The Phaser Peak has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best hiking boots for 2020.
Historic Range: $125.00
Reviewers Paid: $36.00-$160.00
Historic Range: $125.00
Soles delaminated after approximately 18 months.
Bought the boots online and they are true to size.
The boots are warm, possibly a little too warm for Arkansas summer hikes. After about 6 hours in them my feet where still comfortable, but socks were very damp. I wear them with Bridgedale Coolmax Liners and Bridgedale wool hiking socks. The break-in time is very little, if any, and the boots are comfortable.
Only downside is the laces tend to loosen up. They come with round laces, which I may change out to see if they improve.
Overall: Very satisfied
Update: November 25, 2011
Finished Section 1 of the OHT last weekend. 11.5 miles the first day and 7.5 the second day. Trail conditions were rocks, dirt and rock hopping wet creeks. Boots performed excellent. No blisters.
I did change the laces to a stiffer waterproof type lace from the standard stock laces. This did solve the issue of the boots laces becoming loose.
Update March 2013
Okay, let me update where I am at and why I have reduced the stars.
I have used these boots extensively in section hiking the Ozark Highlands Trail and multi-night trips in the Ozarks and Colorado. I would estimate I have about 300 miles on these boots while backpacking and another 100 or so miles in day hikes.
I was on the 1st day of an overnighter last month. About 6.5 miles in I noticed the soles delaminating on the outside of each boot about mid point. Both boots show the same separation at the same point. To me this is a glue/quality issue. With an MSRP of $170 I would expect to get more than 19 months use.
I would not recommend due to quality issues.
Price Paid: $129
Decent, but disappointing longevity...
I purchased the Merrell Phaser Peak as my first serious pair of hiking boots. They were comfortable right out of the box and provided good support without too much weight. The Vibram sole gave me firm footing on everything from wet rocks to ice and snow.
Speaking of that Vibram sole, it was one of the boot's main selling points since it could easily be replaced. It turned out that was a feature I would not need. After a year (nine months of casual use and three months of daily use trekking in China), the soles are still in reasonably good shape, but the rest of the boots are coming apart. The rubber toe caps are coming unglued, the stitching is breaking on the plastic heel supports, the heel linings are shredding, and, worst of all, the boots are no longer waterproof and leak at the arches, leaving me with cold, wet feet after just a few minutes of hiking in a few inches of snow.
Though they served me well for most of the past year, for the price, I was hoping for more life out of these boots.
Materials: leather outers, nylon lining
Use: rough trail w/light pack
Break-in Period: none
Weight: 3 pounds
Price Paid: $120
Don't buy them, they leak and are cold. I've had two pairs and still the same—not waterproof.
- They fit good
- Leak and are cold
- Not waterproof
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $160
I got these after my Keen boots failed. I went to REI and traded up for this boot.
I went on a 5 mile hike before going to REI and tried on the boots, they felt great and didn't give me any problems. I took them on my first hike near my house, I have a area that I test all my gear before going on long hikes, the trail is 3 mile oval, rock, dirt and water areas.
I found a problem with the shoe laces, they keep coming undone, even if double knots were used. Also the insole was almost useless. I changed the laces with waterproof version from REI and insole to Superfeet green. This is how the boot should have came, this solved the problems.
I wear inner sock liner and wools socks, the boot runs a little warm but I can deal with it. If you read about the boots a lot of people claim they are heavy, but I wear work boots all day, which are about 4 1/2 lb. The boots are over 3 lb but feel great. When you lace them up I like the control you have to make your shoe fit around your foot. This boot keeps your heal in place, with no hot spots.
Pro: Feels great right out of the box, price, good outside sole holds you to the ground, dirt, rocks
Con: Laces, insole and made in China
I have put approx. 300 miles on the boots, what I feel is the boots should last 1000 miles if you take care of them. The main reason I wanted waterproof is for rain, no water crossings. I have not tested them in the tub or in streams so I can't give a fair answer on how waterproof they are or not.
I use them only for hiking, and I only do day hikes at this time, with the max distance of 27 miles. One last note if you change the laces make sure they are long enough.
Price Paid: $36 with trade in