Merrell Capra Rapid Walking Boot
Product Review & Walking Gear Test
Capra Rapid Walking Boot
Merrell says:"Don't slow down for anything - not even streams - in our quick-drying, highly ventilated hydro-hikers with a grippy outsole and supportive upper."
Features to Note:
- Synthetic and mesh upper for breathability and water capability
- Cord and lock lacing system for quick secure fit
- Rubber foam and mesh lining for padded comfort
- Perforated EVA removable footbed helps control moisture and drainage
- ESS arch shank
- Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs and adds stability
- Drainage channel in outsole to manage water evacuation
- 3.5mm lug depth
- Vegan friendly footwear
- Weight: 1lb 6oz
Ultra lightweight walking shoes are becoming more and more popular for walking and hiking and the Merrell Capra Rapid are aimed directly at this market. And lightweight they certainly are, tipping the scales at just 345g per shore.
The sole is manufactured from Vibram MegaGrip and has lugs that look like they are modeled on the hooves of mountain goats. Out in the hills they did offer excellent grip on all sorts of terrain including wet grass and 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 in the high street.
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 bottom of the shoe. 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.
The toe cap, fabric upper and sides are very thin and offer little protection from jagged rocks. The heel cup is also weak and flimsy but did hold my heel securely. The mid-sole though felt weak and vulnerable.
The lacing system comprises a quick lace system similar to that made popular by Salomon. The laces themselves comprise a thinner than normal, slightly stiff material (I cannot seem to find out exactly what they are made of) that lace in and out of the eyelets in the traditional manner but are secured by a sliding toggle. You simple put the shoes on and pull the toggle - and it works surprisingly well enabling me to quickly tighten the laces and get going. They are just as easy to undo as well by simply pulling the toggle. These type of laces are a bit marmite - you either love them or hate them. I am a fan.
The Merrell Capra Rapid walking shoes however are not waterproof and nor do they claim to be. They do however claim to be 'quick drying' - something I found not to be the case taking several hours to recover from full emersion in a nearby puddle.
While the Vibram sole offers good grip out on the fells and peaks, the thin uppers and complete lack of waterproofing make this a poor choice for walking and hiking in the UK Mountains - particularly when there are plenty of slightly heavier (50g per foot) but more sturdy and waterproof options - see Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX Walking Boots for Men or the Merrell Capra Mid Sport GTX Walking Boots. However, if you also like fell running, mountain biking and/or water sports then they might be worth a look.
NB. The Bright Blue version (pictured above are the ones we tested - I know, they look bright green to me too!) and the Red version doesn't seem to be available from Merrell in the UK though they are on the US version of the Merrell website.
Have you got a Merrell Capra Rapid Walking Boots?
We would love to hear what you thought of it - good, bad or indifferent. Perhaps you simply disagree with the verdict above - or feel an important feature has been negelected.
Let us know by clicking this link - What I think of Merrell Capra Rapid Walking Boots - so we can publish your important views below.
• I haven't tried them and I have no intention to, however good they are from the functional point of view, aesthetically they are offensive, aggressive and distracting. When I walk I like the feeling of being in the country, enjoying nature and feeling isolated from work, life and other people. My clothing needs to reflect that, so bright fluorescents and unnatural colours don't work for me. The last thing I want to see as I look towards the peak I am aiming for or across a valley is flashes of hi-vis. So sorry - these ain't for me.
Carlo Gilmour, Coolham