In for review is the Men's Merrell Grassbow Sport Shoe, a GORE-TEX-lined trail shoe designed to tackle all-weather conditions with, says Merrell, super comfort and odourless properties.
As with any GORE-TEX shoe the extended comfort lining allows is guaranteed to be completely waterproof as well as breathable, a process which is helped by the speccing of a breathable synthetic air mesh upper. The shoe is vegan friendly, so there's no leather of any kind used.
Also, the new MSELECT FRESH technology prevents bacteria from sweat multiplying and in turn eliminates odours before any can start to manifest.
On first look it's a very stylish walking shoe with a low cut trainer-like design and the mesh and synthetic upper, with unusual styling - clock that central stitched seam - gives them a fashionable and very distinctive outer shell, something that Merrell is well known for. That sleek design is reflected in an impressively low weight, around 680g per pair or just 340g for each shoe.
The mid-sole is decently stiff, but there's still enough support laterally for extra stability on varying terrain, length-ways there is also relatively little flex so we'd expect decent performance even on rubbly, uneven ground.
I found the shoe is very comfortable the first time I used it, and decently cushioned underfoot thanks to the flexible forefoot shock absorption pad, air cushion in the heel and cushioned EVA midsole.
A quick pad around on muddy terrain also suggests that the clever M Select Grip sole unit is likely to perform well even on softer ground, while the technology is supposed to reduce debris build-up for added traction when things get gloopy.
Things to consider
I have relatively wide feet and on first impressions although the fit is snug for me, it feels like they should break in nicely with more use - we'd definitely try before buying though as with any outdoor footwear.
The Grassbow is also available in a non-Gore-Tex version for hot conditions use and as in a higher cut, Grassbow Mid version.
Price for the Grassbow Sport GTX is £110 for both men's and women's versions, the non-Gore-Tex version sells for £80 and the Mid, which again is available for both men and women, is £120 complete with Gore-Tex liner.
For more information on the Merrell Grassbow Sport Trail Shoe visit www.merrell.com.