The Merrell Siren Edge Q2 WP is a lightweight hiking shoe that trends towards the minimalist or "barefoot" design. This style might be adequate for light one or two-mile hikes on gentle terrain, but when it comes to more rugged trails and hiking with any weight on our backs, the lack of support and traction are evident. We didn't get much purchase on loose trails and we didn't get good traction on bare rock either. Also, this shoe is not "waterproof", and our feet got soaked during our submersion tests.We don't often come across a hiking shoe that we wouldn't want to wear hiking, but that was the case here. We did wear it around town though, and for that application, it works just fine.
Merrell Siren Edge Q2 WP - Women's Review
Cons: Not supportive, not waterproof
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Siren Edge Q2 WP has a mesh and synthetic upper and Merrell's "M Select DRY" inner membrane. This shoe runs on the smaller side, and while we got away with our usual size in this pair, our toes are very close to the end. If you are between sizes or like some extra room in your toe box because your feet tend to swell throughout the day, then we'd recommend sizing up in this pair.
This shoe received one of the relatively lowest scores of all shoes in this metric. There is almost no padding underfoot, and while it doesn't feel too uncomfortable when walking on flat surfaces without a pack on, as soon as we got on a rough trail with even a light daypack, our feet were complaining. The upper is also a weird blend of mesh and a vinyl overlay, and it feels plasticky and makes a weird sound when you walk.
The Siren Edge Q2 lacks both arch and lateral support. The shoe itself is very soft and pliable, and we could twist it around itself without too much effort. There is a semi-decent liner with a little bit of arch support, but because the shoe is so soft, there's no structure to the arch. Keep this in mind if you have bad ankles or plan to carry heavy loads. For carrying a pack and handling rough terrain, most hikers will prefer shoes with more support.
The Siren Edge does not have good traction on trails or rocks. The tread pattern is shallow, and there's not a lot of space between the lugs, causing us to slip a lot on unconsolidated trails. We didn't feel that secure on bare rock either. This did surprise us a little since the soles on other Merrell shoes were much more successful for scrambling around on rocks. If you want a light hiking shoe for more urban adventures, the Siren will suffice, but we don't recommend it for most outdoor trails.
Well, at least we can say one positive thing about this shoe — it's truly lightweight in comparison to most of the shoes we tested! However, with more lightweight shoes coming to market that offer noticeably more durability and support, the Siren Edge is not alone in the lightweight shoe category. We found, for the most part, that lightweight hiking shoes lack enough support for long hikes with significant weight, though there are some that are more functional than the Siren on days when we are only hiking for a few miles and without a heavy pack.
This shoe uses a proprietary "M Select DRY" liner from Merrell. They say that it's an "impermeable membrane that seals out water," but during our submersion test, the membrane leaked through after five minutes and our feet were totally soaked by the eight-minute mark. While this is an extreme test that is not always indicative of real-world conditions, almost all of the other "waterproof" models in this review can pass it. The Siren Edge is also cut lower than some other models, so keep this in mind if you often hike in wet weather and need something that will keep you covered and dry.
We didn't find too many durability complaints about this shoe, and it appears to be made of quality materials; however, knowing hiking shoes well, those with a medium thickness midsole will typically last about 200-300 miles. With the Siren's being so thin, we worry about it packing out even sooner than "average." Also, within our testing period (average 20-30 miles on each model) the uppers had already relaxed a lot and lost some of their shape, so this pair received a low durability score. Leather shoes tend to have the highest durability rating.
The Siren Edge Q2 WP retails for $110. Frankly, this seems a little overpriced for such a minimalist shoe. If you like the looks of this model but don't need the waterproof liner, which didn't work so well in our tests anyway, you can save $20 and buy the version that doesn't have "WP" in its name. For a little more money there are a lot of great hiking shoe options that will serve you better on the trail.
There is a place for minimalist hiking shoes, and if that's what you're looking for, then the Merrell Siren Edge Q2 WP certainly fits the bill. However, we found it so lacking in all areas except its weight that it's a hard one for us to recommend for any hiking uses beyond very gentle trails. Some people love to wear hikers for regular around-town use though, and if that's you then the Siren could be what you are looking for. We wore it for running errands and found it on par with a regular pair of sneakers in terms of comfort.
— Cam McKenzie Ring
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