Chiara Bullen tries out the Siren 3 GTX from Merrell, which turns out to be an incredibly nifty, versatile shoe.

When my pair of Siren 3 GTXs arrived, I unboxed them a little apprehensively. I was having a particularly nasty flare-up of plantar fasciitis in my left foot, and the prospect of trying out and breaking in a new shoe on the hills was not appealing. However, with the brand claiming exceptional alignment and comfort from the soles, I laced them up and wore them on my 40-minute walk to work for a week to ease myself in.

As my feet ploughed (gleefully dry, thanks to the Gore-Tex membrane) through the soaking streets of Glasgow, I came to the conclusion that the Siren 3 GTXs are the perfect shoes for a busy city life and have worn them often on my commute since. Perhaps not their intended purpose, but I enjoy the multi-purpose potential of these shoes. I opted for my first hill walk with these shoes to be the Whangie outside of Glasgow – a small hill suitable for casual walkers, with just enough off-the-beaten-track routes and scrambling options available to make the most out of this pair. I personally wouldn’t wear the Siren 3 GTXs on any routes that offer steep inclines or would be considered more than ‘moderately’ difficult.

Setting off in the drizzling mist and walking through the dew-soaked grass, I was once again reminded of the effectiveness of the Gore-Tex membrane. The shoe is lightweight and comfortable, with the Vibram MegaGrip outsole keeping my balance firm on the slippery rocks when I decided to go for a scramble. On future walks, the grip continued to be excellent no matter the terrain or weather — these are certainly an impressive, versatile pair of shoes and I wouldn’t hesitate to pack them for a variety of walks. There’s soft padding under the tongue for extra comfort, the laces are slim and easy to adjust, and the fit was snug enough to keep dirt and debris well way. They offer great breathability, and my feet remained comfortably cool on the summer walks I’ve taken them on so far.