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Thread: Merrell Expedition Boots....no go

  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Merrell Expedition Boots....no go

    Well, this past may I decided to buy a pair of Merrell Expedition boots. I wrote this about them in an earlier thread after I bought them:
    " They have all the right features of a mtn. boot. The sole seems a lot stickier than the generic vibram sole on my Lowa Civetta plastics ( the Solomons have a great sticky sole), they have some kind of plastic support up the side of the ankle that should help with lateral ankle support especially when the boot has been wet for days. (leather gets soft and can loose it's support.) But, most importantly is that they fit and were in town so I could try them on, as a bonus Beaver Sports was having 20 percent off on boots so I got the 250 dollar Merrells for 200 bucks. I just can't see 350 450 bucks for a pair of boots. The Lowa GTX Extremes are nice, maybe a little wide for me but not bad but... 420 bucks ?!?! I don't think so.... Even on sale at 340 is pushing it."

    I wore them all summer getting them broke in. got a few blisters but all in all had them pretty good. Did a 30 mile walkin sheep hunt last week and got the final break in done and actually liked how the boots performed BUT... One day I looked down and one of the eyelets had busted clean off! I looked at it and saw that is was some type of cheap looking pop metal or something. If you look at this pic closely you will see the first eyelet that is at the ankle is different that the the rest going up the boot. This is the one that broke.
    ]
    The others are fine, but no way am I going to have a boot that the eyelets bust off. I took them back to Beaver Sports and they contacted Merrell who I guess does not even make mountaineering boots anymore. Fine with me, I don't want a new pair anyway. Beaver Sports is giving me an in store credit which is fine with me.

    Anyway, the Merrell Expeditions get a thumbs down from me because of this issue. Too bad to, otherwise I liked them. I really like the sole, very sticky, even on wet rock. Excelent ankle support as well.

    Now I have to go through the new boot thing all over again. But, Beavers said they will be carrying Scarpas sometime this fall. I may have to check out the Liskams. I see they do have some Scarpa plastics but I already have some Lowa Civetta plastics.

  2. #2

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    That sucks. I've been using mine for several seasons for ice climbing and hiking and couldn't be happier, no problems with mine. I don't know anyone else who has a pair, so I can't say if you got a bum pair or I got an exceptionally good pair, but either way that' a raw deal for you.

    For hiking and glacier travel, I have since upgraded to these:

    http://www.mountaingear.com/pages/pr...tem/209909/N/0

    and let me tell you, what a huge difference. Vastly more comfortable and all around better boot, what you would expect for a boot that costs almost twice as much. There not stiff enough for serious ice climbing but they are my go to mountaineering and glacier travel boot for sure, and they can handle low grade ice climbing no problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by asrjb25 View Post
    That sucks. I've been using mine for several seasons for ice climbing and hiking and couldn't be happier, no problems with mine. I don't know anyone else who has a pair, so I can't say if you got a bum pair or I got an exceptionally good pair, but either way that' a raw deal for you.

    For hiking and glacier travel, I have since upgraded to these:

    http://www.mountaingear.com/pages/pr...tem/209909/N/0

    and let me tell you, what a huge difference. Vastly more comfortable and all around better boot, what you would expect for a boot that costs almost twice as much. There not stiff enough for serious ice climbing but they are my go to mountaineering and glacier travel boot for sure, and they can handle low grade ice climbing no problem.

    Ya, I suspect I just smashed it on a rock. But still, it should have bent instead of snapped. One of the other ones was bent slightly. Maybe I'll make to Los Anchorage and will be able to go try on some other boots. We are severely limited here in Fairbanks.

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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    My sheep partner in crime has been rocking the Liskam GTX's for 3 good sheep hunts now and likes them. He had tried on my Lowa's and then decided to go with the Scarpa's. Availability was part of the decision, but he is liking them so far. The only problem he has had is 'Bear'. His chocolate lab pup used the top of one boot as a chew toy The boot is still fully functional and got him a sheep last week

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    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan View Post
    My sheep partner in crime has been rocking the Liskam GTX's for 3 good sheep hunts now and likes them. He had tried on my Lowa's and then decided to go with the Scarpa's. Availability was part of the decision, but he is liking them so far. The only problem he has had is 'Bear'. His chocolate lab pup used the top of one boot as a chew toy The boot is still fully functional and got him a sheep last week
    Man I was set on switching to the Lowas from my Kennetreks but now you guys have me considering the Scarpa's again.... It is definately way to late to be playing around w/ it this year though so another season on the Kenne's even if I don't love them

    mod-elan, is your bud a forum member? if so remind him that no story and pics means it didn't happen! Or at least get the pics from him and post em up!!

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    liskams are next on the list for me. i've used some junk boots over the years but never had an eyelet come off, that could really bugger your feet up if its the wrong eyelet!
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

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    My next trip to town will include a Liskam test fit. I shouldn't need new boots for a few years, but it will be good to start looking now. These Lowa's now have 5 sheep hunts on them and are wearing well. Lacing them with p-cord is the only thing I've done to them.

