Verdict from +100 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • Light: Many hikers are impressed with the superb lightness of the Merrell Altalight. It is about 30 g lighter than most hiking shoes.
  • Cozy: This piece is hailed as “incredibly comfortable” by almost everyone who has tested it.
  • Grippy: The Altalight’s outsole delivers incredible surface traction, according to experienced trail-goers. It can claw into loose rock effortlessly, says one of them.
  • Quick break-in: Hiking enthusiasts say that it loosens up and conforms to the shape of the foot almost instantly.
  • Water-repellent: Although not a waterproof shoe, the Merrell Altalight has a decent fight against intrusive moisture. “Water slid right off it,” says one owner.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Toe room (women’s version): Testers find the Altalight’s toe box too roomy. Your toes will be swimming in it without thick socks on.
  • Frail lining: A trail-goer has beef with the shoe’s toe liner for coming apart too soon; it happened again after getting a replacement.

Bottom line

Propelling and comfy from the outset—is an excellent description for the Altalight. Built with athletic performance in mind, this Merrell shoe can outsmart the trickiness of any trail, be it wet or dry. Part of our lightweight collection, the Altalight will have you hiking like a boss with ninja-like prowess!

Tip: see the best hiking shoes.

What wearing Merrell’s Altalight means

Faster strides. With its nylon upper engineered with a lightweight support system (a.k.a. Stratafuse exoskeleton), finishing your adventure faster and safer is one of the Altalight’s benefits.

Surefootedness over loose soil. Its grippy rubber outsole with 5-mm deep lugs provides extra bite where the terrain turns for the muddy or pebbly.

Bye bye debris. The shoe’s bellows tongue, with both its sides sealed off, will fence out all sorts of granular elements (i.e., sand, dried leaves, etc.).

The Altalight’s two other siblings

Joining the featured shoe in making our selection of top-quality Merrell hiking shoes even more robust are the Altalight Knit and the Altalight Waterproof. The former is the more breathable of the two, while the latter offers full water protection in light-to-moderate rain.

Price-wise, the base Altalight is unsurprisingly the most affordable of the bunch. That said, each variant has its pros and cons, so choose the pair that best suits your needs.

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.