From the red rock vortexes of Sedona back to the polar vortex of Chicago, my Merrell Salida hiking boots handled IT this week. And by IT, I mean craggy boulder-like rocks, ledges and edges, inclines and declines all the way back to impossibly slick trails at the local dog park created by a one day thaw and quick refreeze. Not one slip, ankle twist or cramped toe, thank you very much.
I bought my Merrell Salidas in the fall for a hike around part of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. We took video to show how they can tromp through a puddle keeping the feet perfectly dry and how they grip down steep hills (we got delayed in the editing, as you can see--it's almost March). But it wasn't until my husband and I got away to Arizona for a few days this week that I truly put my boots to the test.
As much as my heart wanted to take on Devil's Bridge, my RA joints warned against it this time around. We decided on a pokey sounding hike--Coffee Pot Trail. This is considered an easy hike by Sedona standards, but it left me breathless a few times as we scrambled up some pretty steep red rock. "Steep" is relative--you'll recall I live in the Chicago area; we have to climb a grass-covered landfill to get any kind of incline-type workout.
The Merrell Salida Mid provided secure ankle support over all terrain I encountered: pebbles, unstable shale, jagged rock. The lacing system offers a snug fit around ankles and doesn't loosen during walking. My toes had plenty of room up (hammertoes) and across (bunions) to move around comfortably, yet my heel stayed put--no blisters. The arch support is awesome and the molded nylon shank gave good lateral stability.
Heading back down the trail, I felt like I might lose footing on the smoother rocks or loose gravel path, only because I've slipped on ice a few times and have become a bit phobic of slippery surfaces. The Merrell Salida has specialized lugs that release dirt and debris that might otherwise collect, diminishing contact with the ground. I learned to trust the outsole and let it do its work keeping me upright, secure and sure-footed.
Although I didn't get to test out the waterproof features of this boot on this trip, I can tell you that I've worn them in wet conditions and my feet have stayed warm and dry. As I mentioned above, I wear these or my Icebugs on cold days with thick socks to the dog park to keep from slipping on the iced-over path.
The Merrell Salida Mid Waterproof runs true to size and width. I ordered a 10 for my sometimes 9.5, but often size 10 foot. $130 at Merrell.com, $125 at Zappos, $129.95 at OnlineShoes.com and $130 at Planet Shoes.