    LuJon- Yup he is a member. Last Thursday was hell day for us. We have been recouping ever since. Will be getting with him tonight for gear swapping and getting his pics to complete my album. I took over a hundred and I know he took a lot also. I'll rib him a bit to post story and pics

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    They have some of the Lowa Mountain extremes or whatever the are, the tall ones at Beaver Sports but man.... 400 BUCKS!!. I just can't swallow that. The soles seem a little soft I can twist and bend them with my hands. Not sure how well they would do in steep rough terrain with a heavy pack, 100+. I have week ankles and lots of pronation, which is why I have custom orthotics. The Liskams sound intriguing but I guess I'll just have to try some on somewhere someday to see if the fit my foot. The LaSportivas don't. But, even then, I think the Liskams are 360 or so. Man, I guess I may need to step up to the pump.

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    Lowa hunter GTX I think is what mine are called. 400. ouch! Summer of '07 my bro in law and I picked ours up for 210 shipped. Shoebuy sale plus new customer discount. Amazing how much they went up. I know the Lowa is less supportive on the ankles, but I don't have problems there after flopping around in redwings on fire for so long. I did notice the Liskam seemed more slippery on the glacier than the Lowa. Don't know for sure if the sole is harder rubber or if they just weren't broke in yet.

    As far as the Lowa being too soft in steep rough terrain, all I can say is I am 250 and came out with a hundred pound pack last week along 2+ miles of sidehill, down 1700 foot reaper hill, all in the rain. I'm sure stiffer boots would have been better, but the Lowa's did fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan View Post
    Lowa hunter GTX I think is what mine are called. 400. ouch! Summer of '07 my bro in law and I picked ours up for 210 shipped. Shoebuy sale plus new customer discount. Amazing how much they went up. I know the Lowa is less supportive on the ankles, but I don't have problems there after flopping around in redwings on fire for so long. I did notice the Liskam seemed more slippery on the glacier than the Lowa. Don't know for sure if the sole is harder rubber or if they just weren't broke in yet.

    As far as the Lowa being too soft in steep rough terrain, all I can say is I am 250 and came out with a hundred pound pack last week along 2+ miles of sidehill, down 1700 foot reaper hill, all in the rain. I'm sure stiffer boots would have been better, but the Lowa's did fine.
    Thanks for the info on your Lowas. I had tried them on and they felt pretty good for my feet. I may just keep my eye's open for an online deal. Ya, Shoebuy can be a great deal. I got my Lowa Civettas there a couple years ago. Same kind of thing.

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    Default scarpa

    Liskamm GTX, I've used them for several years now... I'm completely happy.

    Synd, PM sent...

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan View Post
    Lowa hunter GTX I think is what mine are called. 400. ouch! Summer of '07 my bro in law and I picked ours up for 210 shipped. Shoebuy sale plus new customer discount. Amazing how much they went up. I know the Lowa is less supportive on the ankles, but I don't have problems there after flopping around in redwings on fire for so long. I did notice the Liskam seemed more slippery on the glacier than the Lowa. Don't know for sure if the sole is harder rubber or if they just weren't broke in yet.

    As far as the Lowa being too soft in steep rough terrain, all I can say is I am 250 and came out with a hundred pound pack last week along 2+ miles of sidehill, down 1700 foot reaper hill, all in the rain. I'm sure stiffer boots would have been better, but the Lowa's did fine.
    I did the same thing in the summer of '07. I think it was Snyd that even posted a deal on the Lowa Hunter GTXs for $210 with the new customer discount. Now into my 3rd hunting season the only thing that has broke on them is the laces on the left boot while hiking out caribou last week. A bit of paracord and they are back in business. 4 days ago hiking my dad's goat off the mountain with 100+ pounds they are plenty supportive and still not uncomfortable to walk for miles on the tundra with while caribou hunting either. Granted I'm only 155 lbs soaking wet these days.

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Now I have to go through the new boot thing all over again. But, Beavers said they will be carrying Scarpas sometime this fall. I may have to check out the Liskams. I see they do have some Scarpa plastics but I already have some Lowa Civetta plastics.
    As many of you probably know I work at Barney's. My experience with customers trying on booth the plastic boots we carry Scarpa Omega and Lowa Civetta is that the Civetta is said to be more comfortable/popular. So if the Civettas are still working for you go with them.

