Merrell has made some excellent sandals. Unfortunately these are not among them, being adequate but not exceptional and having some design peculiarities. The best feature is the Vibram sole, which grips really well. The sole is curved too and has a lip at the heel and a pattern on the footbed that is comfortable and helps hold the foot in place. The cushioning is good under the heel but rather thin and hard under the forefoot.

The strapping is where the design is a little odd. The front has a stretch neoprene strap with overlapping leather sections above it and then a Velcro and buckle closed strap over that. All this seems unnecessary, especially the buckle. Once adjusted there’s no need to unfasten the strap so the buckle has no function. On my wide feet I didn’t need to fasten the Velcro or buckle to get a good fi t. The instep strap has stiffened sides for support. It’s on this strap that a buckle could be useful.

These sandals are expensive and quite heavy. There are better Merrell models.