but these shoes are a disaster on wet rock, even damp rock, so I'm going back to Vibram for the backcountry.

I can't commment on their durability since they are still pretty new.

Materials: Blade (women's)
Use: Light hiking/trail running
Break-in Period: None
Price Paid: list $100, paid $50 (closeout)

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