Updates to Merrell MQM Flex

  • The Merrell MQM Flex blurs the line between athletic shoes and day hikers by combining technologies that give it lightness and flex performance. Chief among these technologies is the FLEXconnect which consists of the Hyperlock heel, dual-directional flex groove midsole, and the outsole's anatomical lugs.
  • Its grippy outsole is the M-Select Grip, a Merrell exclusive sole technology. It comes engineered with the TrailProtect pad which provides extra underfoot protection and support.

Size and fit

The MQM Flex is a Merrell hiking gear for men and women. Its generally true-to-size fit is designed for hikers with standard-width feet. It comes in half and full sizes. The shoe’s classic lacing system enables wearers to achieve a personalized lockdown.


M-Select Grip is the outsole that lends users the ability to remain surefooted on unpredictable terrain. It is reinforced with the TrailProtect pad (another Merrell exclusive) to bolster the support and protection the shoe offers. Its 3.5-millimeter lugs produce grip no matter if the surface is dry or wet. These hardwearing lugs are also self-cleaning, which means they are designed to shed most types of debris with every step. The unit slightly encroaches the upper’s toe box for extra protection from trail obstacles.


The MQM Flex has a dual-directional flex-groove midsole for stability and underfoot cushioning. Since it is made of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), this component gets to withstand wear and tear for a considerable amount of time. Its heel section is engineered with Merrell’s Air Cushion technology which ups the footwear’s ability to absorb shock upon every heel strike.

For an even more comfortable ride, Merrell designers gave this hiker a removable footbed. It is also made of EVA, leaving it fairly resilient and stress-resistant.


Constituting the majority of the MQM Flex’s below-the-ankle upper is a combination of mesh fabric and TPU overlays. Its interior is lined with breathable mesh. Its tongue has its sides sealed to wall off intrusive debris. It has a heel counter called Hyperlock which improves the shoe’s overall rearfoot security.

Giving the foot a firm lockdown is the gear’s classic lace-up closure. A set of plated eyelets and a flat synthetic lace make up its entirety. A strip on the tongue is sewn at strategic points, giving the shoe two lace keepers and a pull tab. Then there’s another loop at the back for easy on and off.

Merrell MQM Flex vs. Merrell MQM Flex 2

The Merrell MQM Flex 2 is an updated version of the MQM Flex. See below the differences between the two.

Outsole. The major difference between the earlier and current versions of the MQM Flex lies in the outsole. The MQM 2 features a tackier rubber sole, called Quantum Grip. It's gripper than the earlier version and is also more flexible. The lugs are also deeper in the MQM Flex 2. At 5mm-depth, this outsole is more aggressive and performs really well on mud, loose dirt, gravel, and sand. 

Features. The MQM Flex comes with distinct features, such as the Hyperlock printed TPU film heel counter for security and the TrailProtect pad for underfoot support. These make the shoe really suitable for rugged terrain. Meanwhile, the latest version comes with a rock plate for protection and a protective TPU toe cap which helps keep your feet safe in challenging conditions.

Weight. The MQM Flex is much lighter than the MQM Flex 2. It perfectly fits the bill for anyone looking for a super lightweight shoe that they can use for day hikes.

Nice to know

-MQM stands for “moving quickly in the mountains.”

-Merrell’s MQM line is the answer to the request of their athlete ambassadors for nimble and flexible footwear that has enough protection to tackle the three stages of a mountain: up, over, and down. Products in this collection are built with hiking, trail running, scrambling, and climbing in mind. The MQM Flex was born from this effort.

-This shoe comes in a waterproof version. It is lined with a Gore-Tex membrane.

-Merrell built a shoe that’s designed for city streets from this silhouette. It’s called the MQM Flex Luna.


How Merrell MQM Flex ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 2% hiking shoes
All hiking shoes
Top 2% Merrell hiking shoes
All Merrell hiking shoes
Top 2% day hiking hiking shoes
All day hiking hiking shoes


The current trend of Merrell MQM Flex.
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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.