They are described as a ‘trail’ shoe; the fastest, lightest hiker shoes on the market. But wandering around Funchal in Madeira all day is quite a trail, too, at the end of which my feet are often in need of refreshment.
But this new hybrid shoe from Merrell – a cross between a running shoe and a mainstream walking shoe – certainly eased things considerably and made for a more pleasurable experience, without the throbbing toes.
Back home some damp conditions allowed the shoes to be tested in wet conditions; they won’t keep you dry in a river crossing (nothing will), but out in the woodland among wet leaves and dripping branches, my feet remained dry all day. The Gore-Tex ‘Invisible Fit’ waterproof feature kept my feet dry and warm.
These MQMs are certainly light and flexible and felt secure on all terrains and gave my creaking feet more support than I imagined they would. The shoes feature a foam mid-sole, and a firm sole with additional grooves that is both reactive and responsive. The uppers include a mesh and thermoplastic polyurethane membrane to ensure lightness and help to improve breathability, but not at the expense of protection and support.
You may need sunglasses to cope with the available colours, but I soon muddied them up suitably. Joking aside, I was well impressed. I need a good ankle and Achilles support to cope with my ageing body parts, but the MQM gave me all the confidence I needed especially on uneven terrain where I’m becoming increasingly conscious of the need for underfoot security.
Trail shoes, sure. But for the keen traveller, too, they are every bit as comfortable and reliable.
Tell me more about Merrell’s MQM Flex Gore-Tex ‘Hybrid’ Trail Shoe
Weight: 590 gm
£115; available from Wiggle