Size and fit

The Primer Canvas is exclusive in men’s sizing. Several of those who have already purchased this lifestyle shoe recommend getting it in half a size smaller. The round toe vamp allows for enough space to rest the wearer’s toes comfortably.

For those whose preference is a more cushiony footbed, one can remove the insole and replace it with their own orthotics.

Merrell Primer Canvas Style

This addition to Merrell’s line of casual lifestyle shoes, thinking of ways to style this sneaker comes in a myriad of choices.

With the traditional canvas upper and lace-up closure classic sneaker silhouette, donning on a pair of olive green chinos folded at the seams, a navy blue turtleneck sweatshirt, and a pair of either brown or black Primer Canvas on the feet will encapsulate that clean, preppy look.

Notable Features

There are hints of suede patching on the toe bump and the heel collar to give that contrast to the canvas texture. While a textile-lined padded collar adds support.

The midsole comes over the top of the heel for that stylish look while providing added support. Visible on the entire midsole is a pinstripe feature that adds an informal vibe to the sneaker.

Merrell Primer Canvas History

Founder Randal Merrell established the company in 1981 together with former ski executives Clark Matis and John Schweizer. Merrell has already been crafting customized boots for outdoor enthusiasts, but with Matis’ athletic instincts and Schweizer’s business experience and Italian connection, the trio launched hiking boots.

Merrell released its first shoe in 1983. In the same year, the company built a women’s footwear.

One of the best-sellers from the company was the Merrell Eagle, which features the signature blue laces. It was the first shoe that incorporated multi-sport technologies as it was marketed as a trail running boot.

Merrell sold his shares in 1986 and decided to go back to his first love of customizing boots, and was bought by Montreal-based Karhu. After expanding to 22 countries, the company was acquired by Wolverine World Wide Inc.

Ever since its first release, Merrell has then expanded its products to lifestyle apparel and accessories, that opened up to the casual shoe range.

The Merrell Primer Canvas, which is among Merrell’s low top selections, features an old-school canvas sneaker design, which has spawned other editions like the Merrell Primer Leather and Merrell Primer Mid Leather.

Nice to know

  • A textile tonal strip runs on the lateral side with 3-stitch threading that stand-out against the tonal hue.
  • Debossed, “Merrell’ branding bleeds to the midsole by the heel counter on the lateral side.
  • To secure the fit is a lace loop on the tongue.


The current trend of Merrell Primer Canvas.
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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.