For adventure getaways, I like to pack light. Along with a pair of slippers, I usually just have one pair of all-around shoes I can use for different kinds of activities like hiking or biking. When it comes to outdoor footwear, Merrell is among my preferred shoe brands. Known for their comfortable, durable and stylish kicks, Merrell offers a wide range of performance shoes that encourages people to get active outdoors.
My Merrell Barefoot Pace Glove Minimalist Shoes haven’t been the same after they endured an 8-hour hike through rocky cliffs, slick mud and ankle-deep guano in Calbiga Caves in Samar. While the minimalist shoes were great for casual hikes and bike rides before that, I really needed to bring something more durable for moderate to difficult hikes and all-around use.
Merrell’s latest shoe line called the Capra fits the bill. The Capra gets inspiration from the mountain goat or the wild goat, said to be nature’s ultimate climber. This extremely lightweight speed hiker was made to help hikers navigate various terrain and keep them sure-footed on the edge.
Sure-footed goats in Calayan, Babuyan Islands
Luckily, I got a pair of these tough and trail-ready Capras when the line was officially launched to the media last April 2015. Since then, I’ve found found that the Capra is not just suitable for hiking, but it’s ideal for every kind of adventure. Whether I’m backpacking, hitting the mountain bike trails, going on urban adventures on city streets or weekend getaways in between, the capras don’t disappoint. Here’s a look at some of the shoe’s main features.
1) Quality Materials
The Merrell Capra’s upper materials is made from synthetic leather and mesh. The stratafuse exoskeleton fuses the foot cage to mesh uppers for extreme lightweight durability. The shoe line’s upgrade – the Merrell Capra GORE-TEX (not yet available for women’s models) even has a waterproof membrane that repels moisture and enhances breathability for all activities.
2) Vibram MegaGrip
The outsole compound is made of Vibram MegaGrip, the highest rated vibram performance compound provides best combination of durability, grip and hardness. Vibram is best-known for producing rubber soles used in a wide range of outdoor and mountaineering shoes since they provide excellent traction on the a wide range of terrain.
3) Outsole Design
The Capra has a stabilizing hoof-shaped outsole inspired by the mountain goat that keeps you agile for rapid ascents and confident descents. The split toe design has low profile lugs in toes and aggressive lugs in the heel, This makes it easier to grip and keep your balance on rock edges and crevices when hiking, allowing you to “climb like an animal.”
4) UniFly Midsole
The UniFly midsole provides strategically placed cushioning and firmness where you need it. It is thicker in the heel for protection and terrain absorption which buffers descents, while it tapers at the forefoot for maximum ground feel and responsiveness over variable terrain.
The Merrell Capra’s striking silhouette and vibrant colors are definitely eye-catching. The shoes look tough and aggressive, yet still stylish. The Capras come in two different heights – the sport and the more supportive mid sport.
When it was first launched in the Philippines, there seemed to be more color options available for men including Light Grey/Red, Black/Lime Green, Granite Orange and Black/Wild Dove (Grey). For women, there were only two options: Royal Lilac/Adventurine and Grey/Wild Dove. Given the choice between the two, I opted for the Grey/Wild Dove since it’s easier to match with existing clothes in my closet and looked more down-to-earth than the purple pair. Based on the US Catalog, there are other cool color options for women available including: Dragonfly, Purple, Turbulence and Black/Grey.
FIELD TEST NOTES:
- Since I got the pair of shoes at the end of May 2015, I’ve used it mostly for hiking, quick weekend getaways and mountain biking.
- During the break-in period, it felt stiffer and heavier than normal sports shoes I’m accustomed to. Because it’s primarily made for hiking, the material felt sturdier and tougher.
- As a hiking sneaker, the Merrell Capras are casual enough to wear for urban explorations including around the neighborhood, food-tripping and malling.
- Since they’re heavier than usual shoes, it makes sense to wear this as your travel shoes instead of packing it in your bag.
The shoes got drenched during a trip to Nuvali when I got caught in the rain while biking. I found that the shoes don’t dry that easily on their own. However, about 30-45 minutes with the hair dryer left them slightly dry enough to wear again the next day.
I used the Merrell Capras during a trip around Corregidor which required some hiking and biking. The shoes provide a pretty good grip on biking pedals as well as on trails.
I was supposed to use this on a hiking trip to Mt. Pulag this month with Trail Adventours. Unfortunately, the trip got cancelled because of bad weather, but am looking forward to taking the shoes on a longer hiking trip to really test it out on the trails soon.
The Merrell Capra Sport is a comfortable, durable and stylish pair of shoes that can be used for any kind of outdoor adventure from hiking mountain trails to exploring city streets. It feels lightweight yet sturdy. I kind of wish I had the GORE-TEX version because a lot of activities I do involve water, river crossings and hiking in the rain, and it doesn’t dry that fast, but I expect to use this a lot in upcoming hikes and adventures.
The Merrell Capra retails for Php 5,950.00 for the men’s collection, and P5,590.00 for women. The GORE-TEX models ranges from P7,295.00 to P7,590.00
WHERE TO BUY IT:
Grab your own pair of Capras at Merrell stores at TriNoma, SM North EDSA Annex, Market! Market!, Festival Mall Alabang, Marquee Mall Pampanga, Harbor Point Subic, SM City Dasmariñas, Ayala Center Cebu, Gaisano Mall Davao, Abreeza Mall Davao, SM Lanang Premier and SM Ecoland Davao. Merrell is also available in leading department stores and sports specialty stores nationwide.