I love trying new kit, and have been very fortunate since I started this blog to have been asked to test out a variety of outdoors related gear. Generally speaking, I try out a garment or pair of hiking boots for around a month before I write about it here on Splodz Blogz; I don’t believe in reviewing anything straight from the box but equally can’t wait six months before posting as by that time the company who’ve kindly gifted me the item has moved on to its next new thing and it’s too late. But every now and again an item arrives that genuinely becomes my absolute favourite, and even though I might re-share a blog post over on Twitter with a comment saying so, or add a photo praising the gear on Instagram, I feel the need to give it some more space here on my blog.
Walking the Lyke Wake Walk in my Merrell Chameleon Shift Mid Boots.
That is the case with my Merrell Chameleon Shift Mid boots (you can read the original review here). The guys over at Merrell sent them to me after we chatted about the Lyke Wake Walk. They said they would be perfect for the challenge, and so I gratefully accepted a pair and with just over one month to go to the hike I got to breaking them in every which way possible (which included wearing them to work). I gave them a proper test on Kinder Scout at the first Outdoor Bloggers Weekend and in my review post afterwards gushed a little as I was absolutely smitten with my new boots. We had to put off our Lyke Wake Walk until the Autumn (stupid weather), and so I hadn’t actually used them for the purpose for which they were provided when I posted my review, and so I wanted to share something of an update – a long test if you like, now they are well over a year old.
Dovedale Stepping Stones.
By the time it came to doing the Lyke Wake Walk I was very happy that these Merrells would be the perfect fit for the longest hike I’ve ever done, and was not disappointed. They are so comfortable, fit really well (I went up half a size to give me plenty of space for good socks), and did the job of helping keeping my feet happy and blister free excellently (and yes, 40 miles on my feet and no blisters – result!). I found the grip excellent and the foot and ankle support spot on, they felt light on my feet, and apart from a mile or two that we walked barefoot because there was no way to avoid the bog and marsh, were my best friend that weekend. If you want to read about my whole Lyke Wake Walk experience you need to go here.
Carrying my boots to wade through a bog in North Yorkshire.
Thankfully the Lyke Wake Walk didn’t put me off hiking one bit (it could so easily have done!), and since then there have been plenty of opportunities for me to grab these boots and head out into the countryside. We’ve done the Yorkshire Three Peaks, hiked in Dovedale in the pouring rain, and done my local section of the Viking Way more times than I can remember. We’ve walked hundreds of miles together and they have become an absolute favourite, my go to hikers, and they are going to take some beating.
I know I’m not alone when I say having good footwear makes hiking so much easier and more enjoyable; these are my good footwear and I feel great every time I put them on and lace them up.
Do you have a favourite pair of boots? Tell me about them…
I originally received the Merrell Chameleon Shift Mid Boots for free to test and review over a year ago.