Most helpful critical review
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Heel came unglued almost immediately
on 15 September 2014
I was very disappointed with these Merrell Phoenix Gtx Boulder hiking shoes as I wanted a pair of waterproof shoes for walking in during the winter months.
Upon receipt of these shoes I could immediately see that the soles were not glued on to the actual sole to the standard I would expect for such a shoe. There was no way that they were going to be waterproof.
There were bits of glue in various places on both shoes and, even worse, you could quite clearly see lots of gaps between the rubber sole and the shoe itself - either they had not applied enough glue to stick both sole and shoe together or the manufacturing of the shoe was faulty.
I don't know about you but I expect shoes marketed as waterproof to be waterproof - any shoe that has such numerous holes and gaps between the rubber sole and the shoe itself is certainly not going to be waterproof.
Any rain will simply run into the holes and collect beneath the shoe between shoe and sole. The same thing will happen if walking on wet pavements or occasional splashing through puddles. The water will no doubt begin to smell and, worse, leave you with wet feet.
In particular, the gaps between sole and shoe around the heel were just too much - lots of space - and I doubt that the soles would have stayed attached to the shoe for long.
The above was a real shame as the shoes felt really comfy when I tried them on. I ordered size 12 and size 12 was fine for me. I have wide feet and these felt the right width for me.
I have bought lots of Merrell over the years and most of the pairs I bought 8 to 10 years ago were fantastic - long lasting and waterproof. But recent purchases of their shoes has been very poor in terms of quality.
I have seen numerous Merrell shoes where there have been poor quality gluing between sole and shoe - i.e. loads of small and not small gaps along the seam between sole and shoe which should be perfectly sealed. IMPO they seem to have a manufacturing problem with large mens shoe sizes.
I did actually wonder whether the small hands of Chinese workers making these have trouble manipulating the large mens shoe sizes - and hence this is why you see so many large mens Merrell shoes with this above problem? It doesn't seem to be a problem with smaller sizes from what I have observed.
Merrell really need to crack down on their quality control or move their manufacturing somewhere where they can be assured of quality. Let's face it - the number one thing you want in a waterproof shoe is for it to be waterproof.
So, what do I think of these Merrell Phoenix shoes? If they had been a cheap pair of trainers that I did not expect to be waterproof they would have been about OK... just about. But for a high-priced quality waterproof shoe they were rubbish.
Maybe I just got unlucky and got a bad pair?
I returned them. Amazon returns were excellent.
September 15th, 2014.