So these have been gracing my feet for almost 3 years now, and I thought it high time I gave them some credit. As a former student brand rep for Merrell, some might accuse me of bias when it comes to this review, but having graduated from Merrell student life these approach shoes are still firm favourites week after week.
Name: Womens Grassbow Sport Goretex
Colour: ‘Black’ according to Merrell, but blue laces and interior with grey accents make them nice and colourful.
Size: UK 5
Starting from the Bottom…
These were essentially my first pair of technical shoes, and are billed as fast-hiking approach shoes for those who are never standing still for long. The sole is M-Select Grip, Merrell’s own version of Vibram and provides pretty good grip on a wide range of surfaces when out adventuring. Although my pair are now waring down quite dramatically, the soft rubber combined with some awesome multi-directional lugs make this a great all round shoe. They feel wide across the forefoot and narrower at the heels, making them a super stable shoe: I feel more nimble and comfortable with these than any of my higher grade boots and when we descended Devils Kitchen in Snowdonia, I actually switched to these.
An air cushion in the heel makes your heel feel supported and steady on even the most uneven terrain, and although the insole is your standard EVA foam it works perfectly with midsole for great comfort. One thing I do like about these shoes is their arch support, and extra trail pads inbuilt within the midsole.
The shoes are waterproof, with the gold-dust that is Goretex whose quality speaks for itself, and is still holding up strong to this day. They also have bellowed tongues to prevent grit and debris getting inside, and although a brilliant idea this can sometimes bunch up and work against the waterproofing when you do them up in a hurry.
The uppers themselves are really hardwearing and despite using them everywhere from carparks to scree slopes, there are no nicks, tears or rips. The laces have stood the test of time and are not fraying, however they do have a tendency to come undone if not tied in a double knot.
The greatest thing about these shoes however, has to be their weight. The pair weigh it at an incredible 283g!!! Let’s just take a minute to absorb that… These are shoes that could take you onto the trail and just as easily off it; robust and with tons of cool features, they’re close competitor The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTX shoes are a whopping 548g! The incredible lightweight feel of the Grassbows is what makes these a standout shoe for me, and because of this I find myself using them week in week out on kayaking trips, days out walking and just anytime I might end up in the mud.