REVIEW – Merrell Intercepts

ITEM:      Intercept Lightweight Trail shoe

MANUFACTURER:      Merrell

DESCRIPTION:

A lightweight, low profile trail runner.

REVIEW NOTES:

I’d like to thank my wallet and my best mate’s metrosexual skill in shopping for this review item.

I’d also like to thank the Dark Lords for allowing me to escape paternity suits, divorces and other unpleasantness that tend to result from choosing and allowing the wrong lass in my life years ago. It has allowed me to live the dream and ensure I can live according to proper protocols. In that 75% of my wage is spent on booze, bush gear, cheap women and small arms. The rest – I just waste.

 

MATERIALS:

Sole is an aggressive lug pattern vibram sole.

Upper is a mixture of synthetic mesh treated with an antimicrobial material, and leather.

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PERSONAL ASSESSMENT:

Several of my close friends, as well as many on Lightfighter.net have recommended Merrell’s as good quality footwear.

The Dark Lords smiled on me then, a couple of years ago I was in Melbourne catching up with old patrol mates and wishing to try my luck with the female of the species in the southern part of the country (you’ll all be surprised – or maybe not – that I lucked out completely) and managed to take advantage of the New Year sales in the city. I picked up my Intercepts for the low price of $AU120 on clearance. Damn nice price for these things.

The Intercepts pass the requirements for quality outdoor footwear I was taught many years ago. For inexperienced readers is as follows.

Grab the shoe in the hands, torsional stress is placed on the shoe/boot by twisting the item. There shouldn’t be too much twist, or there should be a fair bit of resistance to this.

Trying to fold the shoe should result in a somewhat easier task at the ball of the foot only. And certainly not in the back of the shoe where the foot doesn’t naturally flex or bend.

My Intercepts have been worn for the last 2 and a half years. During this time, they’ve been very comfortable, hard wearing and a nice trendy looking shoe to enable me to blend into the madding crowd. Mind you, I’ve only really used it as a brothel creeper. A lot of everyday urban use, not a lot of time out scrub.

During this time, the vibram sole is showing some wear, but that’s about it. The upper shoe itself isn’t showing much.

The upper allows a good amount of ventilation.

Toe cap is semi-covered by the wrap around vibram sole, but has a toughened rubberized material to offer limited water proofing and bump resistance.

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The heel also has a decent amount of rubber to protect from bumps and knocks.

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PROS –

Very comfortable, low weight shoe for wearing in the urban jungle, looking cool and trendy. It’s been quite advantageous having a high quality over-engineered shoe that will take any unexpected circumstances, like being inundated when I was wandering around Canberra, carrying a heap of gear during my travels looking like a “flash packer”, and generally being worn for every day wear.

Although I picked mine up for a good price, they can be a bit pricey given the fact they have to be imported down under.

I’ve really liked the fabric loops used for eyelets for the laces. This has helped make the shoe more comfortable by not twisting the laces as much as conventional designs. For some reason, I’ve found my upper foot/instep is quite sensitive to such things over the years, and this is a nice touch.

Although I picked mine up for a good price, they can be a bit pricey given the fact they have to be imported down under.

I’ve really liked the fabric loops used for eyelets for the laces. This has helped make the shoe more comfortable by not twisting the laces as much as conventional designs. For some reason, I’ve found my upper foot/instep is quite sensitive to such things over the years, and this is a nice touch.

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CONS –

My biggest gripe about this shoe is the vibram sole. It’s quite an aggressive lug pattern, yet doesn’t seem to offer much grip in wet conditions on polished floor surfaces like marble, concrete, tiles, lino or wooden floorboards. I found myself skidding all over the place with only a little bit of moisture on the deck. There were a couple of times, with throbbing funny bones or twisted hip that I was thankful I hadn’t done any more major damage. This lack of grip has been problematic since new, and still hasn’t settled down with the wearing of the lugs, allowing more rubber to be in contact with the ground. This would suggest that the sole rubber material is the culprit for this lack of performance.

Whilst this shoe is a very low cut, aiding in keeping the weight low, the compromise in the design is that the lack of support due the very low cut around the ankle. I prefer a little bit more ankle support on my shoes nowadays, and that wasn’t available in this design. Having said that though, for something that I’m not intending to carry heavy loads across wild mountainous terrain in, this is perfectly acceptable.

 

 

SUMMARY:

Except for the lack of grip from the tread, the Intercept has been a great shoe for me. Some of my more camp, or metrosexually active friends have commented I have stepped away from looking like a knuckle-dragger, and have started approaching looking like a “normal” trendy looking human being.

As far as I’m concerned, anything that makes me blend into the sheep is a good thing.

I have liked these a great deal, and have only recently retired them for a pair of Moab’s by the same company. The Moab’s seem to have solved the lack of grip problem.


Posted in Civilian, Clothing & Footwear, Short Trip by with 4 comments.

Comments

  • RSKTKR says:

    I’m breaking in my second pair, (Which requires pulling them out of the box and putting them on, done.) and love them. the first pair is not really near retirement after 3 years but might not be worn around polite company as much anymore due to dust, mud, and wear.
    I agree wholeheartedly with the above assessment and feel that for an everyday shoe that may take you off the sidewalk occasionally this is a great shoe.
    Good review as always Mick,
    Cheers,
    “Doc”

  • Wojciech says:

    Hi,
    these are on my shopping list, but one thing concerns me, though. How much of a waterproofness do they provide, esp. at these places with perforation holes where only this synthetic foamy mesh is placed ?
    Thanks,
    Wojciech

  • 22F says:

    G’day Wojciech,

    Apologies for lateness of reply mate. I thought I had done so, but the software and my iphone seems to be playing up.

    There is not much water proofness at all. The mesh material is especially prone to water ingress.
    I believe there might be a Goretex lined version, which would fix this issue.

    Hope this helps mate!

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