Chiara Bullen tests out Merrell’s Zion GTX hiking boots, which prove to be the perfect walking companion for autumn and winter.

Squirrel embedded into the post

It seems to me that the autumn months bring with them a degree of unpredictability in all aspects of life. In my case, returning to university ensures an unpredictable schedule, the unpredictable weather makes it difficult to plan those rare weekends to get outdoors and these unpredictable outings mean I need to have gear on hand that can deal with whatever my plans and the weather throw at them. Merrell’s Zion GTX are a pair of boots that firmly belong in this category, and they’ve certainly brought some much-needed stability to these hectic months.

At first, I was wary about a lightweight boot claiming to be durable enough for autumn/winter – but whether I was walking through a mush of slimy, autumn leaves or a precariously icy trail, the rugged boots with their Vibram Megagrip held firm. Their durability doesn’t come at the expense of comfort either; with the EVA foam midsole in play these boots were easy on my feet when the terrain was not. The protective rubber toe cap meant my toes were safe from stumbles and bumps, and I was thoroughly impressed by the undercut heel to help braking on the way downhill. The leather and mesh upper make for a nice finish – water was kept well away, and my feet never felt too hot or stifled. Plus, it looks pretty neat too.

Overall, Merrell claims these have a ‘hiking boots meet sneakers’ dynamic that’s perfect for work or the trail. I can’t fault them for that. Versatile, durable, at home on the streets or the summit of Schiehallion – they’re perfect for the unpredictable hillwalker in your life.

Squirrel link to best the deals for these shoes

Single squirrel using the make and model field.