There’s a lot to like about these boots, from comfort to protection for weight, but the design does let in a little water at inopportune times
GORE-TEX® waterproof membrane
Warm and breathable
Tough uppers and rock plate for protection
Comfortable foam midsole
Uses recycled materials
Design lets in a little water in boggy conditions
Toe box could be roomier
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Merrell Women's Siren 4 Mid GORE-TEX hiking boots: first impressions
The Siren 4 is a lightweight women’s-specific fitting hiking boot that’s designed to offer out-of-the-box comfort and good protection during long days on the trail. With a GORE-TEX waterproof membrane, rubber toe cap, reinforced uppers, a grippy Vibram sole and a rock plate, you’ll enjoy plenty of protection from trail hazards when you’re out exploring rocky terrain.
• List price: $399.95 / £55
• Gender specification: Women’s
• Sizes: 5 - 11 US / 3.5 - 8.5 UK
• Weight (per boot): 350g (women’s UK 4)
• Drop: 8mm
• Lugs: 5mm
• Materials: GORE-TEX lining, foam midsole, Vibram outsole, rubber toe guard, mesh upper
• Colors: Monument, Black, Moon/Orchid, Sea
• Best use: Hiking
Despite their rugged good looks, however, you can expect all-day comfort thanks to a foam midsole, moderate cushioning and plenty of breathability. Our main concern was that the design does let in a little moisture when we were hiking in boggy terrain, so while they’ll keep your feet dry on rainy days, they might not be ample for stream crossings. In terms of protection for weight and comfort, however, we think these are a good choice for both rainy day hikes and longer excursions on rough trails. The toe box could be roomier, so make sure you go up a half size for the best fit.
Merrell Women's Siren 4 Mid GORE-TEX hiking boots: in the field
I’m always up for testing a new pair of Merrell hiking boots, and in rainy Scotland, a pair of waterproof hiking boots never goes amiss. I recently took these out on a few rainy jaunts on the best hikes near Glasgow.
Here’s how they performed:
Sizing and fit
I am a UK 3.5 and went up to a 4 for these, and I’m glad I did so as the toe box isn’t the roomiest. They were fine with my lightweight summer socks, but come winter when I wear thicker hiking socks, I think I’d need to go up a full size. They are mid-ankle height so they come up to just above my ankle bone.
Comfort and breathability
I could tell just by looking at these boots that they were going to be comfortable out of the box and I wasn’t disappointed. They have moderate cushioning and a good foam midsole and I was able to walk 10k in them on the first day with no real issues except for the tiniest rubbing of one ankle.
It hasn’t got really cold here yet so I was hiking in mild weather and, though they are waterproof, I didn’t find them especially warm or sweaty so I give them top marks for breathability.
Waterproofing and breathability
Because they’re waterproof and because I was testing them for review, I made sure to walk straight through any boggy areas rather than skirting them, and was surprised to find myself with damp socks after just a couple of splashes. Now, this can happen when the bottoms of your hiking pants get wet and you’re not wearing gaiters, which soaks your socks from the top, so I didn’t want to jump to conclusions.
When I got home, I performed an unofficial lab test where I submerged them in a basin of water. When it was just two inches, they held tight, but as the water rose, I realized that what I think is happening is that water can seep in towards the top of the tongue, where it’s no longer gusseted. I think for walking in the rain, these will be watertight, but if you’re actually wading through streams or bogs, you might get wet feet as I did, so wear them with gaiters.
Other than that, they offer stellar protection, especially given how light they are, and I think they lend the perfect blend of trail feel and cushion against rocky trails.
Grip and performance
Vibram outsoles with 5mm lugs give these adequate grip for most conditions you’re likely to encounter on a day hike, which I put to the test descending a very steep, somewhat muddy and wet grassy slope without slipping. For extreme terrain, you’d want deeper lugs.
They have an 8mm drop which I don’t always love in hiking boots, because it can mean bruised toenails after a long descent, but with my laces tied properly I didn’t experience any problems and felt these were a pretty stable ride.
Merrell Women's Siren 4 Mid GORE-TEX hiking boots: the bottom line
There’s a lot to like about these boots, especially if you want something that’s really comfortable and lightweight, but offers a pretty rugged grip and protection. However, if you’re looking for something to keep you dry in the wettest of conditions, these boots might not be the perfect fit.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com 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.