Started in 1981 in Waitsfield, Vermont, Merrell is one of America's leading shoe retailers. Known best for its durable boots, Merrell now makes a wide variety of outdoor shoes. The company was sold to Wolverine World Wide in 1997, but hasn't lost a bit of its reputation for high quality at low cost. In what follows, you'll find out more about their current women's shoe and boot offerings.
Merrell was one of the first to join in on the "barefoot shoe" craze. It currently offers a few of these shoes, which attempt to recreate the experience of walking barefoot, which encourages natural walking and enhances strength and muscle growth. The Barefoot Pace Glove is one such shoe, which uses a Vibram sole and ultra lightweight upper to keep you moving fast on the trails. Merrell's multi-sport line is made for basic trail conditions and aren't quite as heavy duty as their hiking boots. The Avian Light Ventilator is one such shoe, which uses Strobel construction for extra stability and a lightweight and waterproof nubuck leather to keep you dry and stylish. The Encore Breeze 2 is a slip on for after the hike, with a 1Form Comfort midsole for relaxation and extra cushioning. The Mezame Ballet is a streetware Merrell with a Cita-XY footbed and Aegis antimicrobial technology to keep them smelling great. If you plan to get wet, the WaterPro Crystal has a Z-Rap buckle enclosure that keep you secure without unnecessary tightness, as well as a QForm Comfort midsole. If you're on the market for a heavy duty hiking boot, get the Outbound Mid GORE-TEX, with a Vibram outsole and 7mm lugs that keep you moving through tough conditions.