Verdict from 1 expert and 100+ user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • According to most Merrell Zion reviews, this lightweight hiking shoe is extremely comfortable straight out of the box.
  • Several satisfied customers have mentioned about its attractive sneaker-inspired design.
  • It's a pretty solid lightweight hiking shoe, some customers have mentioned.
  • It offers a good amount of grip on slippery descents and ascents as well as slick mud, according to an in-depth review.
  • An expert review has happily talked about the impact-resistant midsole that makes hiking more enjoyable.
  • This hiking shoe from Merrell has a pretty roomy fit which is preferable for long walks, says an avid hiker.

1 reason not to buy

  • The Merrell Zion hiking shoes aren't rugged enough for really challenging terrain, says an expert review.

Bottom line

A lightweight hiking shoe with the fit and comfort of a sneaker, the Merrell Zion has gained excellent ratings for being downright comfortable. It is well-loved for its cushiony underfoot, grippy outsole, and impact-resistant midsole.

Many also appreciate the roomy fit that makes trail walking even more enjoyable. While they look like your favorite sneakers, the Zion hiking shoes definitely have more to offer. They perfectly fit the bill for anyone looking for sturdy shoes they can use on the trail and on the streets.

Tip: see the best hiking shoes.

Good to know

-This Merrell hiking shoe is inspired by the design of trail running shoes and the comfort of a sneaker. With an upper made of leather and ballistic mesh, users are protected from knocks and bumps. A bellows tongue and rubber toe cap add another layer of defense. 

-Merrell’s Zion carries an EVA midsole that is both lightweight and durable. It is paired with the brand’s very own Kinetic Fit Base insole for a supportive ride. On the other hand, a grippy Vibram outsole—made of Megagrip compound—provides ground adherence.

The Zion shoe from Merrel is a low-top model with a stretchy mesh upper that wraps the foot snugly and comfortably. This shoe features a lace-up closure for a secure fit. There are straps on the sides connected to the laces that help keep the heel in place during movement. 

The Zion from Merrell uses a Vibram Megagrip outsole. This sticky unit has 5 mm deep lugs that anchor to a variety of terrain. The boots are designed to provide multidirectional traction, regardless of the ground condition. The textured spaces between each lug prevent the accumulation of mud and dirt. The sole extends upwards in the toe area that helps reinforce the foot’s protection against painful knocks.

This low-top hiking shoe from Merrell comes with a compression-molded ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole. It gives wearers stability and comfort, especially when tackling rugged terrain. Comfort is further enhanced by bi-density EVA inserts placed at the rear- and forefoot. Cradling the hiker’s foot is a Kinetic Fit Base insole that also yields intuitive support. 

The product engineers added the trademarked FlexPlate technology underfoot. This feature’s lightweight construction renders amplified comfort, reducing fatigue over long periods of use. It is also an impact-resistant material that protects the foot from sharp rocks and roots.

Merrell’s Zion has a durable upper made of a combination of full-grain leather and ballistic mesh. Its interior is imbued with a breathable mesh for optimal comfort. The shoe is designed with a bellows tongue and rubber toe cap to optimize protection against outdoor elements. The bellows tongue helps keep debris out, and the toe cap shields the user’s foot against painful knocks on rocky grounds. 

The shoe’s lacing system employs metal eyelets and webbing loops that aid in fit management. This system works with the integrated webbing stability arm to prevent heel slippage and maximize trail performance. 

Both the Zion and Moab 2 Ventilator are breathable hiking shoes best worn in the summer. Check out their major differences below:

Weight. The Zion is much more lightweight than the Moab 2 Ventilator which makes it ideal for fast hikers. Lightweight shoes are really comfortable to wear and don't put too much strain on the feet and prevent the wearer from experiencing fatigue. 

Price. The Moab 2 Ventilator has a lower price tag than the Zion. It isn't much surprising because the Zion shoe incorporates full-grain leather into the upper. It also comes with other features like the ultralight FlexPlate technology that adds torsional rigidity and an impact-resistant TPU in the midsole.

Style. If you prefer a more traditional-looking hiking shoe, the Moab 2 Ventilator is a great choice. But if you want something different and more sneaker-like, the Zion fits the bill. This lightweight hiking shoe is touted for its stylish design. You can pair it nicely with casual clothes. Both the Moab 2 Ventilator and the Zion are available in different colorways.

The Zion Collection from Merrell includes a wide range of hiking shoe styles. Read on to know more about the other available variants and some of their key features.
Merrell Zion Waterproof. This model uses the brand-owned M Select Dry membrane to seal out water while still allowing the foot to breathe.
Merrell Zion Boa Gore-Tex. Crafted using the silhouette of Zion, this model is further enhanced through the incorporation of a quick-to-adjust Boa closure system and a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane. The former delivers speedy adjustment solutions for improved performance. The latter, on the other hand, grants a waterproof and breathable interior.


How Merrell Zion ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 28% hiking shoes
All hiking shoes
Top 26% Merrell hiking shoes
All Merrell hiking shoes
Top 27% day hiking hiking shoes
All day hiking hiking shoes


The current trend of Merrell Zion.
Compare to another shoe:
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.