At last I acknowledged that the basic black Merrell Evera Pure Pumps I have are too small and hurt my feet. The decision makes me sad, because my other Merrell Evera MJ pumps are my most favorite pair of summer heels. The fact that Merrell no longer makes this line of bicycle-specific heels also makes me sad. Thankfully, I just found last year’s version, the Evera Draft, on Amazon for $35. Because these have the mary jane strap, I was able to order the shoes in my actual size, and they will stay on. This was the mistake I made with the Evera Pure pumps: I had ordered them a half-size too small, hoping that the size difference would keep them on my feet. Alas no, they have just been too uncomfortable to wear, so I will try to sell them to someone who might fit them.
It was interesting, however, to compare the three generations of these shoes. All three are essentially the same shoe, and yet they are not.
- Same foot bed and sole, which Merrell originally claimed was stable for better “midfoot pedal power” as well as their special “sticky” rubber to better grip the pedals
- Same toe box and style
- Same name
- Reflective trim on each pair is different, or in the case of the Draft, non-existent. The Evera MJ summer heels have reflective trim on the edge of the strap, while the Pure pumps have tiny squares on the back of the shoe. Granted, these small spots are not very useful, but it’s the point that Merrell was thinking about bike safety and visibility. I’m disappointed that the Draft doesn’t have any reflective detailing.
- The cut outs on the side of the heel on the MJ sandals and the Pure pumps are gone from the Draft, which makes them pretty plain and almost boring.
- The label on the insole is different – on the first two pairs, there is a cycle design, proudly showing these to be shoes for women to wear while biking. Not in the Drafts. Guess Merrell gave that up as a promotional piece.
I am happy to have the Drafts, and I don’t have a proper pair of brown heels, so they will be great to bike to work in. Nevertheless, I am disappointed that Merrell discontinued making a bicycle-specific shoe line for women. I had been very excited about their winter boots last fall, but perhaps those were a retail flop, which made them pull the plug on the concept. I have heard that women’s bike clothing (and shoes) are still a very small niche market. I guess it is still too small for shoes by a company even as large and popular as Merrell. Thanks for trying, though! Better luck in a few more years?