Merrell is a reputable name for adventure driven footwear, and the Salida Mid is no exception. The fit is comparable to hiking shoes from the same brand, such as the Merrell Siren Sport 2 - Women's, and requires no break-in period, which is rare for a hiking boot. It has a relatively low ankle height suitable for some adventures, such as day hiking and light backpacking, but it lacks coverage or support for demanding excursions. The Salida is much like a hiking shoe with some boot characteristics such as added ankle stability, sturdy soles, and durable uppers. For advice on choosing the most suitable hiking boots or shoes, check out our Buying Advice article.
Merrell Salida Mid WP - Women's Review
Cons: low ankle shaft, lacking arch support, uncomfortable contour on ankle design, not very breathable
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Merrell Salida Mid WP exists in a happy middle ground between a shoe and a boot, offering the light weight and comfort of a shoe paired with the sturdy soles and durable construction of a boot.
The Salida is within mere ounces of the lightest hiking boots in our review. They weigh in at 1.86 pounds per pair! A combination of leather and mesh on the uppers keep the weight low. Although they are light on the scale and feel like hiking shoes on our feet, the mesh uppers do not lend to an airy feel. See our detailed review of their breathability below. For an overall light and airy boot, both in weight, feel, and breathability, check out the Ahnu Montara - Women's.
Considering the relatively short ankle shaft height, support is below average in the Salida. These boots maintain adequate traction yet do not offer the level of comfort or support we have come to expect from the top women's hiking boots. The insoles are stiff and the short ankle height doesn't offer as much ankle stabilization as other taller boots. Most women will find it necessary to add after market insoles to attain an appropriate level of arch support and comfort for long trail days. They have M Select Grip soles, Merrell's proprietary slip resistant soles made of solid rubber with widely spaced 5mm lugs on the tread. For a hiking boot that rates highly in the support category, consider the La Sportiva FC ECO 3.0 GTX - Women's or the Editors' Choice award winning Lowa Renegade GTX Mid - Women's.
The Merrell Salida rated among the highest for traction. The tread pattern is varied with widely spaced lugs, which lend to shedding of dirt, sand, and mud. Stiff soles constructed of gripping rubber make these among the best in women's hiking boots for traction. We took these boots through deep mud, melting spring snow, and along sandy trails and no debris adhered to the soles.
Like other Merrell women's hiking footwear we have reviewed, the Salida is comfortable straight out of the box. Boots often require a break-in period of a hike or two, or sometimes more before reaching ultimate comfort. The Salida, like the Keen Targhee II Mid - Women's and Ahnu Montara, offer immediate trail comfort. Adequate padding surrounds the ankle and tongue while abrasion resistant lining resists pilling. The EVA foot beds are stiff and uncomfortable for feet that demand arch support. For flat feet or those needing minimal support underfoot, the Salida is comfortable, but if you have prominent arches, we highly recommend after market insoles such as Superfeet.
Water Resistance and Breathability
With a waterproof lining, these boots stay dry in shallow puddles and through dew covered foliage. They have bellowed tongues that are intended to keep debris out. Submerged in water, the bellows also serve the function of creating a barrier to water. Up to approximately 3-4" of moving water, the boots remain dry for a brief period of time. When water heights exceed the bellows tongue crease, water pours into the boots. The crease falls lower than the ankle shaft, so a mindfulness of the height is necessary to remain dry and comfortable.
In regards to breathability, the mesh panels on the uppers allows for some breathability in cool to mildly warm temperatures, although when summer heat sets in they are not significantly breathable to remain comfortable. Full grain leather sections on the uppers add to durability but limit the overall breathability. For hikers with naturally warm feet, we recommend thin socks unless in cold weather. Otherwise, typical midweight hiking socks are comfortable in cool to warm weather. For a more breathable summer hiking boot, check out the Ahnu Montara or Asolo Athena - Women's.
Full grain leather is among the most durable hiking boot material. The Salida is constructed of this durable material combined with mesh, and resisted abrasion after hiking through technical terrain and in rugged landscapes. We were impressed by how minimally the soles showed their mileage, especially after days spent on rocky trails in the Rocky Mountains.
For spring and fall hiking and light backpacking on easy to moderate terrain the Salida excels. These boots have insulating properties from thick padding and leather on the uppers. While mesh panels add a degree of breathability, the design qualities make them too warm for mid-summer heat unless you are at high elevations. Thin socks are recommended for wearing in warmer temperatures. The relatively short ankle shaft height is best for shallow water crossings of less than 5" and for carrying light loads. These boots do not offer enough stability for long distance or heavy weight backpacking.
At $130, the Merrell Salida Mid WPs are similar in cost to the Best Buy awarded Keen Targhee II Mid. Comparatively, the Targhee II Mid is a better value, offering more breathability and versatility across seasons. The Salida is a good value for the shoulder season hiker (spring and fall) who finds an ideal fit from Merrell's footwear. Otherwise, we recommend the Targhee II Mid boots as a better value or the Ahnu Montara boots for a slightly higher price.
The Merrell Salida Mid WP offers excellent traction and durability for a lightweight hiking boot, closely resembling a hiking shoe in weight and comfort. For women looking for a sturdy hiking boot that wears like a hiking shoe, the Salida is sure to please.
- Cost - $100
- The low cut hiking shoe version of the Mid Salida
- This version offers greater trail-to-town versatility
- Has the same key design characteristics
- Not waterproof
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: May 20, 2015
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