Merrell Geomorph Blaze Mid Thermo Waterproof Mid Hiking Boot Review
Every winter, there are many people that see the first snow flake and temperature going below 32 degrees and begin to get all giddy and start to celebrate, including myself. When I see the first snow and cold temperatures, I get excited because I get to try out new winter gear such as the Merrell Geomorph Blaze Mid which is a waterproof hiking mid that is new to Merrell’s line this season. This shoe is best meant for daily activities for those that live in cold since it’s insulated and waterproof. If you live in warmer climates where it rarely dips below 50 degrees, I suggest finding a boot without the insulation.
The fit of the Merrell Geomorph Blaze is true to size and needs no adjustments for most people. Sometimes when wearing a waterproof shoe or boot, you have to go up a half size as the waterproof liner takes up space that was originally meant for your foot. Since this shoe is a mid, it goes just above your ankle which helps keep the elements out, but doesn’t provide the ankle support like you would get with a regular boot cuff. For activities such as shoveling snow, walking the dogs, and city walking, there is plenty of support for most. If you venture out into more technical terrain, I found this shoe to lack the amount of ankle support that most people expect and want. While winter hiking, I found no matter how tight I tied the shoe that I still would get some unwanted movement around the ankle.
When I first started to wear the Merrell Geomorph Blaze Mid, I found that in my left shoe that I would get a pinch on the top of my forefoot while going through my walking stride. This seemed to happen for the first 10 times or so I wore the boot and the pinch eventually went away. I say this because if you try them on and you feel a little pinch, don’t be too alarmed as this should go away. Most outdoor stores have good return policies if it doesn’t go away.
On the inside of the Geomorph Blaze, Merrell uses 200g insulation that does an excellent job at keeping your feet warm in cold temperatures. I’ve worn these boots in temperatures down to 10 below zero and while walking, my feet stayed plenty warm. That said, you don’t need a bulky winter book to keep your feet warm.
The Merrell Geomorph Blaze Mid hiking shoes are waterproof which keeps the water and snow out of your shoes in the event you encounter rain, slush, and snow. The downside of the shoe being waterproof is that when paired with insulation your feet sometimes get too hot and start to sweat. I am a big fan of not wearing cotton for my socks. It’s been over 5 years since I have worn cotton socks and if you still find yourself wearing cotton socks, I suggest starting to make the transition to wool or wool/synthetic blend socks. Wearing non-cotton socks will help pull the moisture away from your feet into the boot fabric which will then slowly move the moisture to the outside of the boot. Wool and wool blend socks are a little more expensive, but they hold up longer and your feet will thank you. There are a number of high quality sock brands that make good wool hiking socks and Merrell also makes a good line of wool socks which I can personally attest to that.
The upper of the Geomorph Blaze is constructed of leather, rubber, and a small amount of fabric and mesh. The leather on the majority of the shoe does a nice job of holding up against wear and tear. The tongue of the shoe is comprised of mesh to help with ventilation, but still has a waterproof backing to keep water and melted snow out. On the toebox, there is a semi-hard piece of rubber that goes around the forefoot and protects you from stubbing your toe on rocks and ice. It also hold up against circumstances where you need to kick and breakup ice.
Cushioning & Traction
True to most of Merrell hiking shoes, the Geomorph Blaze has plenty of cushioning and provides a nice soft ride. For the midsole, Merrell uses a blown EVA in this shoe that should hold up for a couple of seasons depending on how much you wear the shoes.
For traction, the outsole is comprised of Vibram TC5+ rubber which is resistant to extreme temperatures and is very durable. The lugs on the Geomorph Blaze Mids are 6MM which are great for getting a good grip in the snow and mud.
If you are looking for a winter boot where you will be using it for typical city or suburbia stuff like shoveling snow, walking the dogs in super cold weather, or running errands, this mid will work just fine. If you plan on doing winter hiking, I found there are better shoes out there that offer more support around the ankle and would suggest avoiding the mid level cuff. Depending on your needs, please plan accordingly.