Women with style get plenty of attention when they wear sexy shoes, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that men may be judged by the shoe they wear, too—especially by women who are active on the running scene. Women want to know that the guys they like, respect and admire have sensible heads on their shoulders by prioritising safety, fit and engineering when it’s time to choose the best athletic footwear—especially if their run of choice includes rugged terrain on challenging trails.
But which shoes to choose with so many on the market? If you haven’t considered investing your cash in a pair of Merrell Capra Sport Gore-Tex running shoes, there’s a good chance you could miss experiencing the next level of athletic footwear engineering. I’m glad to have the chance to try out a pair in Black/Lime Green color in U.S size 10.5, I feel this brand deserves your attention, which is why you owe it to yourself to read this review before you make that all-important buying decision.
In the ever-changing world of shoe designs, Merrell’s history is a fascinating look at a firm’s evolution. In 1981, two Rossignol Ski Company executives got out of ski gear and into the hiking boot business with Randy J. Merrell who, at the time, was producing expensive, custom hiking boots. Pledging to offer a more affordable, quality hiking boot, the firm thrived, producing 25,000 pairs of boots before Merrell resigned his share of the business in 1986. Retaining the name after Merrell left, the firm went global, acquired other brands and first entered the running shoe market in 1997. Dynamic design, beautiful construction and performance made the company’s first design (called Jungle Runners) an immediate success. The rest, as they say, is history.
Features and Benefits
There are trail shoes and trail shoes—not all of them are created equal. Manufacturers seeking to penetrate this market often skimp on the research required to make a shoe that stands up to the unique demands of trail running, but that could never be said about Merrell Capra Sport Gore-Tex shoes, engineered to respond to the slightest terrain alterations. While wearers aren’t always happy to find a stiff fit at first, once broken in, Capra Sports fly across uneven, loose, rocky and uneven turf without breaking a sweat. Yet the Capra—named after the world’s best climbing mountain goat—responds to each and every challenge effortlessly. The secrets behind this responsiveness begin with a tapering forefoot, split outsole toe tread, impressive 3.5mm lug depth and a sole that’s thick at the heel yet narrow at the toe, setting the standard for today’s demanding trail runner.
Built for Speed, too!
When designing for formidable terrain, some athletic shoe designers give short shrift to weight, so typical trail runners can burden feet in multiple ways, resulting in foot fatigue. Not so the Capra Sport Gore-Tex. Compared to competitors, there’s no contest since these trail shoes are also built for speed. Men engaged in trail marathons, ultra-sports and endurance competitions stand a better chance of finishing faster because the weight of these shoes works for, not against, the runner, who may also set his own personal speed standards. Thanks to Stratafuse, proprietary technology, Merrell Sport Gore-Tex shoes are so incredibly light and flexible, even runners who have eschewed trail runners made by this company in the past are singing this shoe’s praises.
- Simple innovations like lace-up point add dramatic toe-box support to this shoe’s engineering.
- Runners can conquer every arduous ground condition possible, yet not a bit of debris collects inside this shoe because the fit literally repels leaves, stones, sticks and other trail matter.
- Run in every kind of weather. Gore-Tex materials are known worldwide for keeping rain out, yet the shoe still breathes for a comfortable run. You can even submerge them during water crossings and your feet stay dry.
- The Capra Vibram sole offers deep traction lugs for stability, balance and sure-footedness over the most extreme ground.
- Runners testing these shoes complain about too-wide traction grips on outsole edges, but if your instep doesn’t object, you should be fine.
- Try these on to avoid fit issues. My friend ordered his usual size but had to return his Capras because they were half a size too large. At first he thought his feet were at fault – until another runner he knew experienced the same fit issue.
- If you’re on a tight budget, the S$239 price point could be a sticking point.
This trail shoe offers the best of all worlds: sticky Megagrip sole, edges designed for sure-footedness, lug depth that welcomes soft ground and wet grass. The Gore-Tex brand alone wins the hearts of men tired of slogging in wet socks when their trail shoes turn into sponges. Learn more about this versatile shoe here.
The Capra Sport Gore-Tex Shoes are only available for Men while the Capra Sport Shoes priced at S$189 are available for both Men and Women at Stadium at Takashimaya Shopping Centre and all Royal Sporting House stores, excluding stores at Lucky Plaza, Lot 1 Shoppers Mall and outlet stores (Alexandra Retail Centre, Changi City Point, Centrepoint and IMM).