    As for the leathers well....we carry the Lowa Hunter GTX and the Scarpa Liskamm GTX. The Hunter is a good boot for mountain hunting, but the Liskamm is suppurlative!!!! For starters the craftsmanship is better hands down. It's just better made/designed. The liskamm is full shank (no give in the toe) the Hunter is 3/4 shank. The liskamm has ankle support like a ski boot (It is impossible to role/break your ankle, you would break the leg above the boot first)the hunter has good ankle support. The liskamm is triple stitcked with fine stitching on the rear of the boot. The hunter has large double stitching on the rear and sides of the boot. The liskamm has great attachment points for crampons and the hunter's are so/so. The liskamms are $369. The hunters are $400. Needless to say I bought the liskamms and I'm currently breaking them in!!!!! I encourage everyone to try them on with the hunters in our store!!! Don't get me wrong. The hunter is a good mountain boot or Barney's wouldn't carry it, but as I said the liskamms are a suppurlative mountain boot and they speak for themselves!!!

    I try to make a point now to show them to people that do sheep/goat/spring bear hunts. The Scarpa name and in particular the liskamm boot just doesn't seem to be well known in this state. It has its circles, but the main hunting public seems to have over looked them in favor of Lowa, Mendell, Kenetrek, Danner, ect, ect. I've sold a lot of boots in this way to people who came in to look at other items because they are soooo impressed with them. Quite frankly we have trouble keeping the popular sized in the store because they are so popular.

    Brett

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    Brett,

    Thanks for the write-up on the Scarpas. No doubt they are a great mountain boot. I tried them on and didn't like them for two reasons though.

    1) And most importantly it didn't fit my foot nearly as well out of the box as the Lowas do. Everyone's foot is different and people need to find the boots that work for them regardless of what name is stamped on the outside of the boot.

    2) I live in my Lowa Hunters all hunting season long. A pair of gaiters and I'm good for most of the areas I moose hunt, as well as caribou hunting on the tundra. In these areas I appreciate the 3/4 shank instead of the full shank the Liskamms offer. Last thing I want in either of those situation is a plastic or ski boot like feel when hiking for miles on the tundra. Also many of my mountain hunting often involves first miles of flat land hiking just to even get to the mountains I wish to climb. This is where Lowa I feel (if they fit your feet) is a better compromise. You can't get everything out of one boot, and I can't justify owning multiple sets of $300-$400 boots of every hunting situation. On the goat hunt last week I was on the mountain right from where I parked the truck. Thats where the Liskamms would have served me well had they fit my feet. But as I stated before my mountain hunting is usually miles of flatland stuff or rolling hills prior to the real nasty stuff, thus the 3/4 shank works for me.

    I have tried to find a reason to not like how my Lowas work for me but they haven't let me down yet so when they finally break down here in a couple more years I'll probably go back to Barney's and throw down the $400 or probably $500 by then and get another pair. Its good that people know the options of what is availible but really the right boot for the each person has a lot more to do with which brand fits best and the what the application of the boot will be and less to do if it says Lowa, Scarpa, La Sportiva.......list goes on.

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    Thanks Brett. I just called Beaver Sports here in Fairbanks and talked to the shoe dept manager. She looked up their upcoming orders and found that they will NOT be carrying the Liskamms So, that means I can't try them on here locally. Maybe this winter we will head to Alyeska to go skiing and I'll stop in and check them out. I have what I need for moose hunting this year. Again, like Alaska_Lanche said, it all comes down to fit.

    As far a plastic vs leather. I have both and will use both depending. Like anything else, they have advantages and disadvantages depending on what you are doing.

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    Alaska_Lanche made many very good points. The boot's fit and construction is MUCH more important than the brand name, price, or anything else for that matter. The Lowa with its 3/4 length shank and softer sole is a more versitile boot, but as I said earlier the Liskamm is suppurlative for mountain use!!! The Lowa could use a little better craftsmanship and more ankle support, but other than that I have no beef as is it is still MUCH better than most hunting boots out there today. For a mountain boot if it fits you I still can reccomend no finer than the Liskamm. For someone who buys one boot to do everything then the Hunter may be more appropriate. My point isn't that the Liskamm is the perfect hunting boot for Alaska, but that if you are a serious mountain hunter looking for a serious mountain hunting boot try the Liskamm!!!

    Brett

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    Brett thanks for explaining the inner differences between the two boots! Always like to know those kind of things. Like I said earlier, My next trip to town will include a test fit of the Liskamm.

    I do have a complaint on the knife you guys sold me. It sure did a good job on our sheep this year, but that evening back in the tent it tried it's best to decapitate my left thumb!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    I did the same thing in the summer of '07. I think it was Snyd that even posted a deal on the Lowa Hunter GTXs for $210 with the new customer discount. Now into my 3rd hunting season the only thing that has broke on them is the laces on the left boot while hiking out caribou last week. A bit of paracord and they are back in business. 4 days ago hiking my dad's goat off the mountain with 100+ pounds they are plenty supportive and still not uncomfortable to walk for miles on the tundra with while caribou hunting either. Granted I'm only 155 lbs soaking wet these days.
    Um, we're gonna need to see a story and pics about this hunt over in the hunting forum. I'm not making it to Alaska this fall and am living vicariously through you guys.

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    I'll see what I can do for a story hear in a couple days. Remind me again if I forget.

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