Best Merrell Hiking Boots
When hikers pimp their Merrells on Facebook, they probably mean the Merrell Moab. The mid-cut Moab is Merrells best selling hiking boot, and the low-cut Moab is their best selling hiking shoe. Thats true for both men and women. The Moab is also my top Merrell recommendation for hikersbased more on cost and relative value than on performance. New for Summer 2022, Merrell has just released the new Moab 3:
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
These boots have a few downsides: Most important, as we noted previously, the Quests are the heaviest of our picks they may be too much boot for shorter hikes. Their rigid build and heavy weight make them slow to break in, with about double the mileage required compared with most of the other boots we testedit took 10 miles, while most boots we tested felt broken in by 5 miles. Additionally, the laces on the updated Quest 4 pair are sheathed with a material thats supposed to make them more secure, but in our experience it only made them difficult to tie, because they were quite rigid. Even when we double-knotted the laces, they came untied or loosened as we walked to get a more secure fit, we opted to replace them with another pair of laces we had at home.
Merrell Nova 2 And Antora 2
Merrell also makes two gender-specific trail shoes that might interest hikers: the mens Nova 2 and womens Antora 2. The Nova and Antora are two more Merrells that blur the boundary between everyday shoes and athletic shoesand also blur the boundary between trail running shoes and hiking shoes. For lack of a better term, its a light-weight hiking sneaker thats lighter than the Moab with a little more support than typical trail running shoes. Many casual hikers and beginners like this light and flexible feel over the fit and feel of a true hiking shoe. Each shoe features a gender-specific fit and both standard and wide sizes. If youre looking for a lightweight shoe with more of a hiking midsole, the Merrell Nova and Antora might work as trail to town shoes or lightweight trail shoes for fast-and-light hikes on well maintained trails.
men-specific Nova 2
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Who Should Get This
Whether youre just starting your hiking journey with a local day hike or youre planning a one-month thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail, you need a pair of good hiking boots. You can tromp through the woods in many different types of shoes, including hiking boots, hiking shoes, or trail-running shoes. But most hikers who want to tackle intermediate trails should choose a pair of hiking boots because they provide over-the-ankle support, whereas hiking shoes generally stop before your ankle bone. Youll need that extra support to keep you stable if youre carrying weight on your back.
Hiking boots fall into a few categories: hiking, backpacking, and mountaineering. In this guide, we cover hiking boots that bridge the hiking and backpacking categories to accommodate day hikers, campers, and weekend warriors. Most of the boots in this guide should be able to support a hiker carrying a backpack weighing up to 25 pounds, but we wouldnt recommend using most of these for a mountaineering trip.
We chose boots that would accommodate a range of gaits. Our picks will likely work for you whether you pronate or supinate , and all should accommodate high or fallen arches. Theyll also work for you no matter your gender.
After hiking 160 miles in 18 pairs of hiking socks, we chose the mens and womens Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew as the best hiking socks for most people.
Best Merrell Hiking Boots Overall
The Corescore is a score from 0-100 that summarizes opinions from users and experts.Below shows the distribution of scores for all hiking boots.
This shoe has a 9% penalty on its expert reviews because it has fewer than 5 reviews. This is to avoid that shoes with few reviews unjustly receives high scores.
- Top 23% most popular hiking boots
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Merrell Mens Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot
The Merrell Mens Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot is one of the best Merrell Hiking Boots made and is perfect for those who love to roam. Your foot will remain in contact with cool air thanks to a breathable mesh lining. Do not fret that treacherous terrain any longer, this boot provides encompassing protection against it. Shock absorption and stability meet your feet as you stomp onward. You will experience the benefits of a durable tread pattern as your adventurous soul experiences the vast outdoors.
Other Good Hiking Boots
If youre looking for a stylish, all-leather boot that molds to your foot after a long-ish break-in period: Consider the Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boots , which are comfortable and stylish. Some of our testers found them to be too wide, but others loved the slightly bulkier fit if you do find these boots attractive, we recommend trying them on before you buy, as well as ordering in your street-shoe size rather than sizing up. The Mountain 600 boots have a longer break-in time than some of the others we tested because theyre made with suede leather. But once theyre broken in, theyre more likely to mold to your feet. The underfoot protection kept our feet happy during a 6-mile hike through fairly easy terrain, and theyre unexpectedly lightweight at 2 pounds 5 ounces theyre lighter than the Salomon Quests and similar to our budget pick, the Merrell Moab 2 pair. But on wet days, we didnt feel secure on wet rocks, and our feet got hot quickly since leather isnt very breathable. In addition, these boots arent likely to be waterproof for long, considering their suede materials, nor are they a good option for mountaineering or even advanced backpacking trips. But for day hikes on moderate terrain, they should do just fine.
