We blogged about whether to choose walking boots or shoes for summer hiking holidays. Another option, for shorter and less intense walking tours, is trekking sandals. The advantage of sandals is a high level of breathability. In warm climates, it helps to be able to overcome the discomfort of sweaty feet. If you are planning to do a fair amount of walking, and on a mix of tarmac and rough ground, the sandals should have a rugged outsole and some protection to prevent your skin from being grazed. The Merrell Allout Blaze Sieve sandals – in both male and female fit – have been designed for walking. The sandals include grippy Vibram soles (similar to those you might find in walking boots and shoes), water-shedding uppers, a comfort fit, great flex and cool looks.
Features in detail:
- Waxy waterproof leather fabric upper
- Lycra neoprene stretch collar for easy on and off
- M Select FRESH antimicrobial agents reduce shoe odour
- UniFly midsole to “connect you to the trail and protects you from the terrain”
- 3 mm lug depth
- TC5+Vibram outsole
Men’s Sizes: 6.5-14 Women’s Sizes: 3.5-8.5
On test: Merrell Allout Blaze Sieve sandals
The footwear looks like a clever compromise of walking shoe and traditional sandal. The upper is a mix of nubuck leather (similar to what you would see on walking shoes) and stretchy neoprene (similar to wetsuit material but with more Lycra). The laces are an elastic cord system with a toggle to offer good support for your feet. An elastic/neoprene heel is great for comfort and also for additional support. There is also no-scuff toecap, plus the soles are good quality Vibram and suitable for trails. I have soft and sensitive feet (too many years of wearing socks and trainers) so I thought I would find the sandals too rough for wearing without socks. In fact, I normally avoid sandals because they are generally uncomfortable on bare skin. But not these Merrell sandals. The interior is mostly comfortable neoprene and they feel almost immediately comfy.
Saying that it would be worth wearing them in a little around the house and on a few shorter outings before going for a longer hike. The sandals are a great idea for taking on holiday, whether as your main footwear for shorter trail hikes and strolls around towns and cities, or as a second pair of shoes for wearing in the evenings or strolling the beach. They are are also a great idea for watersports. The sandals work well on rough trails, grass, mud and tarmac. I tried them in places where the ground was dusty and stony and most of the muck stayed off my feet although the holes in the sandals do let in some dust and grit. They also offered a fairly good grip on wet rocks in rivers. There is less in the way of cushioning than in some walking shoes and boots but far more than my old-style flat-soled sandals. I also like the look of the sandals. They are an updated version of the more traditional sandal. They are more like a hybrid trainer/sandal. I can see there would be lots of opportunities to wear these on summer holidays and also low-level or shorter distance walking tours. Men’s Merrell Allout Blaze Sieve sandals and Women’sMerrell Allout Blaze Sieve sandals are priced at £90.