Need Help Choosing Merrell Hiking Boots?

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Sorting through the various Merrell hiking boots to find the best pair for your needs takes a little effort. They have about a dozen models available, but with limited technical terminology. Here we will help you narrow down the options, understand the terminology, and provide you with background information on Merrell. All this will help you find the best Merrell hiking boots for you.


Year founded : Est. 1982 or 1983
Headquarters : Originally Vermont, USA, but since Wolverine World Wide purchased Merrell in 1997 this may have changed. Wolverine is located in Rockford, Michigan, USA.

Need Help Choosing Merrell Hiking Boots?
Corporate Social Responsibility : Merrell provides assistance to organizations that support their mission of participation in the outdoors and protection of outdoor spaces. The following lists many of these:

  • Appalachian Trail Conservancy
  • American Hiking Society
  • National Park Foundation
  • Bay Area Wilderness Training
  • Conservation Alliance
  • Project Athena – encourages women to thrive after life altering medical conditions
  • Youth Outdoors legacy fund

Gear Summary : Merrell started off as a footwear company with cowboy boots and from there they moved onto hiking and various other types of outdoor footwear. Recently they have started making outdoor apparel as well. They have a couple of backpacker grade boots. One of these is the Wilderness boot – their top-of-the-line and oldest boot. The other boots are mostly oriented toward lightweight day hikers and winter boots. Choose Merrell for more than just easy hikes, choose them for hiking boot quality and durablity a notch above average, but a little below the expedition grade boots of Asolo and Vasque.

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Grades of Merrell Hiking Boots:

Backpacking : Boots fitting this category include the Traverse and their top of the line Wilderness. These boots are for backpacking with added stability, durability, and cushioning. The boots are a bit more rigid to accommodate carrying heavier packs. If you are heading out on a hike of multiple days and carrying a bit of extra weight and gear then these are the best Merrell hiking boots for you.

Hiking : Merrell’s Outbound and Perimeter boots are best suited for this level of hiking. This is the level of boot for most hikers. They are lightweight, athletic and breathable. If you are often going out for day hikes with rocky terrain and of distances anywhere from 3 to 10 or more miles than this is the boot grade for you.

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Note: We haven’t included the gear intended for trail running, cross overs, or more urban adventures here.

Merrell Hiking Boots Terminology:

This is a summary of the terminology that Merrell uses in its various grades of boots.

Backpacking – technology to improve durability

  • Norwegian welt construction : hand stitched upper boot to sole (many now are glued). Labor intensive construction and longer break-in period, but very durable.
  • In-Board compression-molded EVA footframe : additional support and cushioning

Day Hiking technology

  • Ballisticore : moderately durable, lightweight, breathable, and synthetic material. Lower cost and durability than leather.

Other materials and technology

  • Air Cushion midsole : cushioning
  • Merrell Spring Motion™ Technology : cushioning and agility
  • Easy Roller Stainless Steel Ball Bearing Lacing System
  • Aegis® Antimicrobial : antimicrobial treatment to inside of boot to reduce foot odors