“ Brand: Merrell / Type: Sandals „
Last summer I decided to treat myself to a new pair of sandals for walking. I have always been a fan of Merrell, as I find their shoes and boots are well made and suit the shape of my feet. So when I found a discounted pair of Merrell sandals in my local outdoor shop, I decided to buy them.
The Merrell women's reactor webstrap sandals, to give them their full name, are designed for summer or light walking. As the name implies, they have three adjustable web type nylon straps that fasten with Velcro. The sandals have a Vibram multi-sport sole. The footbed has something Merrell calls a microban .antimicrobial cushioned midsole. This interprets into a very well cushioned foot bed that allows the feet to breathe and so reduce foot odour!
The sandals are sturdy but very lightweight .They are made of synthetic leather with nylon straps. These sandals are only available in one colour; slate grey and black. I happen to think this colour is great as it goes with everything whilst looking smart and not showing the dirt!
I wore these sandals constantly last summer so feel able to give my opinion. I have wide feet and these sandals suit me perfectly. They have a thick sole that protrudes beyond the footbed and so doesn't allow my feet to spread over the edge as with some sandals. The straps cover my little toe so offering more protection and support. I usually take a size 5 and found that this size fitted well. However as with any footwear purchase, it is always best to try before you buy!
The Vibram sole is thick and has good tread so helps prevent you from slipping. I have worn these sandals for river walking without any mishaps. Although the sole is thick, it is also very flexible.
The most important element for me is comfort, especially if I'm out for a long walk. I find these sandals very comfortable. They have a well cushioned footbed that gives me a spring in my step! The straps are quite wide, so don't cut into my feet. The straps are easy and quick to adjust using the Velcro fastenings. Once adjusted to my feet, the sandals hold my feet securely.
Obviously these sandals are not designed for strenuous mountain walking when you really do need a good pair of supportive boots and thick socks. However I have worn these sandals on walks described as easy to moderate and they have been fine. It is great not to have to wear socks when it's hot! I have worn them on the beach and got them wet with sea water without any ill effects.
I can't remember exactly how much I paid for these sandals but think it was around the £20 mark. I think they were a real bargain and hop to get many years wear from them!
I first bought a pair of these Merrell Reactor Webwrap sports sandals for use whilst on holiday a few years ago - I wanted something that was cool to wear in hot weather, but which would also provide me with a tough, durable sole to walk on.
The sole of the sandals are very thick, made of a solid, moulded tough rubbery material, and they have great grips running over the bottom of the soles, making them great for using in slippery conditions - in my case around waterfalls and rivers on holidays. Another feature of the middle of the sole is an aircushion - now I can't say I really noticed the action of the aircushion until I tried a pair of similar sandals without one and they felt a lot less springy and more inflexible than my pair of Merells.
On the inside of the shoe, the bottom is shaped to fit the curves of a foot, which also makes it easy to tell which shoe is for which foot, otherwise it would be a bit of a pain to tell at a quick glance.
The upper part of these sandals are made from synthetic leather and the straps which fasten the shoes shut are made of Velcro in a dark grey design, making these easy to get off and on. The strap are adjustable so can be tailored to feet your ankle size.
In terms of looks, I think these are quite nice for outdoorsy, walking sandals. They're not gorgeous, but they are decent looking and are very functional, which is the main thing for me.
I've worn these sandals a lot on various holidays, particularly whilst out walking in the hills, and I've found them to be great. They're very comfortable in my opinion, and they offer more support and comfort for my feet than, for example, flip flops, whilst remaining cool to wear in warmer weather.
I paid £35 for these walking sandals, but they have lasted me a fair few years so far, with no real signs of wear and tear - I've thrown these in the washer quite a few times too in a pillow case to stop any potential washing machine scratches, and any dirt on the fabric Velcro straps always comes out.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the durability and performance of these sandals, so I can highly recommend them. They might not be the cheapest, but they'll get the job done, look after your feet and last years.