Merrell Phaser Peaks
Reviewed by Judy Nugent
When out on the trail,
how long I stay outdoors usually depends on my comfort level. A
poor jacket, poor snowshoes, or poor planning can quickly put a
damper on the outing. As a result, when I find a reliable product,
I stick with it. My Merrell Phaser Peaks are one of those items.
I bought these hiking boots a year ago and I don't go out into the
woods without them. They are that good, and at the price, I consider
them a bargain.
Often the key to staying
warm is staying dry. These boots have a waterproof construction
that will keep you dry even when walking through water. In addition
to a waterproof upper and waterproof tongue, the entire boot has
a waterproof membrane backed with a polyester mesh lining. The sole
is a special Merrell design called Vibram® Phaser and
is made for rough terrain and high water. A Grade 7 insole and compression-molded
EVA footframe are made to keep your feet comfortable regardless
of the workout. This boot comes in men's and women's sizes and retails
But the performance
is where this boot really shines. I am not kidding when I say these
are the best boots I have ever worn. I initially bought them for
a hiking trip in Alaska. I wanted to buy a quality boot that would
make the trip enjoyable, and I was willing to pay more to make that
happen. A friend recommended Merrell and after talking with the
salesman I decided they were the boot to try. They didn't let me
down. After hiking 4,000 feet to the top of Gravel Mountain and
spending four days on a wilderness canoe trip down the Delta River,
these boots were the right choice. They not only kept me dry on
the ice pack and melting snow, but also kept me dry when launching
the canoe and portaging through puddles - and all this without needing
to break them in. Needless to say, it was as if Merrell custom made
these shoes for my feet just so I could enjoy this trip.
When fall came around
I was excited to try my Merrell's under different circumstances.
They were my first choice for turkey and deer hunting. Even though
they aren't in camouflage, these boots did exceptionally well whether
climbing up a deer stand ladder, or stalking turkey through the
woods. With limited insulation, these boots work best when exercising.
I would occasionally have cold toes after sitting in a tree stand
for several hours in November. But when snowshoeing in December,
my feet would remain warm. These boots do not have Gore-Tex, but
I've never had a problem with sweat building up inside the boot.
(If you think this will be an issue, Merrell offers this option
in higher priced boots.) I have also never had a problem with blisters
or split toe nails.
And now going on my
second winter, these boots don't look any worse for the wear. Despite
being dried next to many a campfire, there are only a few scuff
marks and a lose thread around one of the bronze lace hooks. The
rest of the boot is still in good condition, and still waterproof.
In this day and age
when it seems like all of my jeans have holes in them after one
season, it is nice to see a company make such a quality product.
As a general rule I don't like warranties or other promises. I will
buy a product once. If it fails me, that's it. I don't want a replacement,
and I don't want a repair. If it has failed me once, it will do
it again. If you want me to buy your product again, then make sure
it meets or exceeds my expectations. I imagine that I'll have these
boots for many years to come, and if I ever have to buy a pair of
boots again they will be Merrell. They have proven their worth more
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