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North Face vs Merrell hiking shoes/boots quality?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
This doesn't really fit in MC or SW&D so I figure this is the best place to post this. I will be wearing these shoes solely for hiking, so styling isn't very important.

I'm looking to purchase some hiking shoes or boots. I have hiked a pretty good amount (14ers in colorado, etc) so I'm looking for a comfortable pair for a moderately advanced hiker. I'll be hiking in the beautiful Andes, hopefully making it to Ojos del Salado eventually (tallest volcano in the world at ~6893 meters) and down to Patagonia. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif The shoes I'm looking to buy now, however, are not for that type of long distance, multi-day hiking.

In Chile, I've seen North Face and Merrell shoes. I found a pair of North Face with Gore-Tex for around 130 USD (I've converted prices), with better models and boots reaching around 200. Merrell is more expensive, with good models with Gore-Tex being around 225. I would like to have some kind of water proofing and my last pair didn't have any and I regretted it.

Are North Face hiking shoes/boots good quality? My last pair of shoes that I left in US were Merrell and had a great vibram sole, but were pretty much entry level hiking shoes. They still did a good job.
post #2 of 9
I'll recommend Meindl hiking boots over either of those. I still have a pair I bought 9 years ago, and they're still going strong.
post #3 of 9
I've had really good luck with all of the Merrell boots and shoes I've bought over the years.
post #4 of 9
post #5 of 9

10 times better North Face than Merrell. My last and unique pair of Merrell began to unglue after few months from purchasing. never again!

post #6 of 9
Check out Vasque too...

Have a pair going on 2 years of rigorous hikes.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I ended up buying a pair of North Face hiking shoes with Gore Tex. I regret getting Gore Tex though... I accidentally got water inside the shoe... Wouldn't dry out for the rest of the hike. Really annoying. It's far better to just get fast drying hiking shoes or if you go for Gore Tex it has to be a high boot.

post #8 of 9
Shoes or boots? For shoes I would recommend a good-stiff pair of trail runners if you need a 'real' boot I would try out the Zamberlans or HIGH END Asolos. If you want something in-between I would highly suggest the Scarpa Zen or Dharma Pro (same as the zen but a high top), especially if you have to do a lot of scrambling. Zen is made in romania, I've had mine for almost 3 years and they still feel very comfortable on long hikes with a big pack.

I'm sure the North Face makes some decent shoes, but for the most part they make crap and slap a high price tag on it for city folk. Merrell used to make good shoes, but don't know anyone that wears them any more.
post #9 of 9


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