What We're Testing Now: Merrell Zion Mid Waterproof

This boot offers superb traction and solid weatherproofing.
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Merrell Zion

At BACKPACKER, we often seek "outlier" conditions to test new gear. And while 6 inches of surprise October snow might not seem that extreme, it was still a great environment for my first outing in the Zion Mid. On the 11.6-mile roundtrip hike to King Lake in Colorado's Indian Peaks Wilderness, the boot's 5-millimeter-deep, well-spaced triangular lugs held fast on packed snow and slushy mud, and the waterproof membrane kept my foot dry when I punched through thin ice covering a stream (not my smartest move). 

I was only carrying a light daypack, so I have yet to test how the boot feels under a multiday load, and I'm curious to see how the leather-and-mesh upper holds up over time. But the Zion Mid passed its first shoulder-season challenge, so I'm looking forward to logging more time in them.