The best thing about owning walking boots is actually hunting down (light) mud and craggy rocks to stomp over and through while humming Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walking.

Perhaps that’s not what a serious hiker would do, but it’s the first thing I did.

Being a simple man-child, the Merrell Annex GTX boots also led me to imagine I was a human Land Rover capable of tackling any terrain.

Like any good 4x4 owner, I also felt pretty powerful parading them around town. What’s a small puddle when I’ve got the power of Goretex on my side?

I felt immense.

So, for a casual and immature wearer, I could have immediately told you that these were a winner.

Merrell market the Annex GTX (it even sounds like a big car!) as being hardy enough for hill walking or rambling but stylish enough to be worn in the evening.

Obviously, this depends on where you intend to go in the evening. They’re fine for a barn dance or an evening birthing lambs and maybe down the pub (though it would depend on the pub) but less so at a dinner party.

After some more rigorous testing though, I have no complaints about their suitability for rambling.

While the Annexes look rugged - yet pleasingly understated and slimline – they give you a satisfying feeling of stability with a mid-cut and a sturdy, grippy sole made by Vibrams.

It didn’t matter what I was marching across, I never for one moment felt unsteady on my feet.

They’re devilishly comfortable too, which was one of the main reasons I ended up wearing them around the shops.

Inside is an eco-friendly memory foam midsole made from 70 per cent recycled materials, as well as a noticeable air cushion in the heel for shock absorption.

According to Merrell, they also boast ‘anatomical design...made to support the natural arch of the foot for a relaxed stride.”

Most pleasing for me was that I was able to charge around a dewy field with my nephews for a couple of hours and my feet stayed bone dry and comfortable thanks to the Gortex but remarkably not sweaty or tired.

Merrell’s Annex GTX come in sizes 6.5 to 14 and cost £125. Go to