Merrell Perimeter Gore-Tex boot

After my disastrous encounter with Hi-Tec boots when I first started hiking many years ago, I simply opted to hike in hiking shoes for four years. However, on the first two 2-day trails I hiked (Genadendal Trail and Driehoek to Crystal Pools and Sneeukop) the soles of my feet have become tender toward the end of the second day. In the hopes that a sturdy boot with a more rigid sole would prevent this discomfort, I bought a pair of Merrell Gore-Tex Perimeter Boots. Nine years later and they are still going strong!

Merrell Perimeter Gore-Tex boot
Merrell Gore-Tex Perimeter Boot

At the time I was hugely surprised at the small range of boots available in the stores in Cape Town. The majority of the boots available seemed to be more suited to colder climates with snow and therefore too hot for our conditions, indeed, most of them were imported brands. In light of the fact that there cannot be anything worse than cold, wet feet when on the mountain, I was hoping that these boots will not be overkill, and would complete my quest for total waterproofness.

These boots have full-grain leather uppers, Gore-Tex water-proofing, and super-chunky Vibram soles. The tongue has a very clever double construction that ensures weather-proof comfort.

I was absolutely amazed at how well the boots handled on rock scrambling on Nursery Buttress.



  • Full grain leather upper
  • Molded EVA outer tongue and inner bellows tongue for added protection
  • Easy Roller Stainless Steel Ball Bearing Lacing System
  • Protective rubber rand and toe cap
  • GORE-TEX® Performance Comfort Footwear lining protects feet and keeps them dry
  • Ortholite® Anatomical Footbed


  • Grade 6 Nylon Insole for backpacking with a medium pack
  • Lightweight PU midsole for durability
  • Merrell® Air Cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability
  • 6 5mm Sole Lug Depth
  • Vibram® Multi-Grip Hiking Sole/Mont & TC5+ Rubber
  • Weight: 3 lbs 2 ozs.

Be sure to pair your boots up with a great pair of socks to match — something like the Bridgedale Endurance Trekker Socks or Bridgedale Endurance Summit Socks will do the trick. I only ever wear Bridgedale hiking socks.

To be honest, I have chosen not to attempt to maintain these boots in any way: no dubbin or other treatment on the uppers over 9 years of walking, frequently in wet, Western Cape conditions. I have always been careful to allow them to dry naturally (never close to a fire or other heat source).

R1599.99 @ Cape Union Mart

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By David

Outdoor adventure enthusiast living on the Garden Route.

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