- 3 mm lug depth
- Outer Material: Other Leather
- Inner Material: Textile
- Sole: Synthetic
- Closure: Lace-Up
- Heel Type: Block
- Material Composition: Synthetic
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These All Out Blaze Sieve shoes from Merrell feature waxy waterproof leather upper and Vibram TC5 outsole. These shoes also feature Lycra neoprene stretch collar for easy on and off.
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I bought them ahead of a trip to the American SW (National Parks, deserts, forests, streams etc.) and they seemed ok at first but problems started to arise quickly...
1. the stitching on the elasticated rear straps (where the elastic is sewn to the neoprene) started to unravel after just a couple of days - on ALL four points. This must surely be a design flaw...?
2. When wet, the foot plate becomes very slippy and causes your foot to move inside the shoe. Not what you want when walking on an uneven surface through moving water!
3. The elasticated laces seem good quality but did hurt the top of my foot when tightened in an attempt to adequately secure the shoe. Invariably I'd have to slacken them off completely and forfeit stability. More padding on the 'tongue' might have helped?
4. Generally the shoe seemed to lack support/stability and I never felt that it was suited for hill/trail walking, scrambling etc. - and therefore not worthy of the premium price tag IMO.
On a positive note, the soles were grippy (Vibram) and the vents did help to keep your feet cooler... although the toes did get warm.
As per other reviews, the Merrell All Out Blaze range seem a little on the small size, so order next full size up for a comfortable fit.
Once we had arrived at Fort William I realised that in my rush to leave the house I had forgotten to actually put the hiking boots in the car.
Faced with a bit of a dilemma I eventually decided to try the climb up UK's biggest Munroe in these glorified sandals. After all, how bad could it be?
Turns out it was pretty good. The Merrell sandals were superb. Excellent traction underfoot gave me a huge amount of confidence whilst climbing. Despite not having any socks on my feet felt comfortable and the light weight of the shoes/sandals made climbing a realitvely easy affair.
Once at the top my feet felt a little sore and my ankles a little weary but nothing to worry about.
On the way back down I realised the weakness of these shoes. They have VERY little in the way of cushioning. After a near four hour descend in 28 degree heat my feet, ankles and knees were not doing so well. I developed two blisters on one foot due most likely to my feet getting wet whilst trudging through a patch of snow near the top.
Inspite of this I feel I have to give the shoes five stars as they went above and beyond what they are designed to do and coped with rock terrain, snow, 28 degree heat and 9 miles of climbing and descending.
Two blisters was a fair price to pay.
The lacing system worked perfectly and the vibram soles are superb.
If you're on the fence I would recommend that you get these. Since the climb I've used these as driving shoes, hiking shoes, beach shoes and training shoes.
I'll be using proper hiking boots for my next Munroe though!
The criticism is they feel a little flat with no support around the arch area and as mentioned by some other reviewers they feel a little strange around the heel area almost as if the heel is collapsing as i walked, so loose the star rating for this.
I wouldn't purchase again, and just use to pop to the shops etc so i may as well bought a cheap pair for what it's worth.
My preference now is Keen sandals, much better support and feel better quality.
Although the sandals are still comfortable, the issue with the heel area feeling odd and collapsing a bit is annoying and also feel the ankle strap is too low and i am constantly pulling it up, as said previous i would not purchase again and i just use them to pop to the shops etc.
I will always buy Keen sandals in future.
What I don't love, however, it the "insole" material in contact with my feet.
It seems to be some form of (very slightly rubbery) plastic, which makes my feet feel somewhat "clingy" :(
Socks make it much more comfortable but these shoes shouldn't need them.
Maybe this is common in this type of shoes (sandals), in any case it's one of the big CONs for me.
Had to buy a size 10 when I am normally an 8.5 / 9 so please heed this and the many other warnings to go higher otherwise your toe nails will clip the front inside.
Bought these for my trip to South Africa (had to buy when wife was in S.A. because she hates them by default) and they were in the sea several times, waded deep into a reed bed whilst fishing and hill walking in Hartenbos.
These sandals are excellent, they have the same sole as my walking boots and it shows, albeit these are significantly more comfortable than my walking boots. I would definitely recommend these, I hope they last but time will tell. I am doing the kiltwalk next weekend which is 23 miles so will update if there has been any change.