The latest product from Merrell that came out just a month ago and had it’s official premiere on March 12th is the Merrell Capra Mid GTX. For our review we got a pair of female boots in the great looking Royal Lilac/Adventurine color combination. There’s no debate whether this pair of hiking boots look fantastic, because they do, but looks aren’t all, especially when you are buying shoes for outdoor exploring and hitting the trails. Considering the price tag of the Merrell Capra, you should definitely be getting a lot, but whether you are or not can be found if you continue reading the lines below.
As usual we’ll go over the pros of these amazing looking boots first and after that we’ll get to the list of cons.The product review was done on mild hiking trails and we didn’t really test them for trail running, where they probably really show their best side.The Capra GTX is actually more of a trail running boot than anything else and you can easily determine that when you see the sole which wraps over the front of the shoe – a feature which protects the toes from getting stubbed. With that in mind we decided not to take the boots on any extreme paths or screes.
Why the Merrell Capra GTX Sport is fantastic
We took the boots for a one day hiking trip, something that was supposed to show how they feel rather than how rugged they are built. The very first thing we should mention about the Merrell Capra GTX is that this pair of shoes was the lightest that we have tested so far and this is an enormous advantage, when you’re using the shoes for long hikes. They are light on the feet and this would really benefit the owners of such shoes at the end of a long 10 to 15 hour hike in the mountain. Being so lightweight comes at a cost though, but we’ll go over that a little later on the review. Another great feature of these shoes is the way they look. We actually mentioned that in the very beginning of the review, but it’s safe to say that these shoes are also one of the best looking models that we’ve had in our hands. They look especially good in the color we had – which is Royal Lilac/Adventurine color. This color combination is also available for men, but the best looking color scheme offered to the gentlemen and the one that Merrell would sell most of is the Black/Lime Green . For the people which aren’t looking to catch the attention of fellow hikers, there’s a more classic Black/Grey combination. Another distinctive design characteristic is the outer sole which is designed to look like a mountain goat’s hoof and has a split look. This isn’t the only thing that you will find on the bottom of your shoes though. According to Merrell, there’s a Vibram Mega-grip compound used at the front and the back of the outer sole, for maximum grip on every surface. The Unifly mid-sole of the boot makes this model really comfortable with it’s cushioning effect, something which helps a lot at long hikes, just like the light weight of the boot. The mid-height Capra GTX by Merrell offers good support for your ankle, but that support could actually make your ankles hurt over a long span of time.
Why the Capra GTX Sport by Merrell might not be for you
First and foremost the price of these boots is quite high. At the US market, you could get the Merrell Capra Sport Mid GTX for about $190-$200 and the Merrell Capra Sport Low comes at around $130-$140. On the UK market the price of the low model is about £125 and the mid-height GTX comes at around £140. Another downside of owning these trail running shoes is that if you love climbing steeper hills and mountain approaching, the Capra isn’t your best bet. The boots are great for what they are designed for, but you are not getting cross-capable shoes. With stiffer insoles for example, these could be better for other types of activities rather than trail running , walking or scrambling, but they just don’t have such an insole and they feel like they simply lack the necessary rigidity for anything else except for the three activities mentioned above. The shoes are made out of a combination of Gore-Tex and synthetic leather and although Gore-Tex is designed to be water repellent, but let vaporized water out, if you don’t have additional vents, your feet could get a little hot. The Capra doesn’t have such vents, so if you decide to wear them somewhere hot, your feet could get really hot, especially if you wear them for a long period of time. With that being said though, we believe that the downsides of the model are over. To summarize, the Capra is a great model, but it’s only good for one discipline the one which it is designed for. If you are getting your first boots and you haven’t figured out which type of hiking you’ll like most, approaching, trail running or heavy backpacking these might not be the best choice as they are only good for one thing. If you like trail running and scrambling, these would probably be a perfect fit for you, as they offer everything you would need from such shoes.
We have the summarized list of pros and cons below, for your convenience, so if you’re looking to save time and don’t need all the details, here they are:
- Super lightweight (27 ounces or 765 grams a pair for the mid model)
- Great design and a few different color variations
- Outer sole with great traction
- High price
- Soft structure not suitable for activities other than trail running, scrambling or lightweight hiking
- Might get your feet too hot, because of the lack of enough ventilation
One of the best trail running shoes in 2015
As a conclusion of this review, the Merrell Capra GTX Mid is a great choice for people who love trail running and similar activities. It could get your feet too hot if you wear them in a really hot weather, but it would keep your feet dry, because of the water resistant and water repellent Gore-Tex and synthetic leather combination. There’s a really great ankle support offered here, but this ankle support might even hurt you if you wear the shoes without proper socks or for a really long period of time, with excessive load on the ankles. The outer sole isn’t stiff enough and considering the lack of a stiffer inner sole, the shoes are built for any extreme climbing or approaching. We did love the boots though and if you aren’t afraid to spend a few extra bucks to get them, the Capra GTX Mid boots will definitely make you a happy customer and help you run or walk hundreds and even thousands of miles.