There are pros and cons with this walking shoe/sandal, so I’m not sure where to start really. Are GearWeAre readers the sort of people who want the good news first or the bad news?
If I start with the positives and end with the negatives you’ll be left with a bad taste in your mouth… but if I start with the negatives you might not bother reading the article beyond the first few moans? I think I should probably start with the positives; I’m less likely to be quite so critical overall then!
The first good thing about these shoes is the name: All Out Blaze Sieve.
As you can probably see Merrell are very creative when it comes to making up names for their footwear and apparel. I’d quite like a job on their naming convention team actually; but I don’t think I’m quite perky and quirky enough.
So, these particular shoes under scrutiny today are the All Out Blaze Sieve Women’s specific walking sandals, and I had them in the brown sugar / blue heaven colour combo
I’m not a fan of the styling here, but Merrell have managed to jazz up their appeal by giving them a nice name – and you can get them in a boulder / fuchsia combo too instead of the donkey / dirty blue colour combo I had.
The shoes are easy on easy off thanks to an elasticated back (or I should say the old “Lycra neoprene stretch collar” as per the marketing material), coupled with an elastic sort of lacing system on the front.
This lacing system is really easy to adjust to your own foot size: you pull the elastic as tight as you like and then hold it in place with a clip that slides up and down to the position of your choice…
All in all this makes the shoes ideal for purpose because you can get them on and off easily – even when they are wet.
On that note, the shoes have a waxy waterproof leather upper, and as many holes as a sieve (see what Merrell did there – clever) and so they really are ideal if you’re walking on terrain where you will be wading through water. A Neoprene inner helps things to dry off quickly.
The shoes are treated with “M Select FRESH antimicrobial agents” according to the marketing blurb. What these secret agents seemingly do is stop the shoes from being stinky even after they’ve been wet a hundred times and left to dry outside in the sun – or inside at the bottom of a cupboard.
I have to say, my shoes have been tough-tested and abused in a way that could easily have left them stinking. And they smell as fresh as the day I got them out of the box. THAT is a recommendation, a positive endorsement – it really is!
From there I have to move to the slightly more negative aspects of the Blaze Sievesl, I’m afraid. I keep falling over in them!
I’m relatively clumsy, but these shoes keep up-ending me, which is not ideal at my age…
The thing is that they are slippery on a slightly wet surface. They seem to be fine in two foot of moving water, but on a smooth or uneven path moistened by a light shower they are, frankly, lethal. This is a big surprise from a Vibram sole.
What is it with so-called fitness shoes? This is the second pair I’ve tested (the others were a different brand) that have proven lethal on slightly slippery surfaces. I’d have expected far, far more from a sole of such alleged technical spec.
Another negative is that the complexity of pretty stitching detail on these shoes causes 2 separate issues: –
The first is fraying…
Luckily these aren’t really the sort of shoes you buy specifically for visual appeal, because if you did you’d be miffed at how quickly the ends of stitches come unfurled, and how quickly the edges of the leather frays. My shoes look positively fluffy as a result.
The second issue created by all the stitching is annoyingness….
My left and right littlest toes sit in these shoes precisely where an internal seam happens to be. As a result my little toes’ nails catch on the seam at least once a wear – and this is not only uncomfortable but it really irks me! Whether this would affect you could only be determined by trying a pair on.
That’s it, there’s nothing left to say about these shoes therefore.
I think the fact that the Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve women’s walking sandals are very easy to get on and off even when wet, and that they don’t even pong a tiny bit after being wet at least 50 times are huge positives in their favour.
However, the price and the fact that they are slippery on a moist surface definitely count against them.