In 1981, Clark Matis and John Schweizer--executives for the Rossignol ski company at the time--joined forces with Randy Merrell to launch a new brand of hiking boots called Merrell. The trio worked for two years before releasing their first design, which was manufactured at a factory in Italy. Throughout the '80s, Merrell continued innovating boots and distributing them across the country. Randy Merrell actually sold his share of the company in 1986, bit it continued to bear his name. The brand was acquired by Karhu in 1987, and operations moved to Asia. Facing fewer overhead costs, Merrell saw a major increase in profitability in the early '90s and expanded its distribution network to cover countries across the globe.
Wolverine World Wide bought Merrell in 1997 and brought headquarters back to the U.S. Under this new parent, the brand began to diversify into other types of footwear, and it eventually added apparel and accessories to its product line in 2007. Merrell products are sold at the company's own concept stores, as well as via sporting goods stores and online. Today, the brand has a presence in more than 150 countries, and it is constantly continuing to grow.
Footwear continues to be Merrell's most popular category among adults, and it's the only type of apparel the company makes for kids. The Juncle Moc--a slip-on shoe combining the comfort of a moccasin with the integrity of a sneaker--is known as the brand's signature design, and it is available in sizes for men, women, and children. Other kids' shoes include hiking boots, rugged sneakers, and snow boots. In women's footwear, you can find an array of running shoes, walking shoes, and shoes specifically designed for the outdoors. The brand also offers women's sandals, filp-flops, clogs, ballet flats, boots, booties, and more.
Most of Merrell's apparel is made for active women who are looking for a brand to trust in all types of weather. Workout tops include moisture-wicking tees, tanks, and sports bras, and you'll also find fleeces, rain jackets, ponchos, and parkas for colder conditions. In bottoms, leggings and running shorts are popular for casual activewear, while trail pants and belay pants are preferred among hikers and climbers. The brand also makes some fashion-centric clothes, including dresses, skirts, blouses, tunics, and button-downs. In accessories, the full range of cold-weather gear is available, such as scarves, hats, gloves, mittens, and more.
Technology has always been one of the key considerations when it comes to Merrell's shoes and clothes. From partnering with renowned shoemaker Randy Merrell in the brand's early days to a continuing commitment to integrating the latest advancements into its clothes and footwear today, the company has always been very customer-centric. Whereas other manufacturers might have thousands of different products for sale at all times, Merrell keeps its collections relatively small so as to ensure that only the best options hit store shelves. We give Merrell 4.5 stars out of 5.
- Established 1981
- Hiking footwear and apparel
- Sold at:
- Merrell stores, shoe stores, sporting goods stores, online
- Types of items:
- Hiking boots, sneakers, moccasins, rain boots, slip-ons, ballet flats, clogs, sandals, flip-flops, boots, booties, exercise tees, tanks, fleeces, hiking jackets, parkas, leggings, shorts, trail pants, dresses, hats, scarves, gloves, handbags, backpacks
- Related brands:
- Vibram, Hush Puppies, Keds, Sebago, Saucony, Stride Rite, Sperry Top-Sider, Bates