Merrell Tetrex Crest Wrap
They work well enough but are a disapointing replacement for my old Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Sandals.
- Comfortable on a wide variety of surfaces
- Good grip on dry surfaces
- Protect feet and toes
- Replaceable inner soles
- Laces not elastic fastening
- Slippery on some wet surfaces
- Not easy to get on
- Inner soles failed after a few weeks
Although they are sold as sandals, it would be more accurate to think of them as shoes with holes, because they are ideal for walking in water. Personally I like the style over conventional open-toe sandals because of the protection they provide, but I know some people who don't, particularly as they tend to get little rocks and things stuck in them more than the open-toe type.
I bought these as a replacement for my old Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve sandals (see my review from 2017) which had done long and faithful service. I figured that being from the same company they would be a new, improved version. Sadly Merrell have gone backwards despite these selling the Tetrex for roughly the same price as the Sieves.
The good: As sandals, they generally work well, being comfortable, providing foot protection especially in the water from things like coral. They have good grip on dry surfaces and support the foot fairly well (better than open-toe sandals). I'm not going to abandon them, but they are disappointing in some important areas.
The bad: The first and most crucial for this kind of footwear is that they do not grip well on smooth wet surfaces like mossy rocks and metal pavement covers. Merrell have ditched the Vibram soles of the Sieve which worked well for an own-brand sole labelled 'Select Wet Grip'. It doesn't.
I tried to fix this by applying Shoe Goo which helped but should not be necessary and doesn't look like it will last.
The second issue is this kind of sandal/shoe should be quick to get on and off when wet. To achieve this the Sieves came with elastic laces and an elastic heel strap whereas the Tetrex came with conventional laces and a stiff heel. I replaced the conventional laces with elastic but it is only a partial fix.
The Tetrex have an open mesh upper and large holes that are a little above the sole. The result is that they are less prone to getting rocks and bits of coral in them than the Sieves. The different design of heel also helps this although as noted above, it makes them harder to get on.
Eagle-eyed readers will note that the inner soles in the Tetrex say "The North Face" not Merrell. This is because the innersoles that came with them were rubbish and lost resilience after a few weeks wear so I replaced them with spare North Face inner soles.
To sum up: Merrell Tetrex Crest Wrap sandals do the job I bought them for well enough, but I really should not have had to make the changes I have. And, I have to be carfull walking on some surfaces.
I walk around 2,500 km a year and have walked about 200 km in these in a variety of wilderness and urban settings over the past three months.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: AUD 139
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1 lb 5oz / 600g