Summary

We spent 8.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what hikers think:

7 reasons to buy

  • Dozens of reviewers, including gear bloggers, don't hesitate in calling this Merrell shoe impressively lightweight.
  • Its eye-catching aesthetics has deeply delighted numerous users; the men like its dapper looks, while the women adore its playful colors.
  • Many owners, which include someone who has a prosthetic leg, give the Merrell MQM Flex top marks in the comfort department.
  • This hiker stuns a considerable number of consumers with its superbly supportive arch zone.
  • Footwear pundits are all praises for the footgear’s amazing grip performance.
  • Some patrons applaud the excellent ventilation system of the shoe.
  • It has taken a couple of trail enthusiasts only a few days to completely break in this low-top hiking gear.

1 reasons not to buy

  • The MQM Flex’s confines irked one user for being too narrow.

Bottom line

There are hikers who require A-grade lightness and comfort in their footwear. Then there are those who wish to own a shoe that has a precise fit and beautiful craftsmanship. Fortunately, the MQM Flex has all such criteria in spades.

Its arch support and surface traction are nothing to be scoffed at either. That said, it has been reported to have a restrictive width—a downside that might come as a huge letdown for some. To conclude, the Merrell MQM Flex is a monster of gear, even with its hit-or-miss width included in the mix.

Facts

Rankings

A top rated hiking shoe
Top 4% most popular hiking shoes
It has never been more popular than this July

Expert Reviews

91 / 100 based on 9 expert reviews

  • 100 / 100 | Merrell | | Level 1 expert

    This shoe is designed by a team of our ambassadors to be everything you'll need in the mountains—part runner, part trail hiker.

  • 100 / 100 | Merrell | | Level 1 expert

    We love this shoe because it's super versatile, and it allows us to move quickly in the mountains with ease.

  • 75 / 100 | Switchback Travel | | Level 3 expert

    The MQM Flex isn’t a one-quiver mountain shoe as advertised, but it’s perfectly capable for hiking and the occasional trail run.

  • 97 / 100 | Mindful Explorer | | Level 2 expert

    It stood up to every test I put it through and did honestly live up to MQM, Moving Quickly in the Mountains.

  • 89 / 100 | Australian Hiker | Level 2 expert

    They are one of the most comfortable shoes out of the box I have used and they deserve a place in your hiking kit.

  • 100 / 100 | Sidetracked | | Level 1 expert

    Our objective on the Great Glen Challenge is to move fast and light, covering nearly 200km in four days, and the MQM Flex trainer is the perfect choice for this style of adventure.

Become an expert

  • 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.

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.

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.

-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.

Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.

paul@runrepeat.com