Merrell Antora 2
Versatility and comfort for hiking and trail running
Brand: Gear 360 Reviews
Model: Product feedback from every angle
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BACKPACKER Gear 360 Review
The women’s-specific Antora 2 is a versatile, comfortable hiking shoe that is ideal for dayhikes and trail running. Compared to its predecessor, the Antora, designers scaled back the thickness of the cushioning under the heel for a more natural fit and stride, without sacrificing comfort. A rock plate, modest 8.5-millimeter drop, and deep, diamond- and chevron-shape lugs had us happily boulder-hopping near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. Though the Antora 2 is lower-profile than the original Antora, its EVA midsole (which ranges from 28.5 to 20 millimeters thick) still feels supportive under loads up to 25 pounds. One of our favorite details is in the laces, which snugged tight and never had to be retied over the course of a day, thanks to chunky loop holders. A tightly woven mesh upper is durable, but still kept our feet feeling airy on dry, dusty summer hikes.
I took this shoe on a backpacking trip in Colorado’s Indian Peaks with a substantial uphill portion for the first 5 miles. Right away, the fit felt great. The outsole gripped the ground nicely, and I felt sturdy on the uphill. One downside of the shoe was that once the outsole got wet, it was quite slippery on the rocks. That being said, the upper dried off very quickly which was helpful for the hikes we did later in the day. I often feel as though the laces of shoes dig into the top of my foot, but I did not experience that with this one. The shoe felt pretty light, and I felt well-supported despite the heavy pack I was carrying and the elevation gain. There were many rocky portions that I felt very stable on. We hiked through a lot of sandy bits, and that loose material definitely went through the shoe’s mesh upper, leaving my feet quite dirty at the end.