A quality pair of boots can make a massive difference in comfort and performance in the field or for everyday wear. In the military, I owned many pairs of high-end combat boots for different environments that are still serviceable to this day, but as a civilian, I prefer boots that are non-tactical looking to keep my profile down. For warm weather (multi-season) boots, I turn to the Astral TR1 Merge for several reasons.
They are remarkably breathable and fast-drying – very important features for me in warm weather hiking. I absolutely hate when my feet are soaking wet from sweat. The TR1 Merge does an excellent job of allowing moisture to escape while bringing in airflow from multiple directions. With vents on the toe, both side of the insole and is combined with a quick-dry canvas material – the TR1 Merge do an incredible job of keeping my feet dry and comfortable. If you are into kayaking, these boots would be worth looking into for a boot that would drain quickly.
They are also super lightweight while being very supportive and durable. They are designed to last. I am impressed with how sturdy the construction feels considering the thinness of the insole materials. The grip on the TR1 Merge is on a different level. Well-balanced and comfortable, the stabilizing heel counter, EVA foam midsole, and the rest of the G.15™ non-marking rubber outsole combine for an outstanding result. Color options include the Storm Navy option featured in this article and Rasta Black. They are both pretty bold color choices, so if subtle is your thing then these may not be for you. I personally am a fan though.
My time in the military taught me to appreciate quality boots, and as a result, I learned that they are worth the added cost. My favorite aspect of these boots are the cooling effect that they had on my feet from the ventilation features. Even in 90 degree Midwest weather. While the insulated high tops were understandably a bit warm on my ankles, my feet stayed strangely cool and comfortable. At $140 MSRP, the Astral Designs TR1 Merge boots are worth the expense based on my own recent experience. For a boot that offers lightweight, great stability, durability, and top-notch ventilation – I’d stack the TR1 Merge up against anything in its class.
Advertised features include:
- Intended Use: Hiking
- Uppers: Breathable, quick-dry canvas with protective TPU overlays at toe and heel cap, stabilizing heel counter, padded mesh tongue, removable Polygiene® treated insole, brass hardware.
- Midsole: EVA foam, level heel to ball, medium arch with Top Shank™
- Outsole: Aggressive 5mm lugs with flex grooves, made from G.15™ high friction Rubber Non-marking
- Foot to Ground Distance: 21mm heel, 20mm ball
- Weight / shoe: Men’s 9 = 12.2 oz
- Sizes: Men’s US 8-14
- MSRP: $140
*All photos courtesy of the author