UPDATE: I just wore these boots again in sloppy weather (strangely enough, one month exactly from the time I wrote the original review and for the same event) and was saddened to find that they’re not waterproof at all. Boots that have an upper sewn to the last are only as good as the glue that holds the upper to the last, and this glue is not good at all. They’ve been worn maybe 4-5 times total and are already coming apart. Too bad! I thought it was worth mentioning this because they are not cheap boots. They’re still worth having, but keep an eye on that glue and maybe don’t plan to wear them in wet weather.
So we had to put off the whole Boot Month idea, which was supposed to take us through October but had to be postponed because none of the boots had shown up. Then I came home from a trip to…somewhere…wow, I can’t remember which is alarming because it must mean I’m traveling too much. Anyway, so I got home from some trip and found the lower half of my house filled with boxes of boots. So now the boots are here, so we’ll continue Boot Month, which I never said would be continuous, with the ones that seem the most apropos for this week’s single digit temperatures.
When I picked out this boot I wasn’t sure whether I’d like it. The quilted part seemed really gimmicky and I didn’t think it would be all that cute anyway. Wrong, wrong, wrong! I took this boot out for First Friday (Anchorage’s would-be art celebration that usually ends up being mostly bar-hopping) this month in the November chill, committing to my project by wearing a dress to fully assess the boot’s warming capabilities. Not being much of a bar-hopper and evidently not knowing my own town very well, I failed to navigate our group in an efficient manner, which made for a lot of walking through snowy streets, going hither and yon, until someone else took over and led the way to the gallery I was trying to find. I wasn’t lost; it was all in the name of good gear test.
The quilted part is actually a separate piece from the boot, so you could wear it with or without. However, it does help quite a bit in the warmth factor so I really like it. The boot itself goes up to mid calf and if you add the quilted part it’s about an inch below the knee. The lugged sole is helpful on winter streets (I can’t understand winter boots with smooth soles. What are those for? No sale) and the upper is waterproof which seems mandatory. The only downside I can imagine is the goofy look you get when you pull your leg out of the boot with the quilted part in. It just slides over your leg with a little elastic stirrup holding it in place, so if you aren’t deft at boot removal you can only imagine the potential for embarrassing 80’s leg warmer look for those few moments. However, it’s a small price to pay for a nice warm city boot.
MerrellThe Merrell Wilderness is a legend in leather. With proper care and maintenance, the Wilderness will perform for many years. Norwegian welt construction puts a wide platform underfoot for stability and can be re-soled. One piece, top-grain leather upper with bellows tongue showcases Italian craftsmanship. Original Wilderness model Norwegian Welt Construction creates a classic, durable sole that can be re-soled (seam sealant sold separately) Full grain leather upper (waterproof sealant sold separately) Bellows tongue keeps debris out Italian metal hardware Tesivel? 3-bar knit lining Dual density footbed Microporous rubber midsole 5mm Leather/TPR Insole Crampon-Compatible (Strap-on Only) Vibram? Roccia Block Sole/Trek Rubber Weight: 3 lbs 8 ozs. J01015 While specifically designed for durability, the premium leather and Norwegian welt construction of the Wilderness requires periodic applications of welt and leather sealant, sold separately.$399.95
MerrellSizing: True to size. - Round toe - Merrell brand logo embossed - Lace-up closure - Padded collar - Removable padded insole - Welt midsole - Grip lug sole - Approx. 5.5"" shaft height - Imported This item cannot be shipped to Canada.$160.03