New for this autumn and winter, Merrell have expanded their barefoot range to encompass waterproof and breathable membrane technology from Gore-Tex with their new Gore-Tex ConnectFit range. The idea was to create the most natural feeling Gore-Tex shoes possible.
To achieve the natural feel Merrell focused on three keys areas.
Layers of construction under the foot had to be stripped out to allow the shoes to flex with foot in as natural a way as possible. This meant removing glue, board and other traditional shoe materials whilst also incorporating Gore-Tex protection at the same time.
Retaining Merrell’s glove-like fit whilst making the shoes waterproof and breathable turned out to be a real challenge. Two different layers of Gore-Tex are applied to each shoe. A soft-feel laminate is used in areas of the shoe less likely to flex and move and a stretchy Gore-Tex is used across the flexing areas.
The Gore-Tex Extended Comfort footwear have been built for use in moderate and warmer conditions as well as for high aerobic-output activities. The thin membrane used in the shoes has over 9 billion pores in every inch of material. These pores are 700 times larger than a water vapour molecule which means perspiration passes right through.
This ConnectFit Gore-Tex technology is available in two key Merrell models for autumn-winter 2013.
Ascend Glove Gore-Tex
It features 0mm drop from heel to toe and 6mm of cushioning for a true minimal experience. Merrell’s new Motion Mesh upper provides support and a seamless interior for an extremely comfortable feel, even sockless. A new Vibram® outsole is also engineered for optimal performance on a rugged trail, complete with Trail Protect plates for extra protection underfoot in the heel and forefoot.
Both the mid and shoes versions use Merrell Stratafuse™ technology, injecting the foot cage into the mesh upper, fusing it without seams for a lightweight, agile and responsive feel, making it a more natural and extremely comfortable choice for day hiking, walking and exploring the trail.
For more info on the ConnectFit Range head to Cotswold Outdoors.