• Josh Turnbull, Merrell's Takapuna store manager.

Get outdoors in style

With Spring just around the corner, we decided to take a look at what’s new in outdoor gear. Josh Turnbull from Merrell Takapuna helped us out.

Merrell is probably best known for its performance outdoor hiking footwear, but also has an extensive range of footwear and apparel designed for comfort, stability and style in an urban setting. This season Merrell introduces the Merrell Air Cushion+ range of shoes, in which the air cushioning is not only under the heel but runs the entire length of the shoe.

For women, there’s an extension to the popular 1six8 range from last season – these shoes are superbly comfortable, breathable and lightweight and now are available in a lace-up and a Mary-Jane style. For men, the summer sandal range has a couple of breathable leather options which contain memory foam in the footbed, coupled with lugs for traction – ideal for excursions around town or to the beach.

Other updates in Merrell’s Spring/Summer range also include a new sole on the popular Bare Access athletic shoe – the sole cushions, supports and naturally contours both with the terrain and the wearer’s foot to make the shoe very comfortable and provide agility and stability across uneven terrain.And there are new colours in men’s and women’s trail running Agility Peak FLEX shoes, which offer the same sole as the Bare Access shoes.

Women may be tempted by the Siren range of footwear – designed to suit their foot shape (generally narrower with a higher arch and proportionally longer toes than men) and stride.  This season, sandals are introduced to this rang; they are designed to not only look stylish but  also offer the same performance specs and gender-specific alignment as the rest of the Siren range.

Josh and his team always ask customers what they’ll be doing in the gear they select. ”Sometimes a customer believes they need a really heavy hiking boot to venture out into the bush,“ he says.  “However, if they are not carrying heavy loads or hiking over steep terrain, they will actually be more comfortable in a boot or shoe from our light hike range.”

The other important aspect in an outdoor shoe purchase is “immediate comfort”, he adds.  “The boot or tail-running shoe must feel ‘right’ immediately and have room for the foot to move slightly forward on descents to avoid having your toes pressed hard up against the end of the toe box on steep descents. We have such a good range that if one style does not feel right, we always have alternatives that still suit the end activity but which may have subtle differences in fit or design features that suit one person better than the next.”

Merrell Takapuna, 11 Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna 09 489 3204 takapuna@merrellstore.co.nz