In recent years, hiking boots have become ever-more sneaker like in terms of their performance and comfort levels, thanks in no small part to higher levels of sole cushioning, as well as tech borrowed from trail running shoes. And Merrell’s new everyday Zion Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots (£139.99 at Ellis Brigham (opens in new tab)) available in men’s and women’s sizes (also £139.99), are no exception.
While they don’t look like sneakers, these walking boots certainly feel trainer-like, with an EVA foam midsole boosting your stability and comfort, and dual-density EVA foam pods in the rear- and forefoot dishing out extra cushioning.
The Merrell Zion Gore-Tex Walking Shoes (£130), also part of the new Zion line, use a compression moulded EVA midsole to help you feel more stable and better supported when out walking.
Despite being rather lightweight compared to other winterproof hiking boots, the Zion Gore-Tex Mids are tough and rugged, so they won’t shy away from the more aggressive trails you’re planning to tackle. They’ve also been designed with a new lug geometery, made with Vibram Megagrip, to deliver boosted grip on slick terrain.
An undercut heel for braking helps on descents, and there’s a wide contact area on the sole for enhanced grip on the toe and heel when you’re powering up or down more challenging parts of the trail.
Merrell has also added in an ultra-light FlexPlate technology to increase the agility of its new hiking boots, with more firmness at the heel and flexibility at the toes. The midsole FlexPlate is made from impact-resistant TPU, there to ensure proper protection along your entire foot.
The ballistic mesh and full-grain leather upper looks smart, while a rubber toe cap protects your toes from bumps and debris, and a bellow tongue keeps small stones and other annoyances from entering your boots.
The Merrell Zion Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots are comfy, strong, waterproof and breathable, making them a solid choice for year-round exploring.