Review: Merrell Nova 2 Gore-Tex

In my rapidly ascending age (66), I’ve become a lot less of a consumer; thus, I’ve been wearing the same pair of hiking and approach shoes for 17 years. They took me most of the way up the Grand Teton and they’ve always been comfortable. But of late, as I've hiked around Yellowstone Park, they've felt a little heavy, and I look forward to taking them off at the end of the day.

So I found a lighter hiking shoe: the Merrell Nova 2 Gore-Tex. It features the same sure-footed Vibram sole as my old shoe, plus an Invisible Fit Gore-Tex membrane and air-cushion heel. Right off the bat, the lightness made me feel like I'd been released from gravity. The shoes weigh just 24 ounces for the pair, which is 14 ounces less to pick up per step. At 5,000 steps, that’s 4,375 fewer pounds per hike—a lot of weight to remove from my quads and knees. Now, instead of plodding along, I float like a butterfly.