This summer my family has been experiencing something new. It’s Hiking and it all started with our Road Trip to Yellowstone. While hiking itself is a very frugal activity (in most cases free), we did splurge on something before our trip to assist us in our hikes.
That something was Merrell Hiking Shoes. I knew we were planning some hiking while on our trip, but I originally had planned on us all wearing tennis shoes. However, my husband had other things in mind, and bought himself a pair of Merrell Hiking shoes. He was amazed at how light they felt, while also having great traction. In addition, after wearing them for a day before the trip, he commented how comfortable they were and his feet weren’t hurting a bit even though they were brand new.
This got me thinking. Did I really want to wear tennis shoes that hurt my feet and gave me blisters last year walking in Disney World, especially since they didn’t have great traction? My answer was a resounding NO. Especially since I knew we would be walking a lot.
Our Splurge on Shoes
So the kids and I went on a search for Hiking Shoes. We stopped at several stores and tried on many pairs. My 14 year old and 11 year old daughters, who both wear woman size shoes, and I each found a different pair of Merrell shoes that felt best on our feet. Just goes to show that everyone’s foot is a bit different and what might be good for one is not always good for the other.
We ran into a problem with my 9 year old son. He wears a size 6 1/2 men shoe and that’s a size you cannot find in Merrell, and the 7’s were too big. We did find him a pair at Dunham’s in a different brand and they were only $30. My oldest wasn’t available the day we went shopping so we picked him up a pair in the brand my 9 year old got. They were comfortable enough for him. Since the girls and I had found how different Merrell shoes feel different on people, it wasn’t a case of just getting him the same ones dad picked up, especially at $80 a shot.
For the 3 year old, I briefly looked at the Merrell shoes, but they only had sandals in her size. Definitely not worth spending $65 in my opinion since her feet change size so quickly. So she ended up wearing her Sketchers tennis shoes. They were comfortable enough for her, but the traction is definitely missing. However, since she is little we all helped her out in those slippery situations.
So the total cost of our hiking boot splurge was around $400 for the six of us. I will tell you this frugal minded mom felt a little queasy about spending this, but after a week of my feet not hurting at all while hiking and walking a lot some of the guilt went away.
Enjoying Our Merrell Shoes on the Road Trip
I was definitely glad we had hiking shoes in the Badlands above. The hike we took included some pretty steep terrain that was very rocky. Without good traction, we all would have fallen.
In Custer State Park in South Dakota. We were fortnuate to have my parents on the trip with us and my dad had grabbed a pair of Merrell Hiking shoes before we left and he found them to be very comfortable too.
What Made the Shoes Totally Worth the Splurge
However, what made that guilt totally go away and the Merrell Hiking Shoes totally worth the splurge came about after our trip. One of the kids’ favorite parts of the trip were the hikes we took. I can’t help but feel this might not have been the case if the shoes weren’t comfortable and they were slipping around all the time. After we got home from the trip, the kids kept asking when we could go on another hike, and this is something my kids would have never done before.
So I did a little searching and it turns out there are some beautiful hiking trails within 15-20 minutes of our house. It’s even closer to our normal shopping stomping grounds and the library we visit. When we run errands, I tell the kids to grab their hiking shoes and we stop and go for an hour walk. Not only are they getting great exercise and enjoying the beauty of nature, but more importantly it’s great family time together. For me, that definitely made the shoes worth the splurge. What mom doesn’t love hearing, “You’re great mom. Thanks so much for bringing us here.”
I look forward to getting many more hikes in near home and enjoying the family time together while making the most of our Merrell Hiking Shoes.