Trail Stories

Travel and adventure go perfectly with one another, and I, Nicole @Im_NicoleMarie am one to always take advantage of as many adventures as possible, whether I am traveling for work or for leisure. So, when I started to plan out a family trip to Ireland, I delved into my research, finding the best sights and trails for my week long Irish adventure.

 I visited Ireland, Couty of Leitrim in the month of January. A down tourism time for the country. In fact, many of the pubs around the places I traveled to, shut down this time of year making that post hike snack and beer a little harder to find. My youngest sister moved to Ireland nearly 10 years ago and the two of us packed as many outdoor adventure moments as possible into my relatively short stay in this European country.

 When packing for this trip, I had three things in mind. Comfort. Leisure. And, of course, hiking. So, thanks to Merrell’s wide range of shoes made for all different activities, I was able to just pack three pairs of shoes which made the trip.

 Comfort: The Merrell 1SIX8 Lace Sneaker. This is perhaps the softest and most comfortable pair of casual sneakers I have ever worn. And they were perfect for trudging along through the three airports I flew through, as well as comfortable and warm enough to keep on on the plane. Premium fabrics and an ultralight midsole literally make you feel like you’re walking on air. Breathable mesh and a Merrell Air Cushion in the heel also make this a go to for post hike adventure after taking your dirty boots off and opting for comfort while driving between the hotel and the trail, and back again.

 Style & Versatility: The Merrell Shiloh Lace. I really cannot say enough good things about this shoe, and actually gave it some breaking in up and down the halls of the Outdoor Retailer show just a week prior to taking them on my trip to Ireland. The Shiloh Lace mixes cute casual with rugged function. I even wore them while hiking the famous Moher Cliffs. The Merrell Select Grip Sole delivers solid and slip resistant stability making them perfect for a casual hiking trail, and the wet streets of Ireland, while doing much sightseeing and they also stepped along the floors of many pubs during my travels.


 Hiking: Of course, hiking is my go to adventure. No matter where I am, or how much time I have, I will go to great lengths to get my hikes in, as I did here in Ireland. And, my go to hiking shoe is the Merrell Capra Sport Mid with Gore-Tex. I cannot say enough good things about this shoe and since I received them, I have logged HUNDREDS of miles on them. They have seen many of adventures, terrain and mountain tops and they have served me so well, of course they deserved to make this adventurous trip to this foreign land. I hiked to Glencar Waterfall in them, stepping through ankle deep water to meet the bottom of the falls. And to the cliffs of the Wild Atlantic Way to view the breathtaking Downpatricks Head, a 125 foot sea stack in the middle of the ocean. But, my most grand hike of the trip was hiking to Cuilcagh Mountain. It was by far, my most favorite thing I did on the trip. Cuilcagh Mountain is a 665 meter peak in Northern Ireland. The hike starts out through vast and rolling hills and ends with a staircase consisting of 445 steps to reach the top of the mountain. The total hike is 15km and as you near the end to ascend the peak, the staircase begins. The first part can be a killer, but I felt like the lead up to the staircase was the hardest part as I was anticipating this new and unique experience. This day in particular was a cold one and as I hiked up to the peak the boardwalk itself was icy, making me especially thankful to be wearing my go to hiking shoe, which has a Vibram sole and kept my foot solid and steady as I hiked over patches of ice along the trail and boardwalk portions of the hike. The views along the way were absolutely breathtaking. To get up high and see the green and rolling lands of the Irish country was remarkable, and everything you expect to see when you think of the Irish countryside.

 No matter what your travels are, whether they are casual or a gripping adventure, the Merrell product line has something for you, something for everyone. Merrill has been hard at work developing not only footwear for adventure travel but clothing to suit your adventures as well. Check out the entire product line at and start planning your dream adventure and packing list today!


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