Merrell is one of the first brand names you will encounter as soon as you start looking into shoes and boots that are designed specifically for hiking. In this Merrell Capra Bolt review, we are going to look at all the reasons why hikers speak so highly about these shoes.
This Merrell’s collection includes both hiking shoes and boots and in this article, we are going to take a closer look at Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots. It is worth adding that you can choose between men’s, women’s, and kid’s Capra Bolt models (check out our guide for the best toddler boots for hiking).
Regardless of the model you choose, these shoes will enable you to move across rough terrains with ease and keep your feet comfortable in wet and dry weather conditions.
Key specifications of the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX
|Heel type||Air Cushioned|
|Lining type||GORE-TEX® membrane|
|Outsole||M Select™ GRIP|
|Underfoot cushioning||ACE single-density footbed|
|Sole type||Unifly™ midsole|
|Size||Depends on the model|
|Latest price||Check latest price here|
Core features of the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX
Like all Merrell’s hiking shoes, the models from the brand’s Capra Bolt collection have a unique and recognizable design.
The title of the collection reflects the purpose for which these shoes are made, as Capra is the Latin word for a goat. The brand’s idea was to create a shoe that is modeled on the goat’s hoof, so that its users can move through rough terrains effortlessly, just like a wild goat.
The result is a remarkably light shoe that enables you to stay on your feet for hours while eliminating the impact of the rocks or gravel you’re stepping on. Read our guide through some of the best Merrell hiking shoes to learn more about other brand’s products.
Design and sizes
Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX shoes are designed for anyone who wants to move quickly over different types of terrain. The Vibram sole is equipped with 4mm lugs that allow you to walk confidently over slippery patches of the road.
The pair of Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX shoes weigh just a pound which makes them much lighter than conventional hiking boots.
Despite the rugged exterior design the interior of these shoes is remarkably comfortable due to the ACE single-density underfoot cushioning. The high level of breathability that is provided by the mesh lining ensures that the foot gets enough ventilation to prevent overheating.
Also, the footbed utilizes Merrell’s M SelectTM Fresh technology that eliminates odors, while the highly efficient lacing system prevents dirt from reaching the shoe’s interior. Models from the Merrell Capra Bolt series are available in all standard shoe sizes.
It is worth noting that these shoes are not an ideal option for winter hikes as they are not thick enough to keep the feet warm at extremely low temperatures.
Merrell brand is famous for utilizing cutting-edge technologies to create their products and the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX hiking shoes are not an exception.
The UniFly™ midsole is probably one of the most distinctive characteristics of the Capra Bolt Mid GTX shoes as it is designed to protect the foot from feeling the surface beneath them and keep it comfortable for long stretches of time.
It also adds to the stability of the foot enabling you to move across rocky patches of the road without any difficulties. The outsole of the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots is created using the M Select™ Grip technology that emphasizes anti-slip properties.
Even so, you may find that these anti-slip features don’t apply to all surfaces, so you still have to be careful if you are walking over wet rocks. The air-cushioned heel on these hiking shoes provides additional comfort and improves your stability on both uphill and downhill paths.
Weight and support
The exact weight of the shoes from Merrell’s Capra Bolt collection depends on the model, but each model is considerably lighter than most hiking shoes.
The Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots weigh 1lbs or 0.5lbs per pair, while the average weight of hiking boots is around 3.75lbs.
So, it is unlikely that you will get tired from the weight these Merrell’s boots add, but you should keep in mind that they are going to take up quite a bit of storage space in your backpack. These boots provide sufficient support to keep the foot and ankle in the correct position at all times.
The TrailProtect pad is designed specifically for off-road conditions, while the metal hook and lacing system protects you from rolling an ankle when stepping awkwardly onto a rock or some other slippery surface.
These Merrell’s boots also feature a Bellows tongue that prevents gravel and debris from getting inside the boot.
Durability and water resistance
The importance of having water-resistant hiking shoes can hardly be overstated, as you can never know what the weather conditions on the hiking trail are going to be like. The GORE-TEX® membrane lining makes the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots entirely waterproof.
In addition, the M Select™ Dry Technology these boots utilize is designed to keep their interior dry even when the exterior is exposed to water directly. Hence, you will be able to walk over shallow streams or in the pouring rain without having to worry about getting your feet wet.
All models from the Capra Bolt series are designed to be used in harsh outdoor conditions, which means that you can wear them either in urban settings or on long hiking trails. You can wear any of the models from this Merrell’s collection for years even if you are frequently walking over challenging terrains.
Other noteworthy features
It usually takes a couple of days to break the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots in, and their molded TPU cage protects the foot from blisters and slippage even the first time you put them on.
The 4.5-inch shaft and the entire interior of these boots adapt to the foot quickly which means that you can wear them to a hiking trip just a few days after purchasing this Merrell’s model.
The upper of these boots is made of synthetic and mesh fibers, while the lining is made entirely from the breathable mesh. The arch shank on the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots is created using molded nylon which contributes to their strength and durability.
Besides the Merrell’s M Select™ Fresh technology that reduces the odors, the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots also have antibacterial properties that efficiently get rid of all microbial activities in the materials these boots are made of.
Consequently, you won’t have to spend a lot of time on keeping this Merrell’s model clean as it is already equipped with features that reduce foot sweating and eliminate the resulting odor.
Also, the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots have a removable insole, which enables you to clean them after a long hike. Cleaning the exterior of these shoes shouldn’t be difficult, as the mud and dirt don’t stick easily to the sole or the upper parts of the booth.
Boots are usually not the least expensive piece of hiking equipment, as they usually cost between $300 and $700. A pair of Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots is going to cost you much less as you won’t have to spend more than $140.
Their cost makes these Merrell’s hiking boots an affordable option for both experienced and novice hikers who need a shoe that will keep their feet dry and comfortable.
The manufacturer also offers a 60-day Make It Right guarantee for all its models, and you can return the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots during this period if they don’t meet your expectations.
The pros of the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX
Unlike most hiking boots that usually weigh several pounds, the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots weigh just one pound. This feature enables you to wear them for hours without feeling tired, which can be very important during a long hiking trip.
Excellent surface grip
Modeled after the goat’s hoof, the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots perform remarkably well on slippery surfaces. These boots are equipped with 4mm lugs that keep them firmly on a surface, while at the same time preventing sharp rocks or gravel from impacting the foot.
Wet feet can cause hypothermia and a broad range of other issues which is the reason why your feet must remain dry at all times during a hiking trip. The GORE-TEX® membrane creates a water-proof lining which ensures that water cannot reach the boot’s interior.
High level of comfort
The air-cushioned heel, ACE single-density footbed, or TrailProtect™ pad are among the reasons why the shoes from the Merrell’s Capra Bolt collection are so comfortable. Furthermore, the breathable mesh fabric lining prevents overheating.
Despite being stacked with high-end features, models from the Merrell’s Capra Bolt series are less expensive than most hiking boots you can find on the market. What’s more, you can return the model you purchased if it doesn’t fit your needs.
The cons of the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX
Not suited for snowy hiking trails
Although the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots are water-resistant, they are not warm enough for long hikes through the snow.
Some models may be too narrow for wide feet
Despite having a short break-in time, the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX can be too narrow for hikers who have wide feet. In most cases, these boots will adjust to the feet, but if they don’t you can return them within two months from the purchase.
Check out our guide on how to break in hiking boots if you are having a tough time adjusting to your Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots.
The best alternatives to the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX
Solomon, Lowa, or La Sportiva are among Merrell’s main competitors since each of these brands offers a wide range of hiking shoes that are aimed at newcomers and experienced hikers. Moreover, these brands produce lightweight and midweight hiking shoes that are designed for rough terrains.
We’ve selected some of the best alternatives to the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX hiking boots, so let’s take a closer look at what they have to offer
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid
Excellent ankle support and foam-cushioned footbed are just a few of the countless reasons why Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid is one of the best hiking shoes on the market. Also, these boots feature a GORE-TEX lining that makes them water-resistant and breathable at the same time.
