If you’ve read much of my writing focused on apparel or outdoor gear, you’ve probably heard me complain about companies that try to make garments that are both fashionable and functional, from a technical point of view. Great looking clothes are great and all, but when you’re out in the cold, miles into a hike, or camping for the weekend, your gear needs to perform, not just look good.
Thus, I always advocate for proper performance over style whether we’re talking about a puffer, a pair of pants, hats, boots, and so on.
Today, we’re talking about boots, and I’m happy to say we’re discussing a pair that manages to pull off that rare success of both looking good and working well. The footwear in question is the Women’s Roam Mid Boot from Merrell that I gifted my wife for Christmas.
We’ll get to it in a moment but first, a few words about my wife. She has a background in fashion and design and has stayed well-informed on the industry. Basically, she knows not only what she likes, but also what’s generally trending. She also loves hiking and the outdoors generally, and much to her credit doesn’t much care about her clothes style-wise when we’re out trekking in the woods or running after the kids at the park.
She was delighted when she unwrapped her new Roam Mids based solely on their casual good looks. The boots, which come in four color varieties, are largely suede with patterned fabric patches on the sides. The white and tan soles contrast handsomely against the bold coloration of the upper, while brass (or steel in one colorway) hardware adds interest up along the gusset.
Her delight intensified when she realized these were no mere around town boots. The Roam Mids are lightweight but warm, they provide excellent ankle support, and a thick, supportive sole absorbs heel-strike shock and cradles the midfoot, ensuring comfort even after miles on the go. And while they’d soak through if you stood in a stream, so far the boots have kept her feet nice and dry in snow, light rain, and the occasional puddle.
If you too are someone who likes to be happy with her outfit while also being outfitted for adventure, this boot might become your go-to.