The Merrell Capra Rapid Hiking Water Shoe is my new favorite river shoe. I’ve been a Chaco lover for years, but found that after 8-9 miles in a river, the straps would rub my sensitive feet the wrong way. I started to look for a fully enclosed water shoe, so that dirt and rocks couldn’t get in. I didn’t want Keens because of how bulky they are, and the little holes that allow rocks to get in. I also didn’t want to have to stop every few feet to empty my shoe.
Since I have several trips coming up that I would need to hike in water for long distances (up to 16 miles), I tested these shoes out on an easy, after work hike up Holbrook Canyon, which was only 4 miles RT and 90% in the river.
From a visual standpoint, I love the bright orange and red against the black. I also really like the cord and lock lacing system. No worries about a shoelace being untied!
The exterior is synthetic and an upper mesh for breathabilty and water capability. Because of this, water drains pretty quickly. I noticed that sometimes the shoes would get water logged, but only for about 15 seconds, until all the water exited.
Grippy outsoles and tread help you hike across rocks and rivers with no slipping.
The interior of the Merrell Capra Rapid has a mesh lining and rubber foam for padded comfort. The shoe sits lower on the ankle, similar to the traditional aqua sock.
At only 1 lb 6 oz, crossing the stream in these shoes don’t make my feet feel heavy or sluggish.
No dirt or socks inside my shoes
Feet felt well supported
Great colors and look
Lock Lace system for secure fit
Expensive at $100
My heels DID get badly rubbed but now I just apply a waterproof blister band aid with each use.
Seems to take long to completely dry out
Overall I am really happy with the Merrell Capra Rapid Water Hiking Shoe, but I need to always remember to tape my heels before wearing these shoes for a long distance, as I did while Backpacking Coyote Gulch. For me, they are the best option for hiking through rivers for long distances.
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