10 Best Merrell Hiking Shoes in 2021

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on
10 Best Merrell Hiking Shoes in 2021

Are you in search of a well-rounded hiker? Maybe something that can keep your feet well-ventilated? Or how about a hiking shoe that excels in the water? Whatever your fancy, there is a top pick waiting for you here.

We’ve thoroughly tested over 50 pairs of Merrell hiking shoes to help you pick the right one. Featured below are those that came on top in different categories and their runners-up.

How we review Merrell hiking shoes

Coming up with the best Merrell hiking shoes is no easy feat. That said, we at RunRepeat take such a challenge seriously. Here’s how we do it:

  • We purchase Merrell hikers using our own funds. This way, we can focus on delivering professional and objective reviews each time.
  • We put every Merrell pair to the test by hiking in them for weeks on a variety of terrain types. We also use each one rigorously in the setting it is mainly built for.
  • Reviews from a multitude of gear experts and regular users we include in the mix to make our reviews as comprehensive as possible.

As a result, every Merrell pair gets a CoreScore, which we use to determine the cream of the crop from this particular brand.

Best overall

Make way, roll out the red carpet, and let the Moab 2 GTX stun you. It is THAT fantastic!

Super-comfy fresh from the box, the Moab 2 GTX from Merrell allowed us to hike for hours without the unnecessary hotspots and foot pain. We give the shoe’s stock footbed extra credit, which felt royally plush right from the start.

In the realm of traction, the Moab 2 GTX got the goods. Its humble (low-profile) lugs got us across slippery terrain (think grassy hills and mud) with absolute sticking prowess. On pebbly tracks, this Merrell hiker also left the biggest smiles on our faces!

Its mighty waterproof shell floored us, too. We tested the Moab 2 GTX through a nearby creek, and it didn’t let us down. Not a single drop got inside its comfy confines after that watery ride.

Speaking of its solidly built upper, the Merrell Moab 2 GTX gave us extra support, particularly around the midfoot. Its ankle cuff also felt incredibly secure without hindering mobility!

So, bask in the Moab 2 GTX’s presence and then give it a whirl. You’ll be questioning yourself why you didn’t do so months ago!

See our full review and facts

If you haven’t known versatility before, now is your chance with the Moab 2 Ventilator from Merrell!

Let’s dive right into the Moab 2 Ventilator’s grip level. It’s fantastic! We got confidence-inspiring adhesion on a variety of terrain, including muddy inclines, mossy creeks, and grassy hills. In town, the shoe also stunned us with its high surface traction on concrete pavements.

But does the Moab 2 Ventilator require a break-in period? Not at all. Right from the start, this 100-dollar-a-pair Merrell hiker felt oh so plush. We particularly liked its ankle padding in this regard.

Now, if you thought the Moab 2 Ventilator would last you months, you’re not off the mark. Yes, this low-top wonder is as sturdy as it looks. It only got minimal scratches on its leather overlay after weeks of thorough testing.

In terms of arch support, the Moab 2 Ventilator is quite impressive. That said, we wish we could say the same for its heel zone, where we struggled with heel lift for some time.

Still, this bad boy is a game-changer. Get it now!

See our full review and facts

Best for speed hiking

Wanna leave your hiking friends behind in a cloud of dust? Then lace up with the Merrell MQM Flex 2 GTX!

Sporty performance is the MQM Flex 2 GTX’s A-game, which should come as no surprise. Its lightness is core to its athletic nature, not weighing over 350 g a shoe. Then, there’s the hiker’s incredibly flexible sole unit, which allowed us to pull off smooth transitions, especially on level ground.

Comfort (and tons of it) was readily available in the MQM Flex 2 GTX. Initially, we thought we wouldn’t need to break it in, and we were right. From the off, this speedy bad boy gave us plushness everywhere!

Now, the Merrell MQM Flex 2 GTX s stellar in the grip department, too. We can safely say that the burst of speed it gave us was matched by the amount of traction it produced on virtually every surface we set foot on. Amazing!

But is it really waterproof? We answer with a resounding YES to that! We tested it in very shallow waters (nothing too deep; otherwise, wetness would enter via its low-top collar), and not a drop got in.

So, what are you waiting for? Get one and speed past your friends right now!

See our full review and facts

If you need that extra push, that extra burst of agility, the Moab Speed will oblige!

At 650 g per pair, this Merrell must-have will give you that jolt of speed on the trail as it did us. That being said, and as remarkable as its lightness is, we give the Moab Speed’s rockered sole the credit it deserves. On it, we cut through level terrain like butter. We could chalk up its heel-to-toe transitions as “glide-like.”

On the stability front, the Moab Speed didn’t disappoint. On rugged tracks, its sole unit conformed to the crookedness of the terrain. The shoe also didn’t give in when we tested it on semi-sharp rocks and meandering roots.

As a summer hiker, we found the Moab Speed immensely breathable. Not having a waterproof liner upped its ability to deal with stuffiness, for sure. That said, the shoe’s laminated upper did fence out light moisture, which was quite surprising for us!

And in case you’re wondering whether the Moab Speed is affordable, it is! You can get one now for no more than $120!

See our full review and facts

Best breathable

After going through over 50 great Merrell hiking shoes, we have to crown the MQM Flex 2 as the most breathable of them all!

Getting clammy feet should be a non-issue in this exemplary piece. Yes, the MQM Flex 2 kept our tootsies fresh every step of the way. Even in the glare of the sun, at around 85°F, our feet didn’t sweat. Its ventilation system simply works, and we adore it very much!

