. Shoes with a view - my travel gear review of GORE-TEX hiking boots : Budget Travel Adventures

Shoes with a view – my travel gear review of GORE-TEX hiking boots

Merrell Legacy GTX GORE-TEX hiking boots

Merrell Legacy GTX GORE-TEX hiking boots

On my hike to the top of Mt Judah, I had the chance to review GORE-TEX hiking boots.  I share my honest thoughts and opinions and sit down for a special interview.

Walk a mile in another man’s shoes.

Metaphorically, it’s a compassionate step in an attempt to understand how someone else feels.  Taken quite literally, these steps could be physically painful.

Anyone who has worn shoes that don’t fit in size or comfort can tell you how painful it is.  However, try wearing shoes that don’t fit, are painful with each step, allow your feet to get wet and blistered, and can cause you to slip and fall while hiking miles over rocks, rivers, and up mountains.

Honestly, I don’t care anything about shoes.  I think I have a total of five pair – most which I never wear.  However, one thing I am picky about is hiking shoes.  I’ve worn the wrong pair, taken painful steps while hiking, and dealt with wet socks and blisters on my feet.

I should have been admiring the views.  Instead, all I wanted to do was go home.

When I was asked to review GORE-TEX hiking boots, I jumped at the chance.  My older Asolo shoes were fine but I wanted more from a hiking boot than what I had.  So I got my pair of Merrell Legacy GTX Boots with GORE-TEX Performance Comfort Footwear and put it to the test.

On top of Mt Judah – A review of GORE-TEX hiking boots

Merrell Legacy GTX GORE-TEX hiking boots up closeWhat better way to break in a new pair of hiking boots than with a new hike in a different area.  While I loving hiking in northern California, I decided to try a hike on the North Lake Tahoe side.

My Mt Judah hike put my Merrell GORE-TEX hiking boots to the test.

Early on a Saturday morning, I headed up the hill to hike on one of the hottest days of the year.  The Mt Judah trail was a 5.5 loop climbing over uneven rocks with 1700 feet of elevation change to a peak of 8243 feet on top of Mt Judah.  Much of the trail was open with no shade from the sun.  The dusty trail and ambitious climbs up rocks and peaks put my shoes to the test.

On a 90 degree day with very little heat over small and large rocks, my feet stayed dry all day.  Not once did I ever have to deal with pain or blisters on my feet.  I wasn’t wearing slippers but when you hardly notice you have hiking boots on all day, that’s a good thing.

While scaling large rocks to get to the top of Donner Peak, the terrain was uneven both on the climb up and the climb down.  During these climbs I noticed the shoes.

Honestly, I probably shouldn’t be a hiker.  I have horrible ankles.  I’ve sprained my right ankle ten times and been to the hospital twice.  I get nauseous watching other people sprain their ankle.  I’ve nearly sprained my ankle on the grass and on sidewalks.  So scaling large rocks and uneven terrain on hiking trails isn’t a good idea.

When I hike I am very wary of my footing.  My shoe can’t slide or slip when I am hiking.  Most of my hiking boots did.  However, my Merrell Legacy GTX GORE-TEX hiking boots have a Vibram Multi-grip sport sole.  And from someone with horrible ankles, I can honestly say it’s the best traction and grip I’ve ever had from a shoe or boot.

Donner's Peak Mt Judah trail California hiking

"You want us to climb up that?!"

After hiking nearly 6 miles (I scaled Donner’s Peak – my most difficult climb of the day), I was hot, tired, and sweaty.  When I got back to my car and took my shoes off, my feet were dry and didn’t hurt.

Without a doubt, I put them through a work out – hot day, uneven terrain, dirty trail, little shade, and lots of big rocks.  For a hiking boot, they were the most comfortable boots I’ve ever worn.  Dry, breathable, comfortable, and best grip I’ve ever had on a shoe.

When I got home, I decided to wash them – with my feet in the shoe.  After all, it’s GORE-TEX so I had to put the waterproof protection to the test.  They passed.

I have been a big fan of Merrell for years.  However, the GORE-TEX technology impressed me.  Hiking boots are big and bulky.  Their size is one thing I don’t like (especially when you wear a US size 11).  However, these were the most comfortable hiking boots I’ve ever worn.

After my hike, I wanted to get another opinion on the shoe.  So I sat down and interviewed Mr “L” of the Merrell Legacy GTX GORE-TEX hiking boots for his thoughts.

Shoes with a view

Merrell Legacy GTX GORE-TEX hiking boots Donner Lake

Merrell GORE-TEX hiking boots and Donner Lake

Shortly after the hike on the Mt Judah Trail, I sat down with Mr L to get his opinion of the hike and how he performed today.

Budget Travel Adventures: Mr L, how did you enjoy the hike today?

