These shoes are styled and made to old fashioned quality standards, all leather uppers and a solid super Vibram sole makes this look and feel like old fashioned quality.
- Old style quality
- Great construction
- Top materials
- Slightly heavy
- Not waterproof
With monotonous frequency I have to search for replacement hiking shoes so it seems. So after a web search I hit the retailers and found these shoes by Merrell called Everbound Low hiking shoes.
They stood out with the quality of both construction and materials and with $100 off retail were most attractive.
Now for the nitty gritty. Uppers are 2 mm nu-buck leather with punched holes to assist breathability, stitching is faultless, and all components seem to have been chosen with care; the colour, a mossy green, is pleasant on the eye. There is a good toe bumper and well designed heel cup with a strap to enhance the firm lacing required. The sole by Vibram is based on the old style pattern of nailed mountaineering boots with 5 mm lug depth. This proved to be first class in a wide variety of terrain.
I have had these for just over two weeks and for a day in town pounding concrete found them a trifle warm. On some lower level tracks in the Port Hills they performed as expected, real comfort just like a pair of made to measure shoes of yesteryear. An early walk through dew soaked long grass did not wet my feet much to my surprise and delight. A day on a mountain track walk gave a much better idea of their qualities.
Excellent support. bellows tongue and gaiters kept the debris from entering the shoes. The Vibram soles were stiffer than expected and gave more than adequate protection from varied terrain. The underfoot experience is very reminiscent of the old European "Kletter Schoen" but stiffer. On rock ribbed sections the grip was superb, on steep pea gravel no problems with slipping. It didn't seem to make a difference whether the surface was wet or dry and gave a real confidence to footing in difficult parts of the trail. An added bonus was the soles did not pick up small stones nor hold mud much to my suprise.
All in all these shoes are very reminiscent of the quality found in top quality handmade shoes and boots from the past, though I doubt that they will last the 25 to 30 years my long retired climbing boots did. That said I feel confident that these will prove to be excellent in these days of throwaway crap. These shoes were bought from the Merrell Outlet Shop, Christchurch, NZ.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $179