Merrell Ottawa Leather Shoes

| June 28, 2009 | 3 Comments
hikingtrail Merrell Ottawa Leather Shoes

The Ottawa Leather—perfect for light trails!

The Virtual Backpack is all about finding those pieces of kit–the ones that stand out. The ones that have won important volume in your pack and deserve to be lugged around the planet. Join us as we take a closer look at gear from the perspective of the long-term traveler.

The Ottawa Leather is a multi-sport shoe by Merrell that features waterproof leather overlays and an air Mesh upper. Merrel’s ‘Vibram’ soles offer excellent grip on dry ground but somewhat inconsistent performance in varied weather conditions.

When ordering Merrell shoes, use your normal size. Generally, Merrell shoes and boots do not require breaking in. I found that the Ottawa Leathers fit perfectly out of the box. They are very comfortable and light; I’ve often forgotten that I even have them on.

The leather uppers and single-layer mesh are meant to allow the shoe to be very breathable. My feet tend to sweat terribly, but they felt light and dry. You can actually feel a soft breeze through the mesh—quite satisfying!

The Ottawa Leather is marketed by Merrell as a hiking shoe, but light-to-moderate trips on easily traversed terrain is a more likely application. Hence, these are great daytripping shoes for seeing the sites, especially in hot or tropical climates.

merrel ottawa Merrell Ottawa Leather Shoes

The lack of ankle support doesn’t lend itself to more challenging terrain, and the the sole can be surprisingly slippery in certain areas—like on wet wood or rock—contrary to Merrell’s marketing literature.

The shoes clean up easily and look great even after months of daily wear; I’ve rinsed mine off when muddy and simply scrubbed them with a light brush, hanging them up to dry. The shoes have held up very well and show cery few signs of wear. No doubt that these shoes would outlast a year of round-the-word travel.

I’ve worn the shoes while spending days in downtown Toronto, as well, which entails a lot of walking on asphalt, cement and sidewalk. My feet were comfortable and fatigue-free by the end of the day. My legs and back also felt great, which attest to the support and comfort these Merrell shoes offer for light daytrips or moderate hiking on easier trails.

The Ottawa Leather is an excellent day-to-day and light trail shoe; however, they don’t perform all that well on trails that are rocky or wet. They are not the best choice for rough terrain hiking, but are perfectly suited for daytripping around the city, day hikes and running for your next flight.

Thus far, Merrell’s are my shoes of choice; hence, this shoe has won itself a place in my backpack.

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Category: Reviews

About the Author ()

For nearly ten years now, Daniel of Two Go Round-The-World has explored how travel captures our imagination and engages our deepest emotions. One half of the duo that maintains the widely read Two Go Round-The-World blog, Daniel treats his subjects not only as works of art but also as symbols of the cultural and political forces that inspire them. Check him out on Google+.

Comments (3)

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  1. Diggsby says:

    This was the first pair of Merrells that I had ever purchased and I must say, they are well worth the price. This is a great shoe! Very comfortable.

  2. Daniel says:

    Hi Diggsby. Thanks for dropping by the site and taking the time and effort to leave a comment. Much appreciated. Love these Merrels and am a recent convert. Love trying new shoes out, though, so my brand loyalty is easily swayed! But for now, these are my favourites!

  3. Chang Tana says:

    I, personally, have 2 pairs of Merrell Ottawa. the best things of this is comfort and breathable. and with technology in this shoes, my feet never smell bad (I don’t know what is the technology’s name.). Really worth the price. Best hiking shoes ever.

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