Verdict from 1 expert and +100 user reviews

10 reasons to buy

  • A considerable number of trekkers felt comfortable wearing the Merrell Phaserbound Waterproof even in tedious and extensive hikes.
  • Several owners confirmed that this boot was waterproof.
  • Some hikers liked this boot’s grip on various types of terrain.
  • A couple of reviewers lauded its spacious toe box and overall internal shoe volume.
  • Many hikers claimed that the Merrell Phaserbound Waterproof was truly breathable. It kept their foot dry even if the rest of the body was sweating.
  • A majority of users commended its decent fit.
  • It has a good-looking design and well-constructed materials, said some who purchased this shoe.
  • A few backpackers praised its good ankle support.
  • Its cushioning was another feature that a small number of users appreciated.
  • This Merrell hiking boot was worth the price, said some who bought it.

3 reasons not to buy

  • A few users were disappointed with this boot’s upper structure. They mentioned that it was not soft as expected and the sole padding was nonexistent.
  • This boot’s upper and sole easily separated from each other, as stated by a couple of owners who’ve used this pair regularly.
  • A wearer complained that the metal ankle hooks were not positioned well and that the boot’s fit was difficult to adjust because of it.

Bottom line

The main highlights of this boot include its decent fit and adequate breathability and consistent comfort in every hiking adventure. On the other hand, amidst Merrell’s good reputation in the hiking apparel industry, there were still complaints about the boot’s lack of cushioning and durability. Nevertheless, this reasonably priced backpacking boot is highly recommended to experienced hikers and trail enthusiasts who seek performance on the trail.

Tip: see the best hiking boots.

Good to know

  • Merrell uses a variety of footwear tech to make the Phaserbound Waterproof ideal for trekking adventures. As a backpacking grade boot, it is suitable for long outdoor adventures with a heavy load.
  • The upper unit was made breathable and waterproof through the M Select Dry technology. This layer helps in releasing internal moisture and blocking wet elements from the outside, thus keeping the foot dry.
  • The boot has the M Select Fit.Eco for a footbed. It is made of blended EVA and has a shape that follows the contours of the foot. The insole comes with organic odor control which aims to deliver an all-day, stink-free hike.
  • The performance rubber sole is powered by Vibram. It grants traction across different surface conditions, even the slippery ones.
  • Merrell's Phaserbound 2 Tall Waterproof is replacing this model.

The Merrell Phaserbound Waterproof is designed to accommodate standard foot lengths. The women’s version has a width profile of B – Medium. D – medium is the option that’s available for men. A snug fit can be achieved through the classic lace-up closure of the boot. A section that separates the upper set of laces to the lower set allows the user to adjust the tension for the two sections.

The Merrell Phaserbound Waterproof grants traction through the Vibram TC5+ outsole. This slip-resistant technology can handle different trail conditions, whether wet or dry. This rubber sole is also abrasion resistant and features a 5 mm deep lugs that bite into the surface. The rear section is ridged to provide stopping power during descents.

The EVA midsole works with the M Select Fit.Eco footbed in providing the user cushioning and comfort. The former is a rubber-like foam grants flexibility to the boot. The latter is made of blended EVA. It offers support, stability and comfort and keeps the foot fresh through its organic, odor-fighting agent.

The Merrell Phaserbound Waterproof uses a full-grain leather and fabric upper with metal hook and webbing loops for secure lacing. Its ankle-cut design provides the needed ankle support and stability.

This boot is integrated with the waterproof and breathable M Select Dry lining. It is a Merrell-patented technology that acts as a water barrier. It denies any wet element from penetrating the upper and allows sweat and internal moisture to escape. As a result, the foot stays dry and comfortable during the entire hiking session.

The pull tabs located at the back collar and tongue allow easy on and off access, plus, a protective toe rand is placed at the front for shield the toes and prevent abrasions.

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.