Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX Walking Boot for Men
Product Review & Walking Gear Test
Capra Bolt Mid GTX Walking Boot for Men
Merrell says:"Embrace your inner mountain goat in the Capra Bolt. Made for high-adrenaline hikes, its grippy outsole lets you move confidently."
Features to Note:
- Synthetic and mesh upper
- Metal hook and lacing closure for secure lacing
- Bellows tongue keeps debris out
- Breathable mesh lining
- Merrell M Select™ FIT.ECO blended EVA contoured footbed with organic odor control
- Molded nylon arch shank
- Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs and adds stability
- TrailProtect™ pad offers additional support off road
- 4mm lug depth
The Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX are another example of a lightweight walking and hiking boot aimed at those who want to travel fast across all kinds of terrain. They are a touch lighter than the Capra Mid Sport GTX, and at just 404g they are considerably lighter on your feet than more traditional walking and hiking boots.
The Vibram sole has a slightly quirky look to it - the lugs look like they are modeled on mountain goat hooves - hence the 'Embrace your inner mountain goat' quote from Merrell (above). Whatever the intention, they do succeed in offering excellent grip on all sorts of terrain from wet grass to slick rock and I felt safe and secure with plenty of feedback through the sole. Unfortunately, this is not true in more urban environments and I found a distinct lack of traction on wet tarmac and the shiny floors of shops like the high street's favourite pharmacy. (This does solve the mystery as to why you just don't see many mountain goats in many high street shops though!).
This vibram sole is also not very thick (compared to a more traditional & heavier walking and hiking boot) and any loose stones & uneven rock can be easily felt through the boot. I don't mind this as it gives me instant feedback about the ground I am walking across but might make them unsuitable for long distance walking on National Trails.
This sole is certainly not thick or stiff enough to take a crampon or kahtoolas, besides this is not a boot for winter walking anyway except for the very experienced.
The toe cap, fabric upper and sides offer very little protection from jagged rocks but the midsole offers good support due to a nylon shank that runs along the length of the boot. The heel cup is also nice and snug and works well. The lacing systems starts low down on the upper and it was easy to adjust and tighten to get a perfect fit - though the laces themselves though could be a tad longer. As a result, my feet felt nice and secure at all times with no internal slippage.
However, there is little torsional rigidity and the ankle support is on the low side (for a walking boot) which makes the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX unsuitable for crossing uneven ground, scree running or walking across loose ground.
The GORE-TEX® lining does a good job of keeping out the rain and wet and kept my feet nice and dry during some particularly torrential downpours.
The Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX look terrific, feel great and are available at a great price. If you are an experienced walker and hiker with a sureness of foot ready for a quick ascent of your local peak they are a great alternative to traditional heavy walking boots. Also great for general leisure use at home in the pub or indeed out on the hill in the summer months - just stay off the loose and uneven stuff (and out of some high street shops!).
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