The Explorer III has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best backpacking boots for 2020.
Reviewers Paid: $140.00
Historic Range: $135.00
These boots were the second pair I bought. Going from Salomon to Merrell I thougth I was going towards quality ... wrong ... I've owned them four years now and after my last 40km trip through the Monts Groulx in Quebec the inner layer of tissue started to rip apart. The sole already begins to peel off and the leather looks like nubuck.
Not that I don't treat them well. I clean them and put a waterproof layer after each trip. These boots are very comfortable but very fragile. I recommend them to people making long trips in clean easy trails ... but for real offroad backpacking ... find another brand ... I'm looking at Montrail or Asolo for my next pair.
Use: rough trail w/ heavy pack
Break-in Period: 1 month
Weight: 185 pounds
Price Paid: 200$ CAD
I love these boots; they are by far the best thing I've ever put on my feet. I didn't buy these for hiking; I bought these because they just feel great. I wear these boots everywhere, inside the office, on the street, or out in the woods.
I have a hard time getting a shoe that helps my lower back problems. These boots give me a stance that is level and not tilted forward like so many shoes are. The support and cushioning is excellent. I wear them every day, I kid you not!!!
If I am on a cement floor such as in a store and I don't wear these boots; my back bothers me rather quickly. These boot help me keep my pain levels down, so that I can enjoy life an little bit more; whodathunk a boot could improve the quality of life! ;)
I hope Merrell will continue to make these for-ever??? I now need a new pair and am trying to find someone who has them in stock.
My advice to Merrell and other companies that make a good shoe; don't muck with a great shoe or discontinue it. I've seen this kind of thing done one too many times. When you find a shoe/boot that feels just right; you almost need to purchase a lifetime supply to keep you in stock.
Additional comment: The Vibram mutant soles are excellent; they are wider than other boots soles and give you a good sense of stability. I really like this wider sole especially at the heel.
Use: everyday use
Break-in Period: shorter than I thought; a few days
Weight: who cares, they feel great! Medium weight.
Price Paid: $140