Merrell Reactor Gore-Tex Mid
I've had these boots for a few years now since I bought…
Use: Multi-day backpacking
Break-in Period: short dayhikes
Price Paid: $69
I've had these boots for a few years now since I bought them on closeout at Marshall's Dept. Store. Right after I purchased them I went to a more lightweight approach and began wearing trail running shoes on my hikes in the Eastern Sierra's so they sat in my closet for awhile.
I decided to wear them on my trip to the Palisades Glacier last week and used them while carrying my 50 lb pack. I was amazed how well they handled the weight of my pack and the cushion made rocks and trail debris underfoot non-existent.
The best part came when we ditched our heavy packs and boulder hopped across the steep talus and boulders after the trail ended. We had some third class climbing over 12,000 feet and the sticky sole kept me glued to the steep slabs near the glacier.
Another added surprise was that my feet stayed clean. After wearing mesh trail runners it was nice taking off my boots and not seeing black feet from the trail dirt working its way through your wool socks. The Gore-Tex liner worked great and kept my feet bone dry on many stream crossings.
My original laces were replaced awhile back and the cheap Walmart laces snapped at the trail head; thankfully I had another pair in my pack.
Overall they are great boots, they are a little heavy for mid top boots but the leather seems solid and the tread is a winner. The only downfall I can think of is the lacing eyelets. They seem too sharp and the pulling of the laces wear them out prematurely.
I've also worn them with my MSR snowshoes and they worked great. They had a smaller footprint than my North Face Baltoros and were easier to transition to crampons when needed.