You can't say that that Merrell, the shoe company that pioneered the Capra Bolt athletic shoe, has no sense of humour. When introducing these mid-height waterproof shoes, they asked shoppers to embrace their inner mountain goat!
Intrigued, I asked myself whether I had an inner goat and promptly donned a pair of black and silver Bolts, commanding myself to have a go at it. I'm the the ideal subject to test these shoes; I'm passionate about trailblazing, have adopted hiking as my second favourite thing to do and harrowing weather doesn't intimidate me, which is why I was happy to channel my inner mountain goat to test these intrepid shoes.
Why start with this topic? Because it's the technology behind this shoe that makes it so unique. There are so many patented and registered materials associated with the construction of this shoe, you might think you're reading a technical manual.
Allow me to interpret! Wearing these shoes to hike and run put me in touch with Merrell’s bounty of proprietary features that include MSelect waterproof construction (keeps feet dry), anti-microbial technology (so said feet don’t stink), blended EVA footbed with more odour-blocking properties and you would be hard-pressed to find a shoe that absorbs terrain more efficiently.
I like the fact that the sole does double duty: keeps me agile while the 4mm sole lugs release dirt on the fly.
My personal style of trail running can only be called intense. When I lean into the trail, I don't mess around. Merrell literature insists that these kicks are engineered for high-intensity, adrenaline pumping hikes and that's exactly the experience my test run proved to be.
Waterproof? That amazed me the most - so much so, I will no longer believe any shoe manufacturer claiming their trail shoes are waterproof after wearing Bolts. And since I'm not always the most efficient when it comes to the gear care department, I appreciate not having to waste time digging soil from beneath my soles because the Bolt practically repels it. The upper mesh proved to be breathable, the lacing enclosure efficient and the arch shank a stable and supportive shoe feature.
- I can't stop waxing poetic about how lightweight yet responsive the Bolt is.
- Breaking in these shoes proved an unusually easy and effortless experience.
- Thanks to flexible soles, I prevailed on a variety of terrains while experimenting on a variety of surfaces. Running on asphalt didn't disappoint.
- Next to the waterproof business, I'm always concerned about foot odour, so multiple layers of odour-blocking and anti-microbial properties could help me become more popular in the locker room.
- Having tested the shoe on rocks and trail hazards, I decided that these mid-height boots are keepers and agree with the mail carrier I met who wore a pair and told me that he wears his Bolts every day, walking 16 miles in them. Now that's impressive.
- I've heard complaints that the laces can get snagged under the upper's grommets and one wearer remarked that the Bolt didn't support his ankle properly.
- Despite performing well on Singapore terrain, I wouldn't wear Bolts on a snowy trek after reading about a guy who did that and his feet suffered from the cold.
- If you're not content to wear anything but a standard hiking boot specifically engineered for long journeys, the Bolt may not be your first footwear choice.
I had to search hard for negatives because my experience was such a good one, which is why I reached out to query others to learn about the downside of these Merrell shoes.
As I stated, I felt confident hiking different terrains, pushing myself to experiment with trail challenges like elevations and stream crossings, yet these shoes remained comfortable and held up well. In each environment, my Bolts were responsive.
Since I have no intention of heading off to the Arctic to test these shoes, I'm perfectly content to keep my eye on the horizon and my feet on warmer ground!
Have you been bitten by the trekking and hiking bug? If so, will you buy new shoes to accommodate your new-found interest?