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In this paper, routing metrics for low power and lossy networks are designed and evaluated. The cross-layer interactions between routing and medium access control (MAC) are explored, by considering the specifications of IETF RPL over the IEEE 802.15.4 MAC. In particular, the experimental study of a reliability metric that extends the expected transmission count (ETX) to include the effects of the level of contention and the parameters at MAC layer is presented. Moreover, a novel metric that guarantees load balancing and increased network lifetime by fulfilling reliability constraints is introduced. The aforementioned metrics are compared to a routing approach based on backpressure mechanism.