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Reviewing the most-slept on hiking boot of the season
The case for why Merrell's 1TRL boot should be in your cart
If Fall in New York was a shoe 🍁
The combat boot makes a pretty f*cking good case. But be careful—once you lace up, legend has it you’ll magically be wearing Japanese denim, have a messenger bag over your shoulder, and a Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand. Check ‘em out ($165)
A slept-on hiking boot
Last week we wrote about a few alternatives you should consider in lieu of the Engineered Garments x Paraboot collab.
And today, we dig deeper into this topic with a review of one of our favorite brands, Merrell, and a slept-on boot that they make. Enjoy ✌️
The Mother of All Boots — some context
For heritage brands, it seems like maintaining relevance often happens in three ways:
Collaborate with new(ish) brands
Dig into the archives and relive nostalgia
Stick to your guns, make the best products out there, and tell us why they’re great
A brand that’s done all three is Merrell.
Best known for MOAB (acronym for Mother of All Boots), Merrell’s been around since 1981, and has evolved from being a regional performance shoe brand to its IYKYK status in the lifestyle space, thanks, in part, to its 1TRL collection.
They launched it in 2020 with the purpose of embracing the brand’s pioneering spirit. The shoe draws inspiration from the archives of performance and heritage silhouettes, which they’ve done an immaculate job doing so far.
Each shoe is built for the city or countryside thanks to performance-driven technology like Kinetic Fit™, FLEX connect, and Quantum Grip rubber.
One of their products that stands out to me is their wilderness boot.
I’d been eyeing them for so long that I decided to cop, and here’s a quick review of what I think.
Reviewing the 1TRL wilderness boot
The wilderness boot was Merrell’s first-ever boot, so I’m happy they dusted the silhouette off from the archives and dripped them out in this hairy suede olive colorway.
The shoe is built for the colder months thanks to the full-grain leather upper, EVA midsole for comfort, and a recycled Vibram outsole that adapts to the terrain.
Straight out of the box, the olive colorway matches what’s on their website, and the texture almost feels like moss from the ground, which is a nice touch since it’s an outdoor shoe.
I’m not a huge outdoors person, but these felt like a happy medium—rugged-looking yet refined to wear with more elevated pieces. The silhouette reminds me of old hiking ads you'd see in the 90s and very much a more relaxed shape I'm into now, especially as a dad.
If you’re considering grabbing a pair—size down by A LOT. I’m typically a size 9.5-10 in sneakers but an 8.5 in boots, and that’s what I got in these.
A subtle detail that goes a long way is the metal eyelets and speed hooks at the top to ensure they’re laced tightly and not moving.
These are comfortable enough to wear daily; however, they do need to break in before you wear them if you want to hike, so you avoid the painfully back-heeled blisters.
If $280 sounds steep, depending on your budget, rest easy, knowing it’s a shoe that lasts for a long time because of its construction and the almost indestructible Vibram soles, so rest easy.
Since the shoe is a bit chunkier, I style these with roomier silhouettes like relaxed sweatpants and an old pair of 501s. They would easily pair well with a luxe neutral-toned kit or even a sweat set—they’re that versatile.