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In the Merrell Women's Proterra Vim Mid Sport Hiking Boot, you'll fly under the radar, which is good since  you'll be speeding up the hillside like a demon. Its low-profile, minimalistic design lets your foot move naturally along the terrain for long-term, energizing comfort. Add to that a sticky-rubber sole and supportive midsole and footbed, and you have a shoe that will put less strain on your body and more vert on your altimeter.

  • Stratafuse technology injects the supportive foot cage directly into the mesh upper to shave weight, enhance durability, and offer a glove-like fit
  • Reversed, diamond-cut 2.5mm lugs and Proterra sticky rubber sole give your foot death-grip on slick surfaces
  • Bellows tongue seals out dirt and debris
  • Removable and durable EVA footbed provides all-day support and comfort
  • Aegis-treatment in mesh upper and footbed fights odor-causing bacteria for fresh feet
  • Minimal-design PU midsole increases sensitivity to the terrain for natural movement and stability
  • Molded TPU arch shank gives tons of durable support for marathon hikes and shoe longevity
  • Profile: 4mm drop, 9,5mm cushioning, and 20.5mm stack height
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NOT a barefoot shoe...

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I bought these hoping that they'd be a good alternative to my Pace Gloves - something a bit more substantial that might have a bit more longevity and that I could wear for work. But when I tried them on, I could feel that they weren't completely "barefoot" - that is, there was a drop from heel to toe, and there was a weird bit of cushioning pressing up against my sole just above the heel. Needless to say, I returned these. For those who are still used to wearing regular hikers, these are probably fine, and they're definitely nice and flexible, but if you're looking for a real barefoot shoe... best keep looking.