Merrell MQM Flex GORE-TEX Walking Boot for Women
Product Review & Walking Gear Test
MQM Flex GORE-TEX Walking Boot for Women
Merrell says:"Inspired by athletes and made for you, this hybrid packs all the technology needed for Moving Quickly in the Mountains™ into one fast, protective shoe."
Features to Note:
- GORE-TEX® waterproof membrane, bonded InvisibleFit construction for lightweight, breathable protection that fits and feels like an unprotected shoe
- Mesh and TPU upper
- Traditional lace closure
- Bellows tongue keeps debris out
- Breathable mesh lining
- Hyperlock™ printed TPU film heel counter for security
- EVA removable footbed
- FLEXconnect™ dual-directional flex-groove EVA midsole for agility and stability
- Merrell Air Cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability
- TrailProtect™ pad offers additional support off road
- M Select™ GRIP outsole tunes each outsole with durable traction that grips when and where you need it
- 3.5mm lug depth
A good example of the new-ish breed of hybrid footwear which aims to combine light weight hiking with trail running plus the features of an approach shoe, Merrell's MQM flex is certainly an attractive looking shoe. I've been testing a pair in an eye-catching turquoise/orange/black colour combination, low cut, with a GORE-TEX® lining and a women's fit. I'm a hill walker (rather than a trail runner), so have been using the MQM flex for low-mid level walking during the summer, in and around the Peak District and Cheshire on mostly footpaths but sometimes wet grass. I've also been using them for Nordic Walking (about as near as I get these days to running!) . . . and I've worn them in the gym.
I wear orthotics so tend to need a relatively broad/higher volume fit in my footwear. I found the MQM to be true to size - and immediately extremely comfortable. The lacing system works well - though the laces themselves are pretty short - in fact only barely long enough! That notwithstanding, once fastened my feet were held well in place both across the middle of my foot and at the heel.
The inner sole is nicely padded plus there's a comfortable, well padded tongue. The GORE-TEX® liner works as you'd expect - so the breathability has been fine even in some extremely hot conditions plus my feet have been dry through more recent 'yomps' through wet grass. The outer sole is quite flexible though robust enough to be comfortable over relatively stony ground; traction was also perfectly fine over wet grass and footpaths. There's some protection around the front/toe area and a nice chunky rand around the rear of the shoe.
I particularly enjoyed wearing the MQM for Nordic Walking when, for me, the light weight, sole flexibility & stability were particularly useful.
So far the shoes have maintained their good looks over a month or so of frequent wear. In summary, a comfortable, good looking shoe which I've enjoyed wearing for a variety of walking on footpaths, canal tow paths, low level fells - they're also great for general leisure wear.
My personal preference for mid to higher level/mountain walking is for a higher cut, stiffer soled shoe than the MQM flex. So I see these as a really flexible shoe that are a great option for lower level walking on footpaths, for Nordic Walking and for general outdoor leisure wear. On a more stylistic note, the colour options are terrific - assuming you're a bright colours sort of person!
For more details see: https://www.merrell.com/UK/en_GB/mqm-flex-gore-tex/30867W.html
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