Although these Solomon’s boots are heavier than the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots, they still weigh just 1lbs and 15.7oz.
This makes them a great fit for all hikers who want to keep moving fast on the trail, but these boots are not well-suited for extremely cold weather conditions.
The sole on these boots has anti-slip properties, which allows you to walk over rough terrain, but it is also very thin which means that you will feel the impact of gravel and sharp rocks. In addition, these boots are considerably more expensive than the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX model.
Also, you should read our Salomon XA Pro 3D Mid GTX review if you are interested in Solomon’s hiking boots.
Lowa Renegade Mid GTX
Ideal for day hikes and short-haul weekend pack trips, the LOWA Renegade GTX Hiking Boot combines versatility with comfort. Featuring a moisture-wicking footbed, full-length nylon shank, and shock-absorbent Vibram sole, these all-terrain hiking boots are designed to support lightweight packs up to 25 pounds.
The Lowa Renegade Mid GTX is just one model from a long line of products from the Lowa’s Renegade collection. These boots feature lightweight midsole manufactured using the Monowrap technology, and the Vibram outsole.
Even so, this model weighs 2lbs and 0.7Oz which places it into the category of midweight camping shoes, but they are still comfortable enough to allow you to stay on your feet for an entire day.
The footbed of these boots is equipped with climate-control technology that prevents overheating and eliminates moisture. Perforations on the sides of these boots allow the air to circulate, while the GORE-TEX lining prevents water from reaching your feet.
You can use these booths on all types of terrains without having to worry about the impact of the surface you’re stepping on. However, the Lowa Renegade Mid boots are not very durable and you may have to replace them after just one season.
Make sure to go through our Lowa Tibet GTX review for more information about this Lowa’s model.
Danner Trail 2650
If you are searching for a pair of lightweight, comfortable and affordable hiking shoes, then you should take a closer look at the Danner Trail 2650 model.
Besides a modern and elegant design, these shoes also feature a Vibram sole that enables you to walk over technical terrain without difficulties.
In addition, these hiking shoes weigh just 1lbs and 8oz, and they don’t add much to the weight you have to carry while you’re on a hiking trail.
This model is not water-proof as it lacks the GORE-TEX membrane, but if you are looking for a water-resistant shoe you can opt for some other model from the Danner’s Trail 2650 collection.
These shoes are a great choice for anyone who is planning on hiking in warm weather conditions, but you must search for other options if the weather is going to be rainy during your hiking trip.
Answer: Yes, they are. The manufacturer lets you choose from a broad spectrum of color options so that you can select the one that best matches your style.
Answer: Only models that have the GTX label are waterproof, as they have the GORE-TEX membrane that keeps the shoe’s interior dry.
Answer: Like all Merrell’s products, models from the Capra Bolt series are durable as they are designed to withstand frequent usage in challenging outdoor conditions.
Answer: The Merrell Capra Bolt shoes are available in all standard shoe sizes. However, you should also pay attention to their width as some models can be too narrow for people with wide feet.
Final Thoughts: Are Merrell Capra Bolt shoes a good choice for all hikers?
Finding the best hiking boots can be an intimidating process, as there are so many different factors to consider and so many models to choose from.
The Merrell brand is one of the most reliable options you have at your disposal, as each of their models is both comfortable and durable.
That’s why we recommend choosing the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid GTX boots or any other model from the Capra Bolt series. Besides being able to keep a firm grip on almost any surface, these boots are considerably lighter than most of their competitors.
However, these shoes are not designed for winter conditions, so if you are looking for hiking boots you can wear on a snowy trail we suggest opting for Lowa Renegade Mid GTX boots.
Did you find this Merrell Capra Bolt review useful? Share your opinion with us in the comments or continue reading our Merrell Grassbow review to learn more about hiking shoes this brand offers.
David is a strong advocate of outdoor-related activities and has many years experience backpacking and hiking around the world, including the Italian and Austrian Alps in Europe as well as central and southern Asia. Locally, he has also led many groups cycling through Vermont, Nova Scotia and Wisconsin. David constantly uses and tests the latest gear for the outdoors, which in turn allows him to help others make more informed buying decisions.