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Clean, stylish and still with a performance kick. We review Merrell's new Ontario hiker

merrell ontario
Best for...
Woodland trails, coastal walks, and lowland rambles
Overall Score
Walking boots distilled down into vital components

Merrell's Ontario boots look every part the modern heritage hikers they claim to be, with a fantastic simple, clean aesthetic harking back to simpler days. Our pair comes in a brown brushed suede with contrasting red lacing and a simple looking sole unit. Merrell have supplied alternative brown lacing if the red is a bit much.

The Ontario boots were designed as competent but not overly technical hikers that ooze style and provides lashings of comfort. They look great on, very similar to the Mountain 600 from Danner. A great looking pair of boots is much more wearable on so many more occasions than a pair of garish, brightly coloured mountain boots so you arguably get better value from them, these boots are seriously comfortable to wear and perform well too.

They feel well cushioned inside and are less voluminous than the Mountain 600s so have less of a tendency to slosh around as you clamber over rocks. The sole is soft but responsive and the relative light weight makes the boots easy to walk in. The lacing system is fuss free and allows you to cinch the leather in over your foot for a great fit that supports and inspires confidence. 3mm lugs and Vibram Megagrip rubber provides a good balance between mud shedding and grip on smooth, slick surfaces.

If you're conscious of how your footwear looks and want a pair of boots for occasional woodland rambles, easy coastal paths and lowland hikes then the Merrell Ontarios will not disappoint.

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