Merrell has launched a Thermo Rogue range of winter boots that feature exclusive Vibram Arctic Grip Dura soles. This is Vibram’s “most advanced cold weather gripping system and offers stability on wet ice, snow and slush:.
The boots also provide good warmth thanks to Primaloft Aerogel lightweight, low bulk insulation.
The Gore-Tex waterproof membrane keeps feet dry in rain and snow.
The Thermo Rogue range includes versions for men and women and also two ankle heights, six-inch and eight-inch.
The boots are a great idea for winter walks or après-ski activities.
- Breathable and waterproof GORE-TEX membrane
- Mesh and TPU upper
- Metal hook and lacing eyelet for secure lacing
- Bellows tongue keeps debris out
- Protective rubber toe cap
- Antimicrobial agents to reduce shoe odour
- 100g Primaloft Aerogel lightweight, low bulk insulation to trap in heat even when compressed
- Kinetic Fit BASE insole contoured to provide flexible, intuitive support
- Moulded nylon arch shank
- Merrell exclusive Vibram Arctic Grip Dura sole
- 5mm sole lugs
- Mid and tall ankle height
- Male and female designs
- £179.99 / £199.99
- See SportsShoes.com
On test: Merrell Thermo Rogue Gore-Tex winter boots
First impressions include good fit and fairly good comfort. Merrell state that the “Kinetic Fit BASE insole is contoured to provide flexible, intuitive support”. Basically, they feel pretty comfy and it could be that the sole is something special but I can’t say how or why. It’s simply a nice fit and feel.
I have a long, narrow foot (UK8.5) and I would say the shoe length is about right. The boot is perhaps a little too wide for my foot but for most medium-width feet it will be perfect.
I feel the forefoot volume is a bit too much for my feet. This means there is quite a big crease in the boot where my toes bend. On one foot this is quite noticeable although it doesn’t rub my foot when I walk so I think it will prove to be okay and will probably ease as I wear them in.
The lacing system allows for an even tightening along the foot. I have the mid-height boots and I feel as though my ankles are well supported. For extra ankle support you can choose to buy the tall boots. The ankle area of the boots are nicely cushioned.
Most of the lacing eyes are made of a fabric loop. In my experience these are not as durable and long-lasting as metal eyelets but I have not owned a pair of Merrell boots with fabric eyes before so I can’t comment on how long these will last. Time will tell…
I have to say that the choice of fabric eyes tells me this is not-a-too-serious walking boot. What I mean is, it’s more of a leisure strolling-about boot rather than a hill hiking boot.
I have been wearing the boot for walking pavements in snow and taking the dog for a low-level trails walk. I will be using them during a ski trip when I will wear them before and after skiing.
We have experienced some cold weather recently and I found the boots kept my feet nicely warm. I wear them with thick hiking socks for extra comfort and warmth.
The insulation is a welcome addition and it means the boots are really useful for a Scottish winter.
The insulation is not big and puffy so you do not notice it in the look of the boot; it is built into the fabric upper.
I like that the boots have a Gore-Tex membrane, which is pretty essential for wear in Scotland where we have a lot of rain and wet snow.
I was sent a light grey pair of the Merrell boots to test. I can see they will end up getting muddy and dirty looking. I would choose a darker pair if it was up to me.
Just now the boots look light, clean and pretty. The eyes, plus a strip along the centre of the tongue, are a flowery fabric. The light grey is slightly shiny and shimmery. A few friends have said they look pretty. I have not owned a pair of pretty boots since I was aged about four!
If prettiness in a winter boot is your thing, then the Merrell Thermo Rogue Gore-Tex winter boots are definitely for you.
Most importantly, however, is the sole and how well it grips. I have found traction to be good in the wet, slushy ice and in the snow. Smooth ice, the type we had on the pavements when it dipped well below zero, was a hazard and in this situation I needed to add walking spikes. See my Snowline Chainsen review. In defence of the Merrells, however, I am not sure there are many shoes or boots, except those fitted integrated ice spikes that would be super grippy on black ice.
The rubber toe cap is a great detail. It would be good to see a rubber rand all the way around the boot. Without this, the upper fabric is vulnerable to being damaged by rocks, roots and heather etc.
In conclusion, I like the Merrell Thermo Rogue Gore-Tex winter boots. They have become my everyday, go-to boots for pottering about in the cold and wet. I am trying to avoid walking through too much mud so they stay clean and pretty although I doubt this will last for long. They are comfortable, waterproof and warm. I feel that £179.99 is quite expensive for the boots but good design and features, especially Gore-Tex, do come at a price.