Stacia’s pair is the Merrell Taiga Buckle Waterproof.
My pair is not “officially” in the winter boot category but is instead a hiking boot: the Merrell Refuge Core Mid Ventilator Waterproof.
We both wore them into the field for the Rock Cut Christmas Bird Count but alas, there was no snow to plow through.
However, the weather was brisk and the started out below freezing. Later in the day, some of the trails were sloppy with mud and we hiked for about 6 hours. We had the boots on for some ten hours.
First off, Stacia’s boots are adorable. We both think so. With a little cream-colored faux fur and black waterproof leather and other materials, the boots are stylish without distraction.
More importantly, the boots were comfortable and warm. The entire time of wearing them, Stacia’s feet stayed pleasantly warm and dry. She ended up wearing a pair of smart wool socks which helped, but the boots did not allow any water inside.
As far as comfort, they proved excellent despite not being broken in at all. The tread provided great footing on the somewhat slick trails as well.
My boots were made for hiking and not necessarily for snow. So the muddy trails were a good test.
My feet stayed dry but not as warm (no smart wool socks). They weren’t freezing, just cold, but that is usually the case with my feet.
As for comfort, the boots provided wonderful support, even over rocky, rough terrain as I skulked deeper in the woods to find birds.
While driving, the tops of the boots pressed against my shins a bit but it was a mild discomfort.
The tread is excellent but collects a lot of mud and debris. A few times I had to knock some of it off as I would lose footing in thicker muck.
Overall, we are both highly pleased with our boots and have used them several times since the count.
They look they will take a lot of abuse and remain comfortable for a long time.
View all Merrell footwear from NatureShop.
Disclaimer: we received both pairs of Merrell boots for free from NatureShop to review on Birdfreak.com.