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Merrell Capra Sport Gore-Tex

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Merrell Capra Sport Gore-Tex trail shoe

A relatively light hiking shoe with some scrambling ability and waterproof lining. Has potential, but is also not that comfortable and does not seem that durable.


  • Alleged waterproof
  • Scrambling ability
  • Vibram
  • Not heavy


  • Cramped toe box
  • Hard sole
  • Durability

Had these for just a few weeks. They protect the foot quite well on rocky trails.

They are not too heavy (about 380 gram size 41) and have some flex to them. They are shaped like an approach shoe. Sole quite hard, mild arch support, cramped toe box, maybe because they tried for the climbing shoe style.

I don't think they will last long as the glue job of the sole does not look that good.

UPDATE 2/18/17: 

Well, they take a few weeks to soften up around the ankle area and especially the tongue which is pretty stiff to start with. I used them mainly for approaches for climbing so far, and they certainly do the job. I didn't feel the rocks so bad on really rocky trails, and downclimbed on gnarly 4th class terrain. They have good smearing.

So based on that i'm raising to 4 stars, although I haven't done a long hike yet. As can be seen in the photo,  the Unifly midsole already shows signs of wear after a month, but given that it is a soft rubber designed to absorb impact I suppose it's expected after the abuse I put them through. 

One more thing, I am not convinced that Goretex in shoes is a great idea. They do smell rather bad after just wearing them around town for a day. I think that's due to the overhyped "breathablitiy" of the Gore lining. Consider getting a non-Goretex version. Cheaper as well.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 70$

Great, supportive shoe for rocky trails.


  • Comfortable fit
  • Breathable
  • Excellent support and traction


  • None yet!

I LOVE these shoes!! Very sturdy soles for rocky trails, which is what I was looking for. My shop didn't carry the Goretex version but they ordered them in for me. I love being out in the rain and have excellent rain gear, thus the desire for dry feet to go with it.

Fit: I have a lot of trouble finding a shoe to fit my right foot. A bad injury years ago collapsed the arch and though, over time and treatment, it has come back, there is a calcium deposit, a displaced medial cuneiform short, it's a fussy foot.

The Capra accepted my orthotics readily, and my foot felt great from the first moment I put them on. There is also a slight size difference (my normal, left foot being a bit smaller) but this is not an issue with these shoes. I use the 'heel lock' method of tying the laces using the extra hole near the ankle.

Comfort: Both feet are happy and comfortable. No pressure points, no chaffing, no problems. What I find interesting is my feet don't seem to get tired in these shoes. I haven't yet had that "I can't wait to take these shoes off" feeling.

Support: This is a very supportive shoe. It feels like the support of a boot, but in a shoe.

Traction: The other day, I had to bushwhack to avoid an aggressive hornet's nest on the trail. These shoes held on various angles of rock, kept stable on a steep scree pitch, and surprised me on a patch of moss that had me worried. I was ready to slip but they held. I was very impressed with them that day. Overall, they are doing exactly what I wanted — keeping me stable on rocky trails. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to test them in truly wet conditions yet.

Temp Control: Breathable, comfortable on a 32 degree C summer day.

Durability:  The durable construction of these shoes makes me think that we will have a long relationship.

Conditions: I live in Northwestern Ontario on the great Canadian Shield. Lots of rock! I've been trying to hike in trail runners that just didn't have the support and stability I needed for dealing with the rocks. With the Capra, I feel like a goat again, trusting every step and placement and letting my desire guide where I go, not limitations of the terrain.

I've also been wearing them for evening walks on an old railway line. The tracks have been removed, leaving this great trail through the woods. But it is covered in large, chunky gravel — hard on the feet without the right footwear. The Capras are perfect.

Overall, I'm very pleased. These are a performance shoe. I have a history of climbing and hiking so I knew what I wanted. This isn't a shoe you would run in. But scamper around on the rocks, yes! I've only had them a month but can't say enough good things about them. It feels great to have a shoe I can trust.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $185

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Price Historic Range: $79.73-$160.00
Reviewers Paid: $70.00
Price Historic Range: $63.00-$160.00
Reviewers Paid: $185.00
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