Now, with great breathability comes great lightness (we really had to say that)! On the box, the MQM Flex 2 reads 350 g a shoe, yet during our tests, the shoe felt lighter than that. Agility is yours in this Merrell piece, yes.

We love the MQM Flex 2’s grippy outsole, as well. Its sticking prowess is of the versatile kind—it latched on to rough terrain and concrete pathways majestically.

Speaking of versatility, the MQM Flex 2 gave us a responsive ride on our bikes. We recommend you go clipless with it, though.

As a sweet cherry on top, this piece is a must-buy at $110 a pop, so buy one ASAP!

See our full review and facts

Also impressive in the realm of sweat management is the All Out Blaze Aero Sport from Merrell.

This speed hiking shoe kept our piggies fresh for long periods, thanks to its strategically overlayed mesh upper. Even while stationary, we could feel the cool wind swirling inside its padded confines!

Weight-wise, the All Out Blaze Aero Sport sits at an unbelievable 640 per pair. This sort of lightness even trumps some of the most sought-after hiking sandals on the market. Impressive, right?

We also want to highlight the shoe’s intense outsole here. The unapologetically toothy lugs of the All Out Blaze Aero Sport gave us much purchase on both wet and dry terrain. Yes, there’s no slipping whatsoever in this grippy humble monster.

And before we forget, the All Out Blaze Aero Sport dries oh so quickly, too! After traipsing in it through two-inch-deep puddles, we discovered its mesh upper already dry some 5 minutes soon after! A word of advice, though: Try not to fool around in sandy waters—small debris can get inside it rather easily!

See our full review and facts

Best for water hiking

Yes, the All Out Blaze Sieve is what we highly recommend for watery escapades!

We went through dozens of Merrell hikers, and we can’t deny the mesmerizing water performance of the All Out Blaze Sieve. Its name is quite appropriate in that all sorts of fluid simply slipped in and out of its holey leather upper like gushing water through a “sieve!”

“Practically weightless” is how we’d describe the Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve. Some of the lightest hiking sandals out there will envy its 255-gram-per-shoe weight. In the water, this lightness helped us power through streams like absolute pros.

We put its stickiness to the test around parts of the trail where it’s always wet or muddy. The result? Quite convincing! The All Out Blaze Sieve, with its rubber lugs, latched on to moist grass and mossy roots quite effortlessly, as well!

We’d also like to give props to the All Out Blaze Sieve’s protective upper, particularly its toe cap. The amount of protection we got out of it was reminiscent of how much brawny shoes provide it.

So, do not miss out on the Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve. It’s a doozy where wetness is involved!

See our full review and facts

Intense, the Choprock is yet another water-hiking wonder from Merrell!

Similar in hybrid construction as our top pick, the Merrell Choprock served us well in and around streams and creeks. Its water-ejecting ports (located on the sides of the midsole) stole our hearts. They worked just as intended, and we have zero complaints!

While not as light as the All Out Blaze Sieve, the Choprock still propelled us to go further. It’s about 380 g per shoe, in case you’re wondering.

How was our time in the Choprock traction-wise, you might ask? There wasn’t an instance where we found ourselves worried about our footing, so we’d say it was a confidence-inspiring time. We especially adored the Choprock’s grip performance on soft soil and wet logs and planks.

Oh, we also want to underscore its quick-drying upper. The Choprock didn’t take too much time to dry, about 10 minutes, give or take.

We strongly recommend the Choprock, especially to those who need more underfoot (forefoot) sensitivity than cushioning. Yes, if the All Out Blaze Sieve is unavailable, you should get this instead!

See our full review and facts

Best budget shoe

The pricing jury has spoken: The Alverstone beats out dozens of Merrell must-haves in the affordability department.

There’s no deception going on here—the Merrell Alverstone is a stunner at $80 MSRP! You read that right; its price tag is your ticket to hiking awesomeness without the need to break the bank.

As wooing to newcomers as its humble asking price is, we want to brag about the Alverstone’s excellent surface traction. “Generous” is the term we’d use in describing its supply of grip, particularly on rocky surfaces. Oh, but you shouldn’t write off the Alverstone as exclusive to dry trails, as it worked brilliantly over wet terrain, too!

On the comfort front, the Merrell Alverstone felt sufficiently plush all over. Our ankles and heels were singing in its cushy collar. We also want to give the Alverstone extra props for having a spacious toe box, where our tootsies got pampered and didn’t get squished at all.

Our time with the Alverstone was also quite a smooth one. We’re talking about its excellent flexibility and rockered sole unit here, which gave us glide-like strides through and through!

This hot item is cheaper than cheap. Don’t miss out on this gem!

See our full review and facts

Got about a hundred dollars to spare? Then spend less than that on the Merrell Yokota 2!

At its MSRP of $90, which is only ten dollars more expensive than our top pick, the Yokota 2 is a smart alternative for budget seekers like you.

Off-the-charts comfort is what we got for the most part out of the Yokota 2. We say “for the most part” because it did take some time to break in completely. Anyway, when its mesh-and-leather upper finally loosened up, everywhere inside it was so plush!

But what is an affordable and super-comfy hiking shoe without great performance to match? Fortunately for you, the Yokota 2 is no pushover where abilities are involved.

In the area of traction, this Merrell must-buy gave us more than enough peace of mind on slippery tracks and sidehills. With enough momentum, we were also able to make our way up lightly muddy slopes without slipping.

The Yokota 2’s flexibility made us believers, as well. Whether on level terrain or uneven surfaces, the shoe moved with grace, propelling us to complete our quest with great agility!

See our full review and facts


Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.