Merrell and me – I review more shoes

After my honest review of the EMU Bronte boots – much to my surprise – I was contacted by the delightful folks at fitnessfootwear, asking me if I’d be interested in trying something I might like better. What do you think I said…

Before I go any further, I need to update you on the outrageously unattractive* EMU boots, in the form of a confession:

I wear the ugly things every day. As house slippers. And they are AWESOME at that task. I have to be strategic in my sock selection, as the EMUs are hungry for sucking them down to the toes, but other than that, I kinda love them in a weird way. I still won’t be seen in public in them, but they are performing marvellously as the world’s toughest house slippers. I should stitch bunny heads to them.

Moving on. I’ve had an incredibly busy few months and haven’t had nearly enough time off my desk chair, let alone outdoors, but when I received this next package from fitnessfootwear, it reminded me that there is a world outside my office begging to be run, hiked, and wandered through. I have Gore-Tex now, boys and girls, and no excuse to deny myself the environment beyond my front door (busy or not).

I’m the proud owner of a pair of Merrell Siren Sport Gore-Tex shoes with Q-Form (Q-Form is special for the way it supports the way women move). Sounds tremendously technical, I know, and a little part of me thinks “What do I do with all this power?” I’ll tell ya– anything I want. These shoes are pretty amazing.

I have had a good many trainers and hiking boots in my time, but these are really a marriage of the best qualities of both. They’re not any more bulky than athletic trainers, but have the strength and traction needed for trail running. The supportive body of the shoe clamps around your foot like custom armour, but without feeling like you’ve got Jeeps for feet. The Gore-Tex is brilliant and the despite the heavy-duty materials that make up the soles, the shoes still flex enough to give you grip and control on most surfaces. I say “most” surfaces for a reason; the only flaw I found was that the soles are a little slippy on the damp, painted concrete that leads up to my flat, but that’s not the kind of surface these shoes were designed for anyway, so I forgive them.

Click to see this larger on flickr

I’ve worn these in a variety of situations from exercising on a stepper, to walking around town, to uneven terrain and they’ve felt great on it all. The true icing on the cake however, was my choice of sports socks. I went with a pair of Merrell Light Hiking socks and if I could justify the cost, I’d replace all of my socks to have only these in the drawer. They’re reinforced in the heel and toe, padded underfoot and at the Achilles, vented across the top, and give extra ankle and arch support. I’m not ashamed to say that I wore these socks three days straight. (I don’t have smelly feet, so chill out with the heckles.) The socks aren’t overly thick, and fit perfectly inside the Merrell shoes. I wear a UK size 5, so I picked the Medium socks. Perfect choice and perfect fit. Oh, and they’re the only socks I’ve ever owned that have a 3-Year Guarantee. (I wonder if wearing them every day voids the guarantee…) Between the Gore-Tex and the Duraline + New Wool (that’s what the package says) socks, my feet feel dry and soft even after wearing the shoes all day. I have happy feet!

EMU boots provided for the purpose of review by FitnessFootwear.com

Merrell shoes and socks provided for the purpose of review by FitnessFootwear.com.
I have not been paid otherwise.

* OK, they’re not that bad…

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