Merrell Geomorph Blaze Hiking Boots
By Matt Marine
I always hiked in my tennis shoes. Well, they weren't really tennis shoes, they were walking or cross-training shoes. Usually bought solely on price and comfort for standing or light walking. I didn't really believe there would be much difference between hiking in them and a dedicated hiking boot. I was wrong. Very wrong.
In the past few months, I went on a couple of bushwhacking hikes that were longer and more difficult than my usual easy day hikes. I found my daily cross-training sneakers left something to be desired on these hikes. They provided no ankle support, lacked good traction and thorns and foxtails easily penetrated the mesh uppers. It was time to find some hiking boots.
I went to a local outdoor adventure store and told them what wanted. They pointed me toward the Merrell Geomorph Blaze hiking boots. I had always heard good things about Merrell, so I decided to give them a try.
Wow! What a difference they make. After my first hike, I understood what I'd been missing all these years. And was kicking myself for not getting them years ago. It was like going from street tires to BFG KM2 mud tires. The traction they provide is unbelievable. When you look at the treads, they do look at little like mud tires for your feet. And they make me more confident. Not sure really how to describe it, but I feel like I can climb anything in these.
I've had them for about 2 months now and have taken them on a few good hikes. They provide great support for my feet. I am also able to climb rocks and inclines that would have been difficult in my old shoes. Again, I am amazed at the amount of traction these bad boys provide. I went down an extremely steep snow covered mound of mine tailings in these that I would have never attempted in my cross-trainers. Having to use the sides of my shoes to cut through the snow and into the loose dirt, I was able to climb down ... and not fall. Others were not so lucky and had to slide part of the way down on their rear ends.
I don't know how long they will last, but my initial thoughts are that they are put together well (and from talking with others who own Merrells, that's what I would expect). My only two gripes so far about them are the cost (over $100) and I would have liked a bit more ankle support.
Great traction. Just look at the tread on these guys and you can see why.
Fairly light for a boot this size with such a big tread.
Good thorn and sticker protection.
Good looking boot.
Good water resistance.
Although about equivalent to other high-end hiking boots, they do cost more than my "on-sale" cross-trainers. I guess you get what you pay for, but would like to pay under $100 for these.
A little more ankle support. Even tied tight, they are looser than I would like around my ankles.
Awesome hiking boots. Highly recommend them. I wish I would have bought me a pair years ago. This is my first pair of Merrell's and I'm already a big fan.