Merrell Minimalist Running Shoes: The Future for Your Feet in 2021

The way we look at our feet is evolving. Not too long ago, our ancestors strode everywhere in bare feet or sandals with minimal padding and protection. People make sandals from old tires, and new studies show that barefoot running can reduce cancer risk

Brands tackle the science behind it, like Merrell minimalist running shoes, as we learn more about what our feet need. They are developing shoes that work with your feet’ strengths and weaknesses instead of hiding them. 

If you’re curious about Merrell and the future of your feet, then read on. We will explore the Merrell brand, its benefits, and what makes their shoes so unique. 

The Merrell brand

merrell banner for the new collection

Merrell is a manufacturer of technologically advanced shoes designed to keep your feet comfortable and working for decades. They have a wide range of products from hiking boots to barefoot water shoes and sell them worldwide. 

Their self-proclaimed “Merrell Magic” is the perfect combination of performance, comfort, and fit to make the ideal shoes of the future. 

They focus on cushioning, weight, insolation, environments, breathability, and shape to produce the perfect shoe for any activity you have planned. 

History and development

Merrell first hit the shoe design scene in 1981. Clark Matis and John Schweizer decided to leave the ski company and start their hiking boot brand. They partnered with Randal Ivan Merrell (a custom boot designer) to create their design. 

They released their first shoe, the Moab, in 1982 and went on to much success afterward. In 1997, Wolverine World Wide purchased them and continued to make cheap and innovative shoe designs for all types of sports and activities.

Advantages of Merrell shoes

a pair of black merrell barefoot shoes with soles on meadow

Now let’s learn about some of the advantages to Merrell’s shoes and their brand. 

A wide variety of products

They may have started with just hiking boots, but now Merrell is the manufacturer of five different product types for a range of six broad activities. They have boots, shoes, sandals, slip-on, and barefoot shoes for water sports, trail running, hiking, after-sport, all-day wear, and work. 

Trail running barefoot shoes 

The flatfooted design of Merrell’s barefoot shoes is comfortable, practical, and right on par with the barefoot running revolution of today. They’ve been ranked on several blogs as some of the best barefoot running shoes you can buy. The best part? They’re also available for children

Socially just company with an eye on the environment

Merrell also has positive ambitions for its employees and the environment. Their “The Trail Ahead” initiative embraces consumers and employees from all facets and folds of life. They want to create a workspace, product, and environment that is welcoming to everyone. 

Disadvantages of Merrell shoes

While there aren’t many, let’s look at the main disadvantages of the Merrell brand. 

Ankle support

I found my ankles much more flimsy in Merrell shoes than some of my other favorite brands. This is because they emphasize minimalism, and that means using light fabrics and designs. It’s excellent for feeling free on the trail, but when you’re going back down, you might miss some of that support. 


While Merrell has comfortable, lightweight shoes, some extra weight would be nice for stability. When you’re on a narrow or rocky trail, it’s nice to have a little more weight to keep your feet firmly on the ground. Unfortunately, you lose some stability with the Merrell brand for what you gain in comfort. 

Merrell compared to other brands

When comparing Merrell minimalist running shoes to other brands, we need to consider their philosophy and consumer base. Merrell wants to create shoes that are minimalist, meaning they have simple designs for direct purposes. That being said, they’re more of a budget shoe company. 

Some designer or high-end brands in the same market as Merrell, like Timberland (for hiking boots) and Vivobarefoot (for barefoot running shoes), have slightly less positive reviews. 

However, for the price you’re paying with Merrell, you’re getting a quality product. In addition, the shoes will last the standard amount of time.

If you buy shoes from Merrell for a specific purpose like hiking or water sports, it will perform its job well, and you won’t be disappointed. You might be more impressed than by a more expensive brand. 

Most famous Merrell shoes

Merrell has several successful shoe models, here are our top three.

Merrell Mix Master

one green merrell mix master 4 barefoot shoe

This barefoot shoe from Merrell is a light, grippy, and versatile hybrid trail runner that is comfortable.

This hybrid has an external rear strap that locks in the heel, a breathable mesh lining, and an EVA foam insole.

This EVA foam midsole is for stability and comfort, and an M Select™ GRIP outsole grips when and where you need it.

The shoe is vegan-friendly, with a stack height of 24.7/18.7mm with a 4mm drop.

Moab II Mid

one brown merrell moab 2 mid barefoot shoe

The Men’s Moab 2 Prime Mid Waterproof by Merrell is a great pair of hiking boots. They feature the same great out-of-the-box fit as all of our Moabs, now with an all-leather upper.

These boots are waterproof, and the upper is made of suede and full-grain leather with webbing loops for secure lacing. In addition, the boots have a bellows tongue and a protective rubber toe cap.

These boots also have a Merrell Air Cushion in the heel and a compression-molded EVA midsole. In addition, the M Select DRY membrane and Vibram TC5+ outsole provide the boots with excellent waterproofing and stability.

These boots weigh 2lb 3oz and have a lug depth of 5mm.

The Moab is the best-selling hiking boot in the world. It’s an affordable boot that’s great for trails and incredibly comfortable.

The shoe doesn’t go very far up the ankle, making these boots feel more like hi-top sneakers than your typical hiking boot. 

Jungle Moc

one pair of merrell jungle moc eco barefoot shoes in the cornfield

The Merrell Jungle Moc Eco Shoes is an eco-friendly and low-maintenance shoe. The upper is made of recycled webbing, the lining is made of recycled canvas, the footbed is made of recycled mesh, the rubber is