Our verdict


Always ready for a fun and challenging trip to the forest, this pack-ready hiker by Merrell is praised for its quality comfort. Aside from long day hikes, it also fits the bill for casual walking. Thanks to its clean-cut design. The Forestbound also gets high marks for being supportive and stable. Plus, it has a durable construction that people would expect from Merrell.


  • Incredibly comfortable
  • A great casual walking shoe
  • Supportive low-cut style
  • Top-notch quality
  • Excellent stability


  • A bit narrow

Who should buy the Merrell Forestbound

The Merrell Forestbound is a great shoe overall, and as what customers suggest - a great deal for its price. It is a solid option if you:

  • Prefer a shoe that offers protection against sharp hazards on the trail.
  • Prefer a shoe that provides reliable traction on mud, loose dirt, rocks, and soft grass.
  • Prefer a shoe that has a lightweight EVA midsole for comfort and support, and a molded nylon arch shank for stability.

Merrell Forestbound logo

Enhance grip and traction on uneven ground 

For the outsole, this shoe has the M Select GRIP with deep lugging that bites into mud, dirt, and grass. The diamond-shaped lugs on the forefoot and heel areas enhance grip and traction on uneven ground and loose dirt while the grooves along the sides help disperse water easily so the wearer doesn't slip. 

Merrell Forestbound outsole

Comfortable cushioning

The midsole of the Forestbound is made of EVA foam. It's cushiony, lightweight, and flexible which maintains one's stability on the trail. Adding to its comfort and support, this hiking shoe also comes with the Kinetic Base insole. This insole is removable so people who prefer to use a different one or need custom orthotics can still use the shoe.

Merrell Forestbound midsole

Offers protection against abrasion and wear

As is expected from a leather shoe, the Merrell Forestbound has a durable upper that offers a good level of protection against abrasion and wear. While it isn't as durable as genuine leather, PU leather offers good resistance against the elements. 

Merrell Forestbound Upper

Breathable upper

The shoe interior is lined with a breathable mesh lining so your feet don't get toasty even if you're wearing a leather shoe. This makes the Forestbound great for hiking activities in the summer. 

Merrell Forestbound upper 1.0

Snug fit

The Forestbound also features a die-cut rubber rand and toe cap that add protection against the elements. The bellows tongue helps keep the debris out and the webbing lacing system ensures a snug fit each time. There's also a pull loop at the back, allowing easy wearing or taking off.

Merrell Forestbound laces