UYN Palomo Shoes review: the magic of merino and the hoof of an Ibex unite to inspire this casual walking shoe

A bouncy urban trainer with a little added protection for when your adventures go just a little off-piste

UYN Palomo Shoes
(Image: © Future)

Advnture Verdict

Bouncy soles and merino uppers provide all-day comfort for city walking, while waterproofing and a little grip mean you can head off trail too, but these shoes are best reserved for only the most civilized walking paths


  • +


  • +

    No breaking in required

  • +

    Temperature-regulating uppers

  • +

    Plush, bouncy midsole

  • +

    Easy to pull on

  • +



  • -

    A little snug around the midfoot

  • -

    Not enough grip for muddy or technical trails

  • -

    Merino not as durable as synthetic

  • -


You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

UYN Palomo Shoes: first impressions

It’s not often that we’re surprised by a pair of hiking shoes, but these ones had some design features we haven’t seen before. Described as an “urban trail shoe,” these are best suited for walking on well-maintained paths as well as city streets – think about what you’d want for a city break where you plan on doing some off-roading. The upper is made using merino wool, which is well-known (and loved) for its temperature-regulating capabilities, but rarely seen in a shoe. Here, it creates a light, breathable and stretchy fabric that helps cool your feet by wicking sweat when you’re putting miles in, but adds a little insulation on cool days. A waterproof membrane really does seal out moisture, and kept our feet warm and dry on rainy days and splashing through puddles. 


• RRP: $199 / £199.00
• Gender specification: Men’s and women’s sizing available
• Sizes: 39 - 48 Men;s / 35 - 42 Women’s
• Weight (per shoe): 15.8 oz / 450 g (women’s US 6)
• Materials: Merino wool uppers, EVA foam midsole, rubber outsole
• Colors: Blue, Brown, White, Sand
• Best use: Hiking

According to UYN (which stands for Unleash Your Nature), the sole is inspired by the hoof of an Ibex, the mountain climbing wild goat, which has soft pads and great grip. Accordingly, the rocker sole is plush bouncy and adds an instant spring to your step, with a little added grip making these friendlier for uneven trails and on wet surfaces than your typical pair of sneakers, though we’re not sure we could scale a cliff face in them. It does make them extra comfy for walking on city streets, but they’re not technical enough for very muddy or challenging trails. The sock-like construction and stretchy uppers are really easy to pull on and off and there’s no lacing required, but while the fit is snug and secure, they might be a bit too tight around the midfoot for comfort (though we appreciate the extra room in the toe box). 

They’re fairly pricey compared to other hiking shoes and we’re not sure they’d be worth the price if you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking in them. The outsole isn’t quite up to the demands of tough trails, making us think these would be best for clear paths just outside of the city, but only in areas where you’d see a lot of moisture as otherwise you’d be better trading the membrane for more breathability. All in all, they’re a bit of an anomaly that we think will serve a small group of walkers seeking rain protection and comfort for casual walks in a sneaker-style package.

UYN Palomo Shoes: in the field

UYN Palomo Shoes

When I heard they feature merino uppers, I was instantly intrigued (Image credit: Future)

I’d never heard of UYN when I was offered the chance to test out these shoes, but when I heard they feature merino uppers, I was instantly intrigued. When I received them, I could tell they were better suited for casual day hiking, but fortunately I’ve been nursing a grump knee so I’ve been able to test these out over the last six weeks or so on rolling country paths.

Here’s how they perform:  

Sizing and fit

I tested a US size 6 which is a half size up from my regular size giving my feet room to swell. My toes definitely have ample room, but what surprised me was how snug these shoes around my midfoot. I think the company is going for a really secure, locked down fit since these shoes don’t lace up, but the reality for me was that these were quite uncomfortable, and I’m pretty keen to get out of them as soon as I can. 

I don’t have broad feet and if you do, there’s almost no way you could wear these. I think they might want to go back to the drawing board to consider how they can achieve the snug active fit without cutting off the blood supply, but if you have a narrow foot they could be a dream come true. 

UYN Palomo Shoes

The grip is adequate for easy paths (Image credit: Future)

Waterproofing and breathability

Here in Scotland, I generally want my hiking shoes to be waterproof since we get a lot of rain and the trails are always boggy. I really doubted these would be waterproof by looking at them, so I ran them under the tap and submerged them in water before hitting the trail in them and they are indeed watertight. I probably wouldn’t wear them on a trail I knew was going to be very wet, however, since they’re not really designed for a lot of mud, but I can see why they’d be nice for a rainy day, as long as I was wearing rain pants to keep my socks from getting wet.

Naturally, when a garment is waterproof it loses some breathability, but I was hopeful that the merino uppers wouldn’t let me down. I’ve only tested them in winter, however, so while I haven’t experienced hot sweaty feet in them, summer could be a different story. For now, I’d say they breathe well.

Grip and protection

Given that the soles are inspired by the hoof of an Ibex, I’d probably expect more grip than these provide. They do have some grip and I found them fine for well-maintained paths as well as on slick city streets, but you can tell just by looking that the lugs aren’t meant for anything technical, and that’s not what they’re advertised for either. I’d say these have more grip than a road running shoe but not as much as a lot of trail running shoes, which makes me wonder why you’d choose them over the latter, which are more versatile.

There’s a tiny amount of protection around the toe and heel but I don’t think you’d feel amazing if you kicked a rock in these. Again, clear paths are the way forward with these shoes.


Given that these use more expensive materials like merino wool, they’re pricey relative to other walking shoes but, besides a breathable and waterproof upper, I’m not sure they deliver as much in the way of grip and protection. At least in my base layers, merino isn’t as durable in synthetic, so I’d also be concerned about these holding up over a lot of miles. 

UYN Palomo Shoes: the bottom line

For a plush, bouncy walking shoe that can take you from city streets to easy trails, these shoes are innovative and afford more protection than meets the eye. I think they’ll be appealing to those who like the brand, concept and the idea of using merino wool in shoes. That said, if it’s protection and grip in a sock-like fit you’re after, it’s worth checking out the Danner Trail 2650 Campo GTX hiking shoes, which come at a similar price point but will handle rougher trails.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.