After hearing so much about how great Merrell boots…
Materials: leather, GTX
Use: dayhikes, long backpacking trips
Break-in Period: Almost none
Weight: 2 lbs. 6 oz.
Price Paid: $120
After hearing so much about how great Merrell boots were, I finally bought the Merrell Legacy's--my first Merrell boot--and I have to say that I am a bit disappointed.
But first the good: the boots fit great and took zero time to break in. As expected, the Vibram Soles are still holding up since my purchase in Spring 2008. The Legacy is lightweight, definitely waterproof with its GTX lining, and even though it is all leather, my feet never overheated. They were very comfortable boots for a simple day hike or week long backpacking trips.
HOWEVER, the metal shoelace clips wear away at the laces and I am on my third pair. I have learned to always take an extra pair of laces with me. I tend to over-pronate and after my first week of hiking in them all day (backpacking in southern Utah)I quickly wore the top inside of the boot down to the foam. I expected a bit more durability.
After a year and a half and about 500 miles in the boots, they are shot, and had met their end before the 500-mile mark, unfortunately. After the last week-long backpacking trip in spring of '09, the leather on each side of the back of the toe box where it meets the sole cracked, allowing sand between the outer sole and midsole making for very uncomfortable lumps under the foot.
Hiking in Yellowstone all summer long, working in the boots in the winter, and then taking them on week long trips in slickrock country where they are attacked by sand and stone and drenched by many river crossings may have been a bit much for these boots. I expected them to be up to the test but was disappointed that they were not. Perhaps they would fare better with someone who only gets out a couple times a year.
I really enjoyed them while they lasted; I only wished they would have lasted longer.