Merrell: Best Fits And Best Matches
Is Merrell a good brand for you? As with all brands, that depends on your feet, your budget, and the kinds of hiking you do. In my experience, these are the brands best fits and best matches:
- Best Fits: wide feet. Merrells run wide and are also available in wide sizes. Hikers with narrow feet may need to go with another brand.
- Best Match: trail to town shoes. At Appalachian Outdoors, the biggest Merrell fans generally wore them as hiking shoes and everyday shoes. For me, that trail to town use is Merrells best niche. However, I sometimes recommended Merrell Moabs to hikers on a budget and day hikers who mostly hike easy to moderate trails.
Top 10 Best Merrell Hiking Boots 2022
Merrell was established in 1981 when two executives for the Rossignol ski company decided to launch a new company making hiking boots. Coming from the world of ski, they had not a lot of expertise with hiking boots. So they joined forces with Randal Ivan Merrell, a maker of highly-praised custom boots which retailed for $500 a pair. Merrell went to work and designed a more affordable high-performance boot. If you ask me I like my Merrell the most!But lets stop talking and get going! Here is our pick:
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How We Test Hiking Boots
Here at RunRepeat, we are committed to delivering multi-faceted and unbiased reviews on the best Merrell hiking boots on the market. To realize this goal, we live by the following:
- We purchase Merrell kicks using our own funds, allowing us to remain objective throughout our testing and review process.
- Professional gear testers under our wing use every pair in various settings to gauge where a given Merrell boot shines the brightest.
- We include in the mix insightful reviews from numerous experts and a multitude of regular users alike.
With all that, each Merrell hiking boot receives what we call a CoreScore, which makes this list of top picks possible.
Our Pick: Salomon Quest 4 Gore
The Quest 3D boots were our top pick when we first tested hiking boots in 2018, and again in 2020. In 2021, the newly updated fourth iteration of these boots still stands up well against the competition. Theyre versatile, well-tractioned, supportive, waterproof, and accommodating to many foot shapes. That said, the newest iteration is a bit clunkier than past models if you prefer a lightweight boot, check out our also great pick, the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX.
Over the past few years, weve tested 10 pairs of three versions of the Quest. Our testers have crossed glaciers, braved tough trails, and climbed rocky terrain, and theyve waded through streams, navigated late-spring snow, and slopped through knee-deep mud. So we can promise you this because weve tried nearly everything: Whether youre scrambling, climbing, or walking down a paved sidewalk, these boots can handle it. In addition, they have a wide toe box thats likely to fit many different foot shapes. We also appreciate that the Quests strike that ideal balance of being both breathable and waterproof, a combination that can be tough to find. And these boots fit true to size .
After a long, challenging hike, these boots left our feet feeling far less sore than most of the other boots we tested.
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Merrell: An Ok Budget Brand
Many hikers assume that Merrell is one of the best brands for hiking boots and hiking shoes, due to its popularity. But its more of a budget brand in terms of quality and performance. It may be a top brand at sporting good chain stores, but it may be a bottom shelf brand at REI or your local hiking and backpacking specialty shop.
Still, Merrells may be good enough for the average day hiker and weekend warrior. Those sales numbers dont lie, after all. And many Merrell lovers wouldnt consider buying any other brand. If youre looking to hike in a casual boot or shoe that doesnt break the bank, this is probably your brand! Thats especially true now the Keen has raised its prices above the budget price point.
Do you think Merrells might be right for you? If so, please consider buying your next pair through the affiliate links above. That helps support this website . If youre not sold on Merrell, please check out my recommended brands and curated lists of the best hiking boots, best hiking shoes, and best trail runners for hiking. Just snoop around the site a bit, and youll probably find your next favorite brand, boot, or shoe.
Good luck finding your next pair. And happy hiking!
What Were Looking For
Boots versus sneakers: Talk to almost any serious hiker or outdoor gear enthusiast these days and youll hear the same story: Stiff and heavy hiking boots are out, flexible and lightweight trail runners are in. Elite hikers, long-distance hikers no one is wearing boots above the ankle, says Dr. Rachel Gross, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado in Denver studying the history of outdoor clothing and gear. Trail runners are essentially grippier, more-hiking-specific sneakers, and theyre built for comfort. In the old days when you bought hiking boots youd have to wear them around your neighborhood before the hik, to be confident you wouldnt get blisters, says Cris Hazzard of hikingguy.com. Now its the opposite you can put on a pair of new trail runners and do a long distance hike.
Thats not to say boots dont have their place. In fact, the best hiking boots are so lightweight and comfortable that they may as well be sneakers except more durable. Rather than wearing out in a few months, theyll last forever and serve you especially well on wet or gravelly terrain. If youre hiking over really rough rocks, a hiking shoe or a more traditional boot would protect your foot, Hazzard admits. Sections of rocks on the Appalachian Trail are thin and stacked, so you cant step flat on them, and thats the case where Id recommend something beefier because it shreds shoes quickly.
