After my indaba with HI-TEC footwear, the kind folk at Cape Union Mart credited me for both the boots and the shoes, and I invested in a pair of Merrell Phaser Inferno Hiking Shoes.
Even when going on steep downhills — where I am used to getting my toes crunched up — I find the shoes extremely comfortable. The grip is solid as well in wet and dry conditions, even on wet, lichen-covered rock, thanks to the Vibram soles.
Unfortunately after some time the inner padding at the heel of the shoe wore through exposing a plastic “collar” or cup which cut into my heel. Whilst the sole and uppers of the shoes are still in really good shape, I this made them too uncomfortable to wear. Fortunately the old-school workmanship of Rocksole Shoe & Bag Repairs came to the rescue: new leather lining for the cup of the shoes has brought them back to life and I am able to enjoy hiking in them again!
- Nubuc leather upper
- Injection moulded external counter
- Polyester mesh lining
- 4.5mm anatomical footbed
- 4mm tapered nylon grade 4 insole
- Compression moulded EVA footframe
- Air cushion midsole
- Vibram phaser sole / trek rubber
Interestingly enough, I see that HI-TEC is now putting Vibram soles on some of their models… a clear indication that they realise their soles are not up-to-standard. See the shoes on the Cape Union Mart site here…
More info on Merrell’s site here…
R999.00 @ Cape Union Mart