Sleeping At The Airport

Karrimor Meridian Mid eVent® Review

First Impressions

Karrimor Meridian Boots

Out of the box the Meridian boots strike a medium chord between “Huh, not too bad,” and “Yeah, they look okay actually” – eyebrows slightly raised. They certainly don’t look cheap; they have some tidy stitching and a well-presented construction for a sub-£75 boot.

First Fit

Slotting your foot into the Karrimor Meridians it is easy to feel the nice curve from the heel of the foot towards the arch.

Although there is a prominent heel surface inside the boot, offering good grounding (not to mention giving you what we’d imagine is an extra inch in height over a regular shoe), there is a slight lack of ‘bounce’ underfoot. This is not a problem, but if you plan on doing a lot of running over hard surfaces just be mindful that the Meridians will not cushion your landing with a gel-like sensation, as with some other footwear choices. However, in normal use it’s simply not an issue and the boots remain perfectly comfortable.

Karrimor Meridian Boots

In must be noted that the Frameflex mid-sole does support the foot three-dimensionally within the natural movement of the foot in the walking or running gait. So, if you need to bolt after a tuk-tuk, you can.

The interior of the boot is soft, and once done-up offer noticeable ankle support over a normal shoe. A nice touch is the upper eyelet, used for lacing the boot to ankle-level, as it allows the lace to be clipped in, and not threaded, which can be fiddly with gloves on – making the task of lacing the boot right to the top quicker and easier.

Note: If you do go between sizes, with the Meridian e-Vents® it is wise to go for a size smack bang in the middle of your tolerance.

Performance – In the Urban Environment

Karrimor Meridian Boots

With a Vibram® Quest outsole, developed specially for Karrimor, the Meridians are on the right lines for sturdy grip and durability. A quick nip to hostel shower rooms on wet tiles will present a challenge for any boot, but the Meridians will do as well as any other, with impressive levels of grip over normal surfaces.

The fact that these are a boot rather than a shoe, in hotter climates you may want to give your feet an airing whenever the opportunity arises. Although with DirectVenting™ the boots do have millions of tiny pores in their waterproof fabric so sweat can pass outside the boot and allow your feet to breath, hence the eVent® name.

The standard foam footbed inside is also removable and totally washable – a great idea, most useful for smelly backpacker feet.

Performance – On Loose Ground

Sometimes when travelling, dirt trails and gravelly roads become the mainstay. Over dry mud and gravel the Karrimor Meridian mid eVents are terrific, giving complete support to even the most drunk of backpackers that decide to wander off the beaten track. Couple this with the heavily rubberised toe covering, and even big rocks won’t pose a problem for those that have a habit of stubbing a toe now and again.

There is enough flex in the soles that walking on hard or changeable ground poses no problem. For a boot, the flexible sole keeps you from walking flat-footed, as you might normally do in more rigid footwear. And since walking flat-footed can put a strain on your calves, this means that you can walk more comfortably and for longer with the Karrimors.

Living With Them

Karrimor Meridian Boots

The Karrimors give off the impression they will withstand a fair beating. Durable materials and a weight of 522g means that they will happily sit in your backpack and not cause too much of a strain on your back when not in use. Hold one of the boots in your hand and it is quite surprising how light they actually are.

Being waterproof as well, these really are a great all-round boot for travellers.

Conclusion

Not all backpackers will require boots as oppose to shoes. But the compromise of having a “mid”-height boot to support your ankles if you’re doing a lot of rugged terrain as well as city hopping will become apparent once you hit the road and get the rolling rocks beneath your intrepid feet, then slip off to your hostel bar afterwards in the same decent-looking shoes.

Sturdy construction, waterproof quality, fashionable appearance, flexible sole, great grip, and a price tag of under £75 (a fair bit less if you shop around) – it’s quite obvious that Karrimor offer a highly legitimate choice here for the adventurous backpacker looking to hit the trails.

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