Three days before my Caribbean trip, looking into my closet, I detected a serious lack in sporty yet stylish shoes. I raced to Sierra Trading Post, bit the bullet on shipping charges, and two days later received the Merrell Allegro Leather Flat in Mahagony and the Teva Koral Mary Jane in Wood Rose.
During the long night of packing before my 6AM flight, I walked many times to my suitcase, dropping in items that had passed inspection, wearing first the Tevas, then the Merrells. Merrells, Tevas. Tevas, Merrells. Both tempting in different ways.
Merrell: the brand that started with a cowboy in Utah in 1981.
The Merrells were sleek, a little understated, and really comfortable. A printed insert about Merrell’s Q-Form midsole, which you can see a video about and which is geared towards a woman’s gait, gave me just enough plausible science to feel good. I could see myself happily trekking all over the island, although I wasn’t sure how waterproof they’d be and the dark color scheme was a little gloomy for the Caribbean. But then the sizing, particularly the too-roomy heel, turned out to be the sad dealbreaker.
the brand born on the Colorado River in 1984.
The Tevas had slightly cooler details: A stripe up the heel ending in a pull-on loop. The muted pink color scheme. The double elastic insole straps. But the gel heel pad turned out to be an annoyingly sticky two-inch oval. Since I am between sizes, I ordered both an 8 and an 8.5, but neither fit. And I had no idea if the strange “micro-perforated” leather upper would stretch, since it had a very artificial rigid quality. I noticed tiny cracks in it, as if it was a painted pink leather.
So sad to say, now that I’ve returned from my trip, both styles are returning to Sierra. (Which is really OK, since new and better styles are always coming out.)