Merrell Mens Sawtooth Boot Walnut
Ok, i have always leaned towards the minimalist side. Recently getting into running, I always sacrifice support and comfort to get the lowest profile/lightest shoe possible. So when I hiked, I had always been using a trail running shoes to backpack with. Recently though, I have been taking some longer trips where my pack weighs in excess of 60 lbs. The trail running shoes were not cutting it, and hiking through treacherous terrain my feet and ankles were taking a beating. Furthermore, the last hike I almost rolled my ankle more than once stepping on some rock cropping in the trail. I have owned many work boots and casual boots in my life time, but this is the first hiking boot I have ever purchased just for that.
I made the purchase because of the many positive reviews, especially from our men and women in uniform in the mountains of Afghanistan. They have met and exceeded my expectations. I will best describe them as a 360 fit. One in which you feel you have support at every point the boot touches, which is important if you are hiking through mountains like I recently did. I put 119 miles on them in five days. I am very happy with the good grip, solid fit, kept my ankle from rolling when stepping on awkward and uneven trail surfaces. Those times when you feel yourself going the wrong direction because the weight of your pack. My hike was through the ouchita Mountains in Eastern OK and Western Arkansas. The first 60 miles of trail, there area a lot of 300 ft to 2300 ft climbs, than back down into another valley, than back up. So I definitely put them to the test.
Very happy with these. I plan on using them for about four more hikes, I will than buy another pair and start breaking them in on shorter hikes. That was the only thing I did wrong. I feel these boots need a good 50 miles to get them broke in and for your feet to get used to them. Therefore, if you are wanting to get on a five day or longer hike. Please try and at least put 50 miles on them before you take them out on a longer trip. Which that is the golden rule that is always taught with new boots, but I did not do that.
I would recommend these hiking boots to anyone looking for a quality pair at a good price.