The Vertical has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best mountaineering boots for 2020.
Reviewers Paid: $185.00
Historic Range: $78.36
i had no comfort issues at all with these boots. i think sometimes that is just a matter of chance and how your foot is shaped. however i did have the same problem with a hook breaking off. that was just sad. i figured it could only happen to me but apparently not.
that being said, the actual performance has given me nothing to complain about. of course like any other boot in this class, you take it off and feel like you just took 5 pounds of weight off. because you did.
If you LOVE heel blisters and sore ankles, buy this boot. To be fair, the boots do have a nice firm platform for climbing, but don't lock your heel down nearly well enough for the use. Another major gripe is the use of plastic in the heel. Plastic! Not quality plastic either, but what you'd expect to find in your son's toy army man.
Anyway, there is no padding between the layer of non-flexible plastic and the inner leather lining, so heel blisters are an ever present reality. It's too bad too, because it seemed like Merrell had a decent idea with these shoes, but they just got cheap in materials and construction (I had a lacing hook break off while trying to tighten the boot so my heel wouldn't raise too much).
Promptly returned the boots to REI after a three-week sentence, and have set out with some Sportiva Nepals, which are much superior. Buy at your own risk -- only thing Merrell makes worthwhile are the mocs.
Materials: leather and plastic
Use: alpine climbing, gen. mountaineering
Break-in Period: don't know
Weight: 8lbs (size14)
Price Paid: $185