History 2017-11-03T13:05:23+00:00


Over three decades ago, Randy Merrell was the one who began designing and manufacturing handmade custom boots for a limited group of outdoor enthusiasts.

“The best hiking boots ever made.”
Backpacker magazine

Even back then they were calling them, “The best hiking boots ever made.” Backpacker Magazine named Merrell boots, “the most comfortable and functional boots in North America.”

Since then we’ve come a long way – an adventure that has helped shape our products, our people, and our goal to become one of the world’s top manufacturers of outdoor gear.

From kicking up dust, to CONQUER mountains.

It all started with a personalized pair of cowboy boots. Randy Merrell hops from an industrial shoe-making school to crafting handmade boots. Finally he took the decision to try his highly skilled hand at making hiking boots, and the word spread like wildfire.

In 1981, Randy increased the team with two former ski company executives: all-American Olympian Clark Matis and John Schweizer, who were looking to strike out on their own. Randy’s expert craftsmanship paired with Clark and John’s industry experience and athletic instincts would prove to be the perfect combination. Together, they initiate to design a more accessible model of high-performance hiking boots.

Each one of them had their own prowess. The Original Merrell product designs came from Randy. Clark Matis provided production management knowledge as well as his marketing skills. John Schweizer share his business sensitivity and Italian sources. Together, the Merrell brand started to become more solid.

Taking innovation to THE NEXT STEP

Merrell applied a “no compromise” approach to their boot-making. The team bring the American cowboy boot technology to the Italian boot manufacturing process. The ¼-inch thick heel counter was designed to make boots last a decade. In fact the Wilderness boot, one of the earliest Merrell styles with its signature blue laces, still remains in the line nowadays.

In 1983, the first Merrell products were distributed into the market. That same year we announced our first women’s hiking boot with QForm® comfort technology, specially built to fit the unique profile, bone structure and stride of female hikers, for greater comfort and performance.

In 1985 we launched our Eagle model, that mix running shoe performance with backcountry utility to create lighter and faster footwear for the trail. It was the first of its kind in Merrell history and marked the beginning of our movement towards ground breaking multi-sport technology.

In 1993 we released our first cross-trainer model. Over the next 10 years we went all out innovation and added the mountain conquering Vibram® soles, launched the first ever Aftersport Jungle Mocs, and introduced our World Collection.

In 2006 we launched Merrell Apparel, in collaboration with the National Park Foundation, turned 30 (felt old) and kept pushing the limits of high-performance outdoor equipment.

It’s been an amazing trip, but we’ve really only just begun. In 2016 we produce footwear that marks the state of the art in regards of performance credentials. Being known for our outstanding comfort we are adding more benefits by using the 2 most performing outdoor Vibram outsoles in some of our products: Vibram MegaGrip and ArcticGrip. In that way we are staying at the forefront of innovation and performance.

Exploration and following our own path has been in our nature from the very beginning. Today, Merrell continues to make some of the world’s greatest footwear, apparel and accessories. It’s the kind of stuff we wear ourselves when we’re out enjoying the great outdoors, and we’re happy to see that so many of you have been wearing it too and sharing with us our passion for being outside.

Merrell is on a mission.

We believe that nothing should get in the way of enjoying active outdoor adventures. So put down that game controller, leave your phone on the charger for a minute, and check your excuses at the door. There’s a whole world you can leave your mark on. Run. Jump. Jog. Walk. Trip on a root and skin your knee. Just make sure you do your own thing. Do what’s natural.

What we really take care of

From our very first custom made hiking boots to our latest product innovations, we make all of our products with four core values in mind: Comfort, Durability, Design, and Versatility. It’s all about removing and exploring the barriers to enjoying the great outdoors.


We believe that doing what you love should feel good, both mentally and physically. Climbing Everest is taxing enough without blisters the size of pancakes on your feet. We make our products to fit as comfortably as possible, so you will be able to do everything you want comfortably.


Merrell gear is made to feel right, look right and perform right. Our beauty is not only skin-deep. We go to great lengths to ensure that form, feel and functionality all come together seamlessly.


Merrell stands for durable, high-performance products that last. Like Stoneheng last. Like mummified King Tut last. We build our gear to endure in the harshest conditions, over, and over again.


These boots were made for walking, and running, and hiking and climbing mountains, or just sitting around. Merrell fits a wide variety of people, for a wide variety of adventures. We’re about ground breaking multi-sport technology.


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