I’m still just like any girl when it comes to planning for and packing up for a trip. It’s all about the shoes, and I know that whatever adventure I headed out on, Merrell has me covered. Last fall, Elisabeth and I started trip planning for six weeks on the road all throughout the desert Southwest. Our road trip would span through most all of the Southwest states, including California, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona and we would be doing a little bit of everything which meant I needed a variety of footwear for what we would end up calling ‘The Southwest Road Trip.’
Out focus on this trip was public lands, which meant lots of different kinds of travel and exploring. We would be backpacking, car camping, hiking through water and up mountains, as well as hiking down into and alongside the tall canyon walls that the Southwest is known for, and also seeing lots of historical sites and landmarks along the way. When it comes to shoes I rely on footwear that is versatile, reliable and durable. I am someone that is hard on my gear, and on my feet and going shopping or doing a resupply on this trip was out of the question. I was also traveling and living in a small space (my Land Rover Discovery) for six weeks, so whatever I was bringing along needed to be absolutely necessary so that I wasn’t cramped or giving up room for things that weren’t going to get used.
Thankfully, I started out my gear and packing list with one of my go tos for summer hiking, and that is the All Out Blaze Web sandal. I came to love these sandals last year and they’ve become a staple wherever and whenever the weather is warm enough. The All Out Blaze sandal is a lightweight sandal with velcro mesh straps that feature a Vibram sole. The Vibram on this sandal is the very same sole found on many of the Merrell hiking boots and provide for reliable and rugged grip for mixed terrain, hiking slick rock, or even hydro hiking. I also wore them most of the time during the long drives in between destinations.
We knew that we would be doing some backpacking trips on this trip, which involved lots of water and hiking through rivers and creek crossings, so I brought along the Tetrex Crest Wrap and Tetrex Rapid Crest. Both shoes are great for hydro hiking, but I came to love the Tetrex Crest Wrap and wore them for majority of the water hikes we did. The Tetrex Crest Wrap is a closed toed water sandal that is great for fast hiking through water and slippery surfaces. They lace up tight to the foot and also have lots of ventilation, paired with a Merrell WET GRIP sole for traction in and out of the water. The Tetrex Rapid Crest is a sneaker style hydro hiker that offers extra protection but with fast dry out times thanks to its mesh and neoprene construction.
Next up was a new pair of boots that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with, which will now be in my all season rotation, the Siren Q2 Traveler. Merrell reintroduced the Siren last year and it’s powered with Q Form 2 construction which features heel centering technology, a footbed that supports all three arches of the foot and natural alignment made just for women. When it comes to a boot, I like something lightweight with a lightly padded shaft and these are definitely my new go to. Classic styling and neutral color options also makes this boot versatile for all kinds of different hiking adventures and destinations.
In addition to hiking, we also did a lot of urban travel and Merrell makes a great line up of adventure travel shoes called the Around Town. I brought along the Around Town Lace sneaker and Around Town Sunvue Thong sandal. The Around Town Lace sneaker is great for walking around town (I wonder how they came up with the name, haha) comfortably, without having to comprise style. These lace ups are breathable and also feature a Merrell Air Cushion sole. The new Sunvue Thong is fun, stylish and comfortable and comes in four different colors to pair with all kinds of summer apparel and adventures.
All photos by Elisabeth Brentano