Merrell Capra Mid Sport GORE-TEX Hiking Boots Review
Before any hike I seem to always have a dilemma about my footwear. Do I need something light or supportive? Do I need a waterproof or breathable boot? These are the questions not only concern me but plague hikers venturing into the wilderness. The problem is that there are so many different types of hiking boots and shoes out there and yet none seem to meet the needs of every hike. However, this year Merrell came out with the Capra Mid Sport GORE-TEX hiking boot that have put my footwear decisions at ease. Throughout this summer my wife and I have had a chance to field test out the Merrell Capra Mid Sport GORE-TEX hiking boots while trekking throughout the Colorado Rockies and Northern Michigan.
Initial Thoughts Merrell Capra Mid Sport GORE-TEX Hiking Boots
The Merrell Capra Mid Sport GORE-TEX hiking boots are incredibly light-weight. Weighing in at 2 pounds these are some of the lightest hiking boots that we have ever hiked in. Using an ultra-light materials like Gore-Tex, synthetic leather, and a Stratafuse exoskeleton have kept the Capra Sport Hiking Boots light-weight.
The exoskeleton build is of particular interest. The exoskeleton, just like with insects, is a very thin but strong structure that all of the parts adhere to. On the Merrell Capra Sport hiking boot the GORE-TEX fabric is connected directly to this Stratafuse skeleton creating a very light and breathable design.
The Merrell Capra Mid Sport hiking boots have a Vibram Sole with deep tread. I have always been a fan of the durability of the Vibram soles and their ability to grip on steep slopes.
The upper portion of the boot is minimalistic keeping with the same theme of staying light. The tongue of the Capra Mid Sport hiking boot is a soft neoprene and fits snugly around my ankle even when the laces are not cinched down. The upper two eyelets are hook shaped and hold the flat laces in place.
Field testing the Merrell Capra Mid Sport GORE-TEX Hiking Boots
After an entire summer of field testing the Merrell Capra Mid Sport GORE-TEX hiking boots these have become my go-to footwear when hitting the trails.
For me, literally, my achilles heel of hiking is the comfort of the footwear. My feet are on the wider side with a very low arch. In contrast my wife’s feet are narrow with high arches. I am very impressed that a single boot can both accommodate my feet as well as hers. The best part of this boot for me is the heel pocket which fits perfectly around the back of our feet. This is the area is where I will will blister first especially on steep hikes. We have hiked miles uphill and have been comfortable the entire time. Even after we got home on some of our longer hikes we found ourselves keeping our boots on as they were so comfortable. This is definitely strange for us as we usually rip our hiking boots off and put on a pair of flip flops immediately after hiking.
Another feature of the Merrell Capra Mid Sport Gore-Tex Hiking Boots that I have been pleasantly surprised with is how breathable this boot is. In the past I have had a tendency to steer away from waterproof hiking boots as they are hot and my feet get clammy in them. I really believe that the exoskeleton design allows the Gore-Tex to work to its full potential in allowing the boot to breath.
The overall design of the Capra Mid Sport GORE-TEX boot does a great job of keeping water, rocks, and objects out. The GORE-TEX material, which most of the boot is constructed of, keeps water out. Many of my hikes consist of tromping in marshy wet areas searching out high mountain lakes for fly fishing. These are the perfect tools for such endeavors as they can be wet for hours and still keep water out. We even tested this boot in depths up to our ankles and never had problems with water leaking in. The snug fitting upper portion of the boot was also critical in keeping rocks and debris out, even late season snow we found blocking a high mountain trail. The neoprene would almost mold to my ankle creating a tight fit that nothing could get in. This is pretty awesome to know that on a long backpacking trip you won’t have to pull off your hiking boots due to rocks getting into them which is always a pain when you have a heavy pack on.
This summer has been hot and dry here in the West and many of the trails have become pretty dusty and loose. Having footwear with deep treads that can grip into these unstable surfaces has been great. The deep Vibram tread is great for cutting through this dusty gravelly mess but is equally solid on steep rocky surfaces. I don’t recall any slipping while hiking this summer which for me is unusual as many of my previous footwear choices definitely do not do as well on loose terrain.
Specs of the Merrell Capra Mid Sport GORE-TEX Hiking Boots
• GORE-TEX™ waterproof membrane repels moisture and enhances breathability for all activities
• Synthetic leather and mesh upper
• Metal hook and lacing eyelet for secure lacing
• Stratafuse™ exoskeleton fuses the foot cage to mesh uppers for extreme light weight durability
• Bellows tongue keeps debris out
• Breathable mesh lining treated with M-Select™ FRESH reduces shoe odor
• Ace single density removable footbed
• TrailProtect™ pad offers additional protection off road
• UniFly™ midsole connects you to the trail, protects you from the terrain
• Molded nylon arch shank
• EVA molded footbed
• Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability
• 3.5 mm lug depth
• Vibram™ MegaGrip outsole
• Vegan Friendly
• Weight: 2lb
Final Thoughts on the Merrell Capra Mid Sport GORE-TEX Hiking Boots
The Merrell Capra Mid Sport Gore-Tex Hiking Boots are best parts of a heavy-duty hiking boot mixed with an ultra-light pair of hiking shoes. Built on an ultra light-weight exoskeleton with Gore-Tex has kept these boots light and breathable. Even with a very minimalistic design, Merrell has managed to keep these boots comfortable for the long haul. If you are in search of a hiking boot that can do it all, the Merrell Capra Mid Sport Gore-Tex Hiking Boots would definitely be worth a test drive.