Verdict from 6 experts and 42 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Many wearers swore by the extraordinary lightness of the TR1 Merge.
  • This mid-top Astral shoe was applauded by experts for being immensely comfortable.
  • Reviewers by the dozen, which include professional shoe critics, were seriously stoked by the footgear’s astonishing grip performance.
  • Its ability to dry quickly, thanks in large part to its highly effective drainage system, impressed numerous users.
  • The Astral TR1 Merge enchanted several owners with its eye-catching design.
  • Some consumers praised the boot’s vastly supportive arch zone.
  • Shoe pundits called this backpacking gear super breathable.

1 reasons not to buy

  • A female blogger considered the roominess of the footgear’s toe box a disadvantage for narrow-footed people.

Bottom line

Multi-day adventurers will find an amazingly grippy and comfortable footgear in the TR1 Merge from Astral. Aside from traction and comfort, however, this fast-drying boot also excels in lightness and aesthetics, making it quite an excellent choice for backpacking fanatics. That said, its imprecise width works against its favor. Nevertheless, the TR1 Merge is a great Astral offering—one that “merges” substance and style so convincingly.

Tip: see the best hiking boots.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

Good to know

  • A multi-season backpacking boot, the Astral TR1 Merge sports a breathable and quick-drying upper, complete with protective overlays. Its over-the-ankle design is rounded out with a padded mesh tongue.
  • Absorbing shock on every landing is the TR1 Merge’s stout midsole made of ethylene-vinyl acetate (a.k.a EVA). What keeps users planted on slippery surfaces, on the other hand, is the footgear’s aggressively lugged, non-marking rubber outsole.

The Astral TR1 Merge is an adequately true-to-size, mid-cut boot for male and female trekkers. It comes in standard width. It is offered in full and half sizes. Its lace-up closure makes fit personalization possible. The pull loop on the heel speeds up on and off.

Delivering traction on the trail is the TR1 Merge’s high-friction and abrasion-resistant rubber outsole. Based on the Astral-exclusive rubber compound called G.15, this component—with its aggressive, 5-millimeter lugs—grips on both natural and man-made surfaces, may they be wet or dry. It possesses a decent amount of flex and is non-marking to boot.

Astral engineers extended its forefoot tip all the way to the upper. In so doing, they have given the gear extra forefoot protection.

Serving as the boot’s stabilizing platform is its EVA midsole. Its noticeably thick construction is designed to cushion the foot against sharp and pointy hazards as well as mitigate shock with every stride. It comes engineered with Astral’s Top Shank—an added component that provides additional medial support, thereby lessening foot fatigue.

Right on top of this beefy layer is the TR1 Merge’s removable insole. It delivers added cushioning, and since it is Polygiene treated, proactively prevents odor buildup.

This Astral gear encloses the foot in a fast-drying, breathable upper made of canvas. Its protective overlays—the heel and toe caps—are made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). It is crafted with a heel counter which grants extra rearfoot stability. The boot’s interior is also padded (around the collar and on the tongue) for a comfy backpacking experience.

The gear’s closure system features eyelets of different types. The lower half is comprised of D-rings which are made of brass, while the remaining ones from the top of the instep up are fabric loops and regular eyelets.

How TR1 Merge compares

This shoe: 79
All shoes average: 82
57 96
This shoe: $140
All shoes average: $206
$45 $495
This shoe: 12.2oz
All shoes average: 20.9oz
8.3oz 43oz
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.