The Ultimate Merrell Shoe Review: Are They Worth It?

Introducing Merrell: Leaders in Outdoor Footwear

Merrell has earned a reputation over the past 40 years as one of the most trusted names in performance outdoor and hiking footwear. Originally founded in 1981 by avid outdoorsmen Randy Merrell, Clark Matis, and John Schweizer, the company aimed to produce durable yet comfortable shoes that could keep up with energetic adventures.

In 1997, Merrell was acquired by footwear industry giant Wolverine World Wide, which helped expand the brand‘s reach while preserving its focus on quality gear. Merrell‘s current president, Chris Hufnagel, continues to lead the brand in its mission of motivating and enabling outdoor exploration.

With nearly 2 million Instagram followers and numerous positive reviews across outdoor gear retailers, Merrell has clearly struck a chord with its target demographic. This in-depth Merrell shoe review will analyze whether the hype is deserved.

Merrell‘s Ethos: Performance Meets Responsible Manufacturing

Merrell doesn‘t just talk the talk when it comes to quality and sustainability. As part of the Wolverine Worldwide family, Merrell adheres to strict standards for materials sourcing, factory working conditions, and environmental impact.

95% of Merrell‘s factories are LWG-certified for responsible leather production. The brand uses recycled and upcycled materials in 72% of its footwear and apparel. By 2025, Merrell aims to reduce virgin plastic use by 50% and achieve a 30% reduction in carbon emissions.

This ethos extends to Merrell‘s products themselves. Thoughtful design optimized for rugged terrain is Merrell‘s forte across hiking boots, trail runners, casual sneakers, and more.

Reviewing Merrell‘s Most Popular Men‘s and Women‘s Styles

With over 300 shoe and boot options spanning hiking, trail running, travel, winter, and casual categories, Merrell has a vast array of models. Here‘s an in-depth review of some of Merrell‘s current best selling and top rated men‘s and women‘s options:

Merrell Men‘s Jungle Moc

Merrell‘s Jungle Moc is a perennial best seller thanks to its versatility, durability, and grippy Vibram outsole. The water-resistant full grain leather upper conforms comfortably to the foot for light hiking, while the compression molded EVA footframe provides plush cushioning for all-day wear.

With over 750 reviews and a 4.5/5 star rating, the Jungle Moc proves a wise choice for activities from the trail to the traveling. It‘s available in wide sizing and 5 colors.

Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Serious hikers rely on the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof, which builds on the success of the original Moab with enhanced cushioning and stability features. An integrated tongue keeps debris out while allowing airflow, and M Select DRY waterproofing withstands wet conditions.

The rugged Vibram TC5+ outsole, protective toe cap, and external heel counter provide durability over miles of rough terrain. Over 2,300 reviews average an impressive 4.5/5 stars. Sizing runs up to 16 with wide options.

Merrell Siren Sport Q2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe

Female hikers praise the Siren Sport Q2 for its versatility, grip, and waterproof weather protection. An integrated tongue design derived from trail running shoes brings active performance to the hiking category.

Q Form 2 cushioning and a women‘s-specific narrow heel promote stability and prevent heel slippage on uneven ground. With a 4.4/5 average rating across over 270 reviews, this hiking shoe impresses. Choose from 5 color combinations in sizes 5-12.

Merrell Haven Mule Slide

For post-adventure lounging, Merrell‘s Haven Mule Slide provides easy on/off convenience without sacrificing comfort. The contoured footbed and responsive M Select FRESH odor-control lining keep feet relaxed yet fresh after long days on the go.

The Haven earns a glowing 4.7/5 average rating over 125 customer reviews. Its sporty style works well for travel and everyday wear in addition to casual camping trips. Sizing runs up to 11 in 4 colors.

How Does Merrell Footwear Perform?

Now that we‘ve covered some of Merrell‘s stand-out models, how does their performance actually stack up? Here‘s an in-depth evaluation across several key factors:


Superior comfort remains Merrell‘s main draw. Cleverly engineered air cushioning, contoured footbeds lined with M Select FRESH odor-resistant lining, and flexible yet supportive midsoles come together to keep feet happy mile after mile.

Many reviewers specifically praise the comfort of Merrell soles over rocky terrain that leave ankles and knees less battered versus other hiking brands.


The average Merrell shoe easily lasts 500-800 miles of heavy hiking use. The sturdy Vibram, TC5+, and trail-specific outsoles hold up better than average under demanding conditions without wearing down too quickly.

Careful overlays and protective bumpers help resist damage in toe and heel strike zones. And waterproof leather and mesh materials withstand moisture, abrasions, and dirt.


