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Merrell or Vasque?

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
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Postby tundraline » Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:05 am

FWIW, Chuck Bird, Neptune Mountaineeering's pedorthist (or boot fitting specialist), recommended I consider switching boot brands from La Sportiva to either Merrell or Vasque because their lasts are wider than La Sportiva's (I have exceptionally wide feet). You might consider telephoning Chuck at (303) 887-5365. I'm sure he would be happy to give you a few tips.

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Vasque

Postby Lyssah » Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:46 pm

My Vasque boots were the first thing I bought when I moved to Colorado and I have NEVER REGRETTED IT. They are so comfortable that even after 12+ hours of hiking, my feet are still loving life. I use them for both hiking and snowshoeing. They are well insulated so your feet stay warm during the winter but breathe decently enough so you arent a big sweatball in the summer. I have put an uncountable amount of tough mileage on them and they havent shown any significant wear on the leather and the sole shows no signs of pulling away from the boot. They are great, I would recommend them to ANYONE.
*steps off the soapbox*
The strong live off the weak, and the clever live off the strong.

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Postby gdthomas » Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:25 pm

I have a pair of Vasque Zephyr GTX's (it's a high, gore-tex, backpacking boot) and while they are comfortable, dry and grip fairly well, they are not very durable. It may just be my hiking style that's to blame or the fact that my previous boots (Salomon X-Mountain) were bitchin', but I'd be interested in hearing from others on the durability of Vasque's line of footwear.

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Postby speedpolka » Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:56 pm

I have the Merrell Cameleon GTX-XCR's as well. I have had very good luck with them. They do run wide, but also sinch down very well. I have a unique problem. My left foot is a B width and due to a massive sprain and surgery, my right foot is now a D width. I have to fit my big foot and then experiment with either thicker socks or insoles to tighten down the other.

Long story short, my Merrell's have withstood over 1,000 miles and are just starting to show any significant wear. They are great at scambling. Very grippy. A new pair is on my Christmas list.
Subduction leads to Orogeny.

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Postby Spam » Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:58 pm

I have Vasque Breezes. They are light and have felt good. They are not going to be as durable as some others I have had before due to there construction. On the toe, the leather portion is too narrow to protect the toe from wearing the mesh in the toe area. I have a narrow to normal foot and they lace up okay( not to close as you described) I wish I had the Gortex model but I don't. They have done me great on long hikes, however (13 mile +). I broke my leg at the boot top in 2003 so I bought them as they are taller boots with better ankle support. you can really adjust the tension on the lacing on them. Given the money I had to spend this last time, they did great, if money is not an object, get something else is my suggestion.
"Getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory." -- Ed Viesturs

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Postby jrader » Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:46 pm

I have had the same pair of Merrell Chameleon II for about 4 years. I was kind of hesistant on buying them, but now I only buy Merrell. The pair has lasted probably over 500 miles with little tear and wear. I bought a backup pair a couple of years ago thinking that I'll need them soon, but my old pair is still going strong.

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Postby Oman » Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:54 pm

I was surprised to see people praise the longevity of Merrells. Mine crapped out after 1 1/2 months of hiking this summer, and I did nowhere near the 500 or 1,000 miles that others report here. The front bumpers delaminated from both shoes and the sides frayed pretty easily, too. Ugh.
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Postby Kevin Baker » Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:03 pm

Another vote for the Merrell Chameleon's. This shoe epitomizes why boots are unnecessary in warm weather as long as the sole of the shoe is stiff, even for folks with ankle problems. These shoes are very grippy and you don't feel the talus and scree like trail runners.

I usually hike around 6-700 miles a year and was burning through the soles on trail runners too quick. I'll be happy if I can get a year out of these. This is a great hybrid shoe.

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Postby speedpolka » Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:38 pm

Oman wrote:I was surprised to see people praise the longevity of Merrells. Mine crapped out after 1 1/2 months of hiking this summer, and I did nowhere near the 500 or 1,000 miles that others report here. The front bumpers delaminated from both shoes and the sides frayed pretty easily, too. Ugh.
Image


Just guessing that those are not the Chameleons. I cannot speak to the quality of the "lower" models of Merrell hiking shoes. As Jared said, they will take them back/exchange them.
Subduction leads to Orogeny.

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Postby Oman » Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:44 pm

My shoes were the Merrell Passage GoreTex, which I think is a step up from the Chameleons. If anything, I'd have expected mine to last longer.

I didn't send them back for two reasons:
1. I bought them from Sierra Trading Post. I was unclear whether close-out stuff from STP was still eligible for a manufacturer warranty.
2. I did get up 28 fourteeners in them. I thought it was weird for shoes to withstand so little mileage, but some runner friends told me that's an OK lifespan for a modern shoe. The whole shoe thing has changed since the days of expecting your basketball sneakers to last a few years...

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Re: Merrell or Vasque?

Postby jimii3 » Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:42 pm

VWLover wrote:
jimii3 wrote:I have been checking out hiking shoes and have narrowed down the choice to the Vasque Kota or Merrell Chameleon.

I have really narrow feet with a very high arch and was wondering if anybody owns either one and could fill me in on the width and arch on these two. All the reviews out there just mention how good they are and don't go into specifics.

Also, if you have personal favorite not listed that would fit my foot well, feel free to recommend.

Thanks in advance,

Jim


Jim, have you tried both of them on? How well one fits your foot over the other should be the determining factor. JMO.


I haven't tried either one on yet. Kind of stuck in the middle of nowhere. 400 miles to walmart, by plane. Hopefully at Christmas!!

Thanks for all the information, 14ers.com is great for that. The insoles seem a must buy.
-James

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