Mr L of Merrell Legacy GTX GORE-TEX hiking boots:  It was a hot day.  The trail was dusty and there were a few more rocks than what I was used to on a hike.  Climbing up the large rocks up Donner Peak was fine but I didn’t get much of a break from the heat today.

Budget Travel Adventures:  What makes you better than the other hiking boots you saw out there today?

Mr L: I saw the normal crowd out there today – other hiking boots I’ve known for years, shoes, even some of the new kids on the block, the Vibram FiveFinger guys.  We are all familiar with each other but are typically much too busy providing cushion for people’s feet, walking, climbing, and gripping to chat.  However, I know myself and am proud of the comfort I provide while hiking.  I may get wet and dirty on the outside but that’s not acceptable on the inside.

Budget Travel Adventures:  What do you do after a long hike?

Mr L:  I love undoing my laces, kicking back, and getting a good bath.  Either during or after a hike, a good washing in a lake or river washes my dirt away.  I feel refreshed after a dip in the water but unlike humans, I don’t like water inside my tongue.  Allowing water on the inside of my boot isn’t good for me or the hiker.

Budget Travel Adventures:  What was the highlight of the hike?

Mr L:  I have to give you credit BTA.  As a hiking boot, I am used to doing my job – getting hot and dusty on the outside, hiking for miles while seeing nothing but dirt and rocks all day long with an occasional dip in the water.  However, I got a treat today – great views of Donner Lake and the mountains.  Thank you for that.  It’s not often I get to enjoy the views as well.

Merrell Legacy GTX GORE-TEX hiking boots Donner Lake views

Shoes with a view

From the opinion of a hiker exploring the Mt Judah Trail to the words of Mr L from the Merrell Legacy GTX GORE-TEX hiking boots team, the hiking boots did their job well.  Hiking boots aren’t always the most comfortable shoes to wear but this is the best performing and most comfortable hiking boot I’ve worn.

If you don’t believe me, believe the words of the shoes with a view.

Thanks to GORE-TEX and Jessica Dunten for providing me with a pair of Merrell Legacy GTX GORE-TEX hiking boots.  While these hiking boots were given to me review, the opinions and reviews of these boots are my own.  Thanks to Mr L for providing his views on the hike and his performance today.  Giving Mr L a view of Donner Lake and the mountains was in no way intended to influence his opinion.

If you enjoyed this review of my GORE-TEX hiking boots, check out some of my other hikes and guides in northern California – Horsetail Falls, Mt Tamalpais, Muir Woods National Monument, and more.

Merrell Legacy GTX GORE-TEX hiking boots end of hike

End of the hike - time for a bath!

Related posts:

Filed Under: FeaturedTravel GearTravel Tips


RSSComments (14)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. I have never used any Merrill products before, but I do have an REI hiking boot made with GORE-TEX and it lasted for years, so I am sure the quality is top notch. They sure look nice.

    • I’ve used a few and Merrell are my favorite shoes. I am wear them as walking shoes when traveling as well. Put that together with GORE-TEX and that’s a good shoe (like yours, hope it lasts).

  2. I love my Merrell Vibram GORE-TEX books. They saw me through 20 months in Latin America, and they were even comfortable enough to wear on travel days (didn’t fit in my small pack!).

  3. Funny! I’m headed out to interview my boots (Asolos) right now!

  4. Laurence says:

    The genius of interviewing your shoe :D. I’ve worn a bunch of boots before, and been lucky every time with my choices – always hard to tell how they are going to work out on the trail. These days I hike in leather boots, they are darn comfy 😀

  5. Haha love the angle you went with the interview. Made a review really funny! Definitely have to remember that technique:)

    • I got the idea for doing this on the hike. I knew I was reviewing these so I took photos before I started. Then it really hit me when I had my fit on the rock looking at Donner Lake. Shoes never get the views so I decided to make Mr L a part of this.

  6. Turtle says:

    Ha ha! I wouldn’t dare ever interview my shoes. Or at least print the interview. THEY KNOW TOO MUCH!!!

  7. Merrells are great and I’ve owned a couple pairs in my time. Hiking boots are so important and whenever I hear people asking where they can get cheap boots, I get nervous for them for all the reasons you listed! It’s just not something to mess with!

    • I wear Merrells every day so they aren’t just a part of my hiking gear. They are very comfortable shoes that I enjoy. I had a pair recently that I got a lot of blisters from walking (had to wear 2 pair of socks) so disappointed by that. However, hiking boots are very important. The pair I had before were too stiff and tough on my feet. These were very comfortable. Really liked all that they had to offer especially with the GORE-TEX protection. I’ve walked miles in those shoes and they are very comfortable. Good socks are important as well. The more you hike, the more you realize how important it is to have the right gear for your feet.

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.