If a person is an avid hiker, they look for the best of hiking gears. One of them is the hiking shoes. Hiking shoes are an essential part of the whole thing. It is so crucial that one cannot compromise on the quality.
The selection of the hiking shoes does bring the user to various questions, some of them being – which the right kind of shoes for me is, what should I look into the shoes before purchasing them, how to pick the right kinds from the available brands etc.
While selecting the shoes one can look for the purpose for which the shoes are to be purchased, for example there is a range of shoes from ultralight trails to mountaineering shoes, check for the type of component that is being used to make the shoes perfect for the usage, fit and the comfort of the shoes etc.
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Two of the best brands available are Keen and Merrel. Both are doing great but to meet all the criteria mentioned above one can understand the basic features and pick the one with the best quality and the right price.
Keen and Merrel both the brands have shoes which approximately weigh the same, but their prices differ by a huge margin. Yet Merrel are slightly heavier and are priced around $90 and Keen being slightly lighter and priced a little steeper around $144. So, if one has a few extra few dollars to spare can always go for Keen as an option.
Since both the companies manufacture their shoes in Asia, the prices are still economical. They are technically both USA brands. One can also look up on their respective websites and gauge their reviews, although they are not as helpful as one would expect them to be. Yet the companies have high standards and quality which they maintain across all their ranges and varieties.
Like discussed earlier, material plays a very important role. It just not only provides the comfort, but also defines the longevity of the shoes. One while purchasing a hiking shoe would not look for one time use, and hence in this aspect both the brands use excellent material while making the shoes.
Merrel produces shoes which have seamless upper layer which provide good questioning from the top and sides giving an ultimate comfort to the one who uses it. Synthetic mesh upper makes the shoes more water resistant which is perfect for hiking as it eliminates the worry of doing the activity with wet, water soaking shoes. Merrel also has Vibram TC5 + and outsoles which makes the shoes stronger. Outsoles provide good shock absorption capacity which is a must for hiking as one is not sure of the terrain for hiking.
On the other hand, Keen too produces similar shoes but in addition to this they have light weighted shoes with breathable mesh with synthetic upper. Light weight of the shoes makes the hiking shoes a preferable choice because lighter shoes results in faster walking capacity along with the comfort for the hiker. Besides providing outsoles Keen also has midsoles for an ultimate comfort for the hikers. While Keen has dual density PU footbed, Merrel has removable FIT.ECO blended EVA footbed in their shoes. Merrel has only EVA midsoles but Keen has low density ethyl vinyl acetate midsoles.
Keen Hiking Shoes Full Review
Merrel has this feature of organic odour control in their shoes. It curbs the smell which may arise in the shoes when the seating is excessive in the shoes. It is a very beneficial facility as it gives the ease of wearing the shoes with barely any discomforting smell. What is also important is the fit of the shoes. How compact they are and how well they hold the feet determines how swift the hiking can be. For the same Merrel have lace closures for a secured and comfortable fit. It holds the hiker’s feet strongly and securely. Moulded nylon arch shanks are another feature which Merrel shoes offers. It makes the shoes steadier. Another most interesting feature of the Merrel shoes is the air cushions. It provides good space for the movement of ankle and provides cushioning to the feet. Hiking is a very strenuous activity and thus need a comfort of such nature. Trail protection pads and waterproofing is one of the most important features of the shoes produced by Merrel. Merrel shoes in all give good shock absorption, cushion, protection and water-resistant feature to their shoes. It is an ultimate kind of comfort any shoe can give.
Merrel Moab Hiking Boot Full Review
Keen on the other hand has Clean sport NXT for odour control. It is far more superior in quality. Because besides being organic they are a more natural product. They are more sustainable and run for a longer duration without the bother of any smell as an issue because of sweating in the shoes. Keen has an amazing feature of 4mm lugs. This provides maximum traction on the rough terrain. It gives torsional stability, allowing the hiker to continue focussing on hiking. ESS stability shank provides good grip and stability to the hikers. The dry waterproof membrane allows the shoes to stay dry and quickly dries out faster in case the feet end up in the water. The shank provides proper stability for a secure ride. Further the overall height has higher ankle to make sure that it helps through canyons and over mountain tops. The heel of the shoe has a lock that makes it customized, a very comfortable fit.
Thus, both the shoes are at par. They both provide excellent features along with the maximum comfort. They both are sturdy and can be worn in all kinds of environment and weather conditions. They can be worn from mild to rough terrain as they both have strong shock absorbing capacity which makes them very secure to wear. They both have breathable mesh which allows space and inflow for air with odour repellent products which enables the user to carry on the task without worrying about the stench. Almost, the same weight with only price as a varying feature, both Keen and Merrel are great brands to select from for the hiking purposes.