In a head to head comparison of women’s mid-rise, light hiking shoes, the Merrell Kimsey Mid WP hiking boot was average. These boots did provide comfortable padding and shock absorption, a welcome degree of breathability and moisture wicking all packaged in a fun feminine design but ankle support was limited.
Support and Stability With a 4” high, well-padded ankle shaft, this boot provided poor ankle support, due to buckling in the softer mesh material just below the ankles. The boot’s nylon arch shank and 3.75” wide Vibram outsole offered good quality stability across uneven trails, with minimal twisting or compression.
Protection A reinforced rubber toe and heel, along with dual layering along the base if the boot’s uppers, provided solid protection in these areas. The mesh sides were not as protected, allowing some impact on rocky trails. The boot’s padded and bellowed tongue kept debris out.
Comfort These boots ran true to size, with no break in required. Ample padding around the ankle shafts, a comfortably wide toe box, EVA foot beds and air cushions built into the heels provided quality comfort and shock absorption. However, rock surfaces could be felt through the soles, which resulted in some foot fatigue on longer hikes. The mesh sections in the uppers provided welcome breathability and moisture wicking, especially in hot conditions.
Traction The wide outsole and arced 4.5 mm lugs provided great traction, and minimized slippage, across multiple trail surfaces.
Weight At a mere 12 ounces these boots were very light and comfortable, providing little drag during hikes.