My daughter started high school this year and, among other things, that means a 20 minute walk to and from school. That’s a bit of a hike compared to her former five minute trek. As a parent, I want to make sure she’s wearing sensible footwear, especially in the five months of the year where snow is a possibility. As a teen, she wants something fashionable and “cool.” That could have meant an impasse, but Merrell came to the rescue with a pair of women’s Captiva Launch Mid 2 Waterproof boots to try out.
Reviewing women’s boots is a bit out of my usual territory, so I’m going to cover the basics — the reasons why I like them, as a parent — while Natasha is going to offer up her assessment on look, feel and effectiveness.
First, the technical details. These are ankle boots with a full grain leather upper that’s seam-sealed for water resistance. There’s an air cushion in the heel to absorb shock, a Qform comfort midsole and Select Grip outsole.
And they have an inner zipper, critical to getting boots on and off in a rush. Because teens are always late for something, apparently.
In other words, they’re pretty much waterproof so no arriving at school with soggy feet, even in slush. They’re durable, easy on and off, supportive, comfortable and grippy. Considering Merrell’s expertise in making hiking and performance shoes and boots, I wouldn’t expect anything less. The downside (at least in winter conditions) is that they lack insulation, so heavy socks are required when it gets really cold out.
And now for Natasha’s feedback.
She loves the style. They don’t look like “functional” boots, more like “fashionable” ones. They live up to the promise of keeping her feet dry and they are extremely comfortable for walking in, more like a hiking shoe than a heavy boot. They look good with jeans and because they aren’t padded, she can wear them in the spring and fall as well. They grip well on wet and dry pavement, but on sheet ice they lose some of the stickiness. Still better than her previous snow boots, she notes, but if the ice is glassy you still have to be careful. She does double up on socks if it’s extremely cold out to keep her feet from feeling cool.
She’d recommend them to anyone.
Back to me. The boots required virtually no break-in period. She wore them around the house for a few hours, then hit the road. They are only roughly seven inches tall, so if the snow on the sidewalk gets deeper than that… One bit of advice, especially if you plan on wearing these with thick socks: consider ordering a half size up. I’m also going to treat these to protect the leather from salt and the effects of being constantly wet — the insides are dry, but the exterior surface of the leather can get wet when slogging through a lot of slush.
Once they dry off, they look like new despite months of use by someone who is hard on footwear. They aren’t cheap, but I suspect they’ll last and they are multi-season as well. So that may end up saving money in the long run.
The Merrell Women’s Captiva Launch Mid 2 Waterproof boots get the thumbs up from both me (on the parental side) and Natasha (on the sometimes difficult to please teen side). There are still a few months of winter left and the nice thing is, these boots don’t have to be put away in the spring.
Disclosure: Merrell provided a pair of boots for review purposes.