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Merrell Mens Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
The Merrell Mens Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe are super-comfortable out of the box. They are well ventilated with durable leathers, a supportive footbed, and Vibram traction, all in a versatile package. You wont doubt why Moab stands for Mother-Of-All-Boots. The upper is made of leather and mesh. The tongue is made from closed-cell foam and keeps moisture and debris out. The shoe features Merrell M Select FIT.ECO+ blended EVA contoured footbed with added zonal arch and heel support. The Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability, while the EVA midsole provides stability and comfort. The Vibram TC5+ sole will never let you down, no matter where the path will lead you.
Merrell Mens Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot
The Merrell Mens Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot features a waterproof GORE-TEX® membrane. It guarantees exceptional breathability and waterproof performance of the boot. It is made of synthetic leather and a mesh upper. The bellows, closed-cell foam tongue keeps moisture and debris out, and the rubber toe cap protects your toes. The Merrell M Select FIT.ECO+ blended EVA contoured footbed with added zonal arch and heel support and a molded nylon arch shank does their part to make you a happy camper. The air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability, and the EVA midsole offers stability and comfort. The Mid Gtx sports a Vibram® TC5+ sole and weights only 2lbs 1oz or 936 gr.
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How And Where We Tested
In 2018, we tested 26 pairs of boots. In 2020, we tested 10 more, and in 2021, we tested seven additional pairs plus an update of our runner-up pick. To get multiple opinions, we handed them out to 26 testers, both male and female, plus the guide authors. We asked each of our testers to hike at least 30 miles totaland they went for it, hiking in 13 states and three provinces. They tackled loose gravel, groomed trails, and brush. They schlepped through mud, splashed in water, scampered up steep inclines, slid on snow, and even wore the boots into town and around the block. They hiked during the spring, summer, fall, and winter months.
Our testers hiked for over 1,200 miles, taking more than 2 million steps across 13 states, three provinces, and four countries.
And while they hiked, they tracked their steps and distance using fitness trackers. They also recorded information about the hike and the weight of their packs. And they took notes about the terrain and climate, in addition to recording their thoughts on the boots and the break-in time required for each pair. Some hiked with kids, while pregnant, and with dogs and friends. In the end, during 2018, 2020, and 2021, our testers hiked for over 1,200 miles, taking more than 2 million steps.
Why We Like The Moab 2 Mid Vent Hiking Boot
Moab is only a small portion of Utah’s red rock wilderness, which is similar to the way the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Vent Hiking Boot makes up a small portion of our backpacking rig. Without the boot’s sturdy support and ample airflow, we probably wouldn’t be able to tackle all those miles with such a heavy backpack. It also takes grit and incredible strategic planning to find water when you need it. This is the desert, after all.
- Burly backpacking boot built for the desert’s heat
- Sturdy suede upper with mesh panels for ample ventilation
- Bellowed, closed-cell foam tongue keeps debris out
- M Select Eco.Fit footbed with odor control
- Stable EVA midsole with Merrell Air Cushion in heel
- Vibram TC5+ rubber sole with trail-specific traction
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Also Great: La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Ii Gtx
While not an exact update, La Sportivas Ultra Raptor II boots replace our former top pick, the La Sportiva Sabers, and carry over many of the same qualities we loved in those boots: The Raptors are lightweight, flexible, versatile, and well-tractioned. Unlike our other picks, these are designed on trail running mids and outsoles, rather than on the mold of a standard hiking boot, for a lighter fit. Like our top pick, they also strike that ideal balance of waterproof and breathable, which can be tough to come by. And compared with our other picks, they have more support around the toes for protection. However, they require some break-in time before theyre truly comfortable. And compared with our top pick, the Salomons, the Raptors offer a narrow fit that is less likely to fit all foot shapes.
The Raptor boots biggest win is their weight: A pair of the mens boots weighs about 2 pounds, while a pair of womens boots weighs 1 pound 7 ounces. This makes them some of the lightest of the boots we tested and provides significant advantages on the trail, especially if you want to move quickly. We noticed that our legs were less fatigued after a hike in these boots than with our top pick, and it was easier to drive in the Raptors because theyre much more flexible in the mid-foot than your average hiking boots.
Need More Gear Advice
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Casey Handley is an avid outdoor adventurer and self-described gear nerd. Shes hiked thousands of miles on trails across America, including the Appalachian Trail, John Muir Trail, and the Long Trail. Her favorite things include the crinkle of a new Dyneema tent, the smell of Doug fir trees, and shaving an ounce off her pack weight.
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