Merrell Refuge Pro Ventilator Review
With warmer weather around the corner and many of us outdoor enthusiast getting excited to hit the trails, it’s time to check our hiking shoes to see if they have enough life to last another season.
If you are in the market for a new pair of hiking shoes, I would highly suggest taking a look at the Merrell Refuge Pro Ventilator. I’ve been testing these hiking shoes for the past 6 months now and I have been very happy with their performance. The Refuge Pro Ventilator is a new hiking shoe for Merrell this spring, offering some new styling, but still offering a quality hiking shoe Merrell is known for.
To offer a soft ride on almost any surface, Merrell has added a duel density EVA to the midsole that offers a nice plush ride. I found while hiking in this shoe, the midsole was soft, but I still felt in control on rocky technical terrain. Part of this control can be attributed to the Vibram sole with 5 mm lugs. I initially thought the lug pattern had more to do with looks than function, but no matter what the trail surface was or obstacle that presented itself, the outsole held up nicely and gave me plenty of traction. While the Merrell Refuge Pro Ventilator is not waterproof, it was able to keep out water while walking through puddles about inch in depth. For the first layer above the midsole, there is a fabric like material that is flexible, but I found it to be resistant to wind and water. This material gives the shoe keep some flexibility as well as offer some breathability. Pig suede is also used in this shoe offering some durability and form. So far, the shoes that I have been testing out still look pretty good and there are no signs of deterioration.
For those of you who find themselves dragging their feet on hikes, there is a rubber toe bumper that helps to keep your toes from bruising. In the past, I have found some of the recent shoes by Merrell to be pretty roomy, but the Refuge Pro Ventilator wrapped my foot like a glove to give me a nice comfortable, secure fit. Retailing for $115, I found the Merrell Refuge to be appropriately priced for what it offers. I think they could even bump it up another $10 and it would still be worth it, but that will just be our little secret.
For more information on the Merrell Refuge Pro Ventilator hiking shoe, please visit Merrell.com