Verdict from 100+ user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • The Merrell Barkley fits true to size, confirmed the majority of reviewers.
  • It’s a reasonably priced sneaker.
  • A lot of purchasers loved the shoe’s lightweight feel. One user said that it felt like wearing slippers.
  • According to a lot of buyers, the Merrell Barkley has a fantastic style, with a good blend of casual and sporty in its look.
  • The sneaker is comfortable, detected many wearers. 
  • Most commenters gave a five-star rating to this model.  
  • Several reviewers observed that the Merrell Barkley is of excellent quality. 

2 reasons not to buy

  • A few purchasers complained that the shoe takes some time to break in.  
  • A couple of buyers found that the Merrell Barkley needs more support.

Bottom line

Coming from the Merrell casual sneaker line is the Barkley model, which offers a lightweight and ultra-comfortable feel. Users were very pleased with the style, which balances a laidback look with a sporty touch. It also stays true to Merrell's trademark high-quality construction.

Meanwhile, a few complained that this footwear needs to be broken in for some time. A couple of purchasers also found the model lacking in support. Nevertheless, at its affordable price point and features, the Merrell Barkley could be worth considering for one’s casual collection.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

A lightweight and dependable fit is offered by the leather upper of the Merrell Barkley. Men’s sizes in medium width are available for this model, ranging from 7-15. It fits true to size. The ankle is unhindered due to the sneaker’s low-top structure. A lace-up system keeps the fit adjustable, maintaining a snug feel for security and comfort.

The low-top Merrell Barkley has a worn leather appearance that makes it look homey, perfect for a cozy feel and flair. It comes in Castle Rock, Brunette, Black, Dusty Olive, and Tan colorways that have a subtle yet well-dressed appeal. This unassuming look will go well with jeans and a t-shirt for any day. It also has a straightforward yet sleek look that makes it appropriate for more dressed-up activities, such as for work or at a function.

An upper made up of full-grain leather makes the Merrell Barkley look traditional and timeless. It also has a worn leather style that gives it a unique charm. It has a lining made of mesh to offer a breathable feel. Complementing its classic appeal is the traditional lace closure along with the plain white midsole. It also has monochrome stitch detailing all over the upper.

The Merrell logo is found on the label on the tongue, as well as on the heel tab. A contrasting heel piece gives the design a low-key variation. There’s light padding on the collar for extra comfort and style, while the round toe completes the shoe’s sophisticated flair. 

American footwear brand Merrell is named after Randy Merrell, who co-founded the company along with Clark Matis and John Schweizer in 1981. Merrell was a well-known maker of high-quality custom cleats, and so Matis and Schweizer, two former executives from a ski company, decided to join forces with him. The business started out by producing high-performing cleats for hiking.

By 1986, Randy Merrell decided to return to his previous job of making custom cleats, so he sold his share of his eponymous company.  A year later, the brand was bought by Finnish sports label Karhu, which moved the company’s manufacturing to Asia. In 1997, Karhu sold Merrell to footwear giant Wolverine World Wide, joining other subsidiaries such as Keds, Saucony, and Sperry Top-Sider.

Despite the company changing hands, Merrell retained its reputation for quality and performance, especially when it comes to functional footwear. The brand is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts and casual wearers alike, favored for its rugged yet elegant silhouettes and designs. Among its many popular models is the Merrell Barkley.

It’s a shoe that combines a casual and smooth appeal with a sports-inspired twist. The sneaker is also incredibly lightweight, ideal for everyday wearing for different occasions. It was explicitly designed for urban settings, made for walking the streets in style.

  • Kinetic Fit Base technology was used in the shoe’s removable insole. It contours to the foot and provides flexible support.
  • The cushioned EVA midsole offers excellent shock absorption and support.  
  • Merrell’s trademark rubber outsole delivers reliable traction.


How Merrell Barkley ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 22% sneakers
All sneakers
Bottom 27% Merrell sneakers
All Merrell sneakers
Bottom 21% low sneakers
All low sneakers


The current trend of Merrell Barkley.
Compare to another shoe:
Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.