For multi-day trips with a heavy pack. Manufacturers emphasize durability and support in the creation of backpacking boots. See backpacking boots
Designed for users who want to cover a greater distance by going fast, usually with a light pack. See speed hiking shoes.
Boots that grant insulation to the user during hikes. See winter hiking boots.
Mainly sandals. Aside from hiking they can be used for other purposes such as water activities. See multi-sport hiking sandals.
Good to know
Casual hikers can choose day hiking footwear or multi-sport sandals. More info here.
Shoes with a cuff that goes below the ankle. See low-cut hiking shoes.
Good to know
Generally, for trails that are easy to tackle, go with low-cut shoes. Go mid to high if there are more trail obstacles.
Experts are hikers, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.
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89 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews
I get the impression that these are the pair of boots that even when they do reach their final days, you just can't bear to part with them as they are just so comfortable.
I give these bad boys five very well-deserved stars.
So, if heading to the Alps is in your future plans, the Merrell Wilderness is the perfect fit.
Updates to Merrell Wilderness
- The Merrell Wilderness is a high-cut backpacking boot that is intended for years of use as it is made durable with the Norwegian welt construction type. Its old-school look is largely thanks to its full-grain, waterproof leather upper.
- Shock absorption and cushioning are made possible by the boot’s microporous rubber midsole. Strap-on crampons are compatible with the pair.
- With regard to surface traction, the Wilderness is equipped with a Vibram outsole. Its zonal lugs provide grip over mixed terrain, especially on loose soil.
- The footwear’s sole unit (midsole and outsole combined) give the boot a rockered toe. This physical, forefoot feature aids wearers during toe-offs, and thus improves their overall mobility.
Merrell Wilderness size and fit
Merrell’s Wilderness is a men’s over-the-ankle hiking boot that runs fairly true to size. It is offered in D – standard width and comes in both whole and half sizes. Getting a personalized and snug fit is achieved with the boot’s classic lacing system.
Vibram’s Roccia outsole is the Wilderness’ response to tricky and slippery ground. Based on the Newflex compound (still by Vibram), this grippy layer goes beyond traction in that it also doubles down on comfort and contributes to the footgear’s cushioning and shock absorption
Protrusions, more commonly known as lugs, cover the majority of the outsole’s surface. They are strategically positioned to give backpackers steady footing over rugged terrain. These protrusions are absent from the arch zone to make way for the outsole’s heel brake—a feature that gives wearers a level of control during descents. To minimize the occurrence of hydroplaning, Vibram engineers built this outsole with ample channels (tread voids or lug gaps) through which water may disperse.
Wilderness users got the boot’s sturdy yet cushy midsole to thank for getting a shock-protected backpacking experience. It is made of microporous rubber—a synthetic kind of elastomer that has strong resistance to heat, weathering, and degradation. The boot is also engineered with a part leather, part TPR (thermoplastic rubber) insole and a dual-density footbed for underfoot support and extra cushioning.
The over-the-ankle Merrell Wilderness backpacking boot has a waterproof upper made chiefly of full-grain leather. It comes with no seams, even the usual gaps between the eyelet flaps and the (bellows) tongue are covered with a bridge material for a level of debris protection. The footwear’s interior is imbued with the Tesivel 3-bar knit lining. It provides a dry and comfortable in-shoe environment for the wearer by wicking away moisture from the inside out.
Instead of regular eyelets or grommets, the Wilderness has a set of Italian metal hardware in the form of D-rings and speed hooks. They are riveted securely to the upper. Their noticeably beveled and buffed finish makes the synthetic laces move and adjust through them fairly easily.
- Light dirt on the Wilderness’s surface must be brushed away using a soft bristled brush. If extremely caked with dirt or mud, it must be washed with warm water and some mild soap.
- This boot is resolable. Users can have the heavily worn sole unit replaced to extend the service life of the shoe.