Verdict from 2 experts and +100 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • According to practically everyone who has rated the Merrell Ontario 85 Mid Waterproof highly, the footgear is incredibly comfortable.
  • Many purchasers find an extremely lightweight hiking boot in this offering.
  • The Ontario 85 Mid Waterproof has a remarkably grippy outsole, based on several reports.
  • This boot-type hiking piece from Merrell is fantastic in terms of waterproofing, say about a handful of those who have purchased it.
  • Someone who has been hiking for a long time loves the Ontario 85 Mid Waterproof’s short break-in period.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Based on a review, the boot’s lacing system is a bit tricky to configure. Case in point: When the top portion is tightened, the bottom part loosens.
  • An owner with narrow feet is not amused by the shoe’s attached tongue. She said it has too much excess fabric which gives a poking sensation around the instep.

Bottom line

Outdoor lovers had better prepare for what awaits them in the Ontario 85 Mid Waterproof. Indeed, wearing one paves the way for hikes where great agility and high amounts of comfort are almost always assured. In it, wearers can also expect to experience the trail with exemplary traction and water protection.

That said, this high-quality hiking boot might put off some customers with its inefficient closure system. Nonetheless, the Ontario 85 Mid Waterproof is an outstanding Merrell piece, thanks to its collection of hike-focused pros.

Tip: see the best hiking boots.

Good to know

-The Merrell Ontario 85 Mid Waterproof is a retro-inspired hiking boot furnished with exclusive features to help wearers address a variety of trail-specific challenges in the modern age. Its overall engineering gives users a combination of comfort, protection, and flexibility.

-This ankle-supportive hiker is adequately watertight, thanks to the company-owned tech known as M Select Dry. Its ability to adhere to most surfaces, on the other hand, is courtesy of a hard-wearing outsole from Vibram.

The Ontario 85 Mid Waterproof is an over-the-ankle hiking footgear for men and women. Its fit may be adjusted to the wearer’s preference using the boot’s lace-up closure. Merrell designers opted to furnish the shoe with a bellows tongue to eliminate bunching.

This boot is armed with a rubber outsole from Vibram to give nature seekers as much adhesive power as possible while on the trail. It uses Vibram’s Megagrip compound, which provides sufficient surface traction over different types of terrain, come rain or shine. There are aggressive treads and 3-mm deep lugs engineered all around it to grant trail enthusiasts multi-directional grip and enhanced skid resistance over loose soil.

A compression-molded midsole, which is made of EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate), is what provides ample cushioning and stability in the Ontario 85 Mid Waterproof. It is built with Merrell’s Air Cushion technology at the heel for improved shock absorption.

The midsole’s underfoot comfort is amplified by the brand-exclusive Kinetic Fit Base insole. This contoured removable footbed also provides extra support.

The cozy upper of the Merrell Ontario 85 Mid Waterproof is a combination of suede leather and heavy-duty fabric by Cordura. It has a breathable liner made of mesh and a kind of tongue that fences out debris.  A waterproof membrane called M Select Dry (which the Moab 2 Mid Waterproof also has) lines its main bootie. This proprietary waterproofing also promotes ventilation.

This boot of a hiker uses D-rings and metallic hooks for eyelets. A synthetic lace is set through these combination eyelets by default, completing the boot’s fit management system.

-The low-cut version of this Merrell Ontario hiking boot is simply called Ontario 85.

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.