Merrell smartly equips the majority of its hiking and trail running selection with Vibram outsoles, the gold standard for grip and traction. Durable, thick lugs mapped to key pressure points provide reliable stability across wet, muddy, loose, and uneven terrain.

The deep lugs and responsive sole compounds allow Merrell shoes to brake and release cleanly going uphill and down no matter the conditions.

Fit & Sizing

While some Merrell runs narrow through the toe box, the overall consensus remains that Merrell shoes accommodate wider than average feet well. Many models size up to 16 and/or offer wide size options.

Merrell boot options in particular excel at hugging ankles securely without pinching. And adjustable bungees, gaiters, and cinches further customizations.

True to size reviews indicate Merrell‘s sizing charts prove accurate most of the time. But athletic users planning to wear Merrell with orthotics may want to size up a half or full size.

Weather Protection

Merrell utilizes cutting edge waterproof membranes like Gore-Tex and proprietary M Select DRY coating that reliably block external moisture for hours without overheating feet. Fully waterproof hiking boots stand up to creek crossings, rain, and snow.

Lightweight, breathable mesh maintains airflow as conditions heat up. And many models incorporate anti-microbial lining to minimize odors that lead to blisters and hot spots.

How Merrell Compares to Major Competitors

When reviewing Merrell footwear, it helps to compare against other players in the outdoor shoe arena. See how Merrell stacks up against close competitor brands below:

Merrell vs. Keen

Keen and Merrell go toe-to-toe when it comes to comfort, traction, and support for hiking and water activities. Both feature proprietary technologies tailored for stability and shock absorption.

Ultimately Merrell edges out Keen for long distance backpacking thanks to more durable Vibram soles and better break-in time. But Keen sandals excel for water and water sports where quick drying and drainage matters most. It‘s a close match-up.

Merrell vs. Salomon

Avid trail runners and fast-packing hikers often prefer Salomon over Merrell thanks to Salomon‘s closer fit, lighter weight profile, and racing-inspired engineering. Motion control and pronation correcting support features give Salomon an advantage for technical terrain.

Yet Merrell hiking boots and shoes work well enough for most users seeking comfort over speed. Casual hikers find Merrell requires less break-in time with fewer painful hot spots compared to Salomon‘s snug performance fit.

Merrell vs. Oboz

Oboz earns attention for utilizing higher quality full grain leather with excellent stitching and plush underfoot cushioning. For pure hiking performance, Oboz receives higher marks thanks to beefier outsoles and better ankle stability.

Where Merrell pulls ahead lies in brand recognition and availability. With far wider distribution and retail presence, Merrell reliably provides strong models seen as "good enough" for most purposes at lower price points.

Getting the Best Deals on Merrell Footwear

As with any top footwear brand, Merrell shoes come with a premium price tag. But savvy shoppers can take advantage of these money-saving tips:

  • Check Merrell‘s website routinely for limited time sales on past season colors and clearance items. Discounts typically range from 30-60% off retail pricing. Sign up for email updates on upcoming promotions.

  • Take advantage of seasonal sales events like back-to-school, Labor Day, and Black Friday both on Merrell‘s website and at authorized retail partners for maximum savings.

  • Shop clearance sections in sporting goods stores and check discount retailers like Sierra Trading Post where overstock Merrell inventory often secretly lurks at steep markdowns.

  • Consider purchasing returned shoes in like new condition through secondary retailers to receive extra savings off original MSRP.

  • Don‘t overlook Merrell‘s outlet locations (mostly centered around outdoor recreation hot spots). Their brick and mortar outlet stores frequently offer in-store only promotional pricing.

With smart shopping, purchasing quality Merrell shoes for 20-50% less than retail proves consistently achievable.

Merrell Footwear: Worth the Investment?

At the end of a rigorous review across Merrell‘s key categories, product lines, and direct competitors, a clear verdict emerges. While Merrell doesn‘t claim the trail running crown and faces stiff competition among hardcore mountaineering boots, Merrell earns its mainstream following as a comfortable, durable hiking and casual outdoor brand priced accessibly.

For footwear equally at home on local paths and trails as adventuring into the wild, Merrell checks all the right boxes. Given the brand‘s commitment to sustainable materials and fair labor practices, Merrell shoes appeal to eco-conscious shoppers too.

While rarely the single best hiking performer pound for pound, for shoppers wanting reliable quality without breaking the bank, Merrell delivers recommended results. Discerning hikers should still scrutinize features and reviews closely across different Merrell models suited for their needs. But overall Merrell‘s mix of trust, comfort, support, and affordability is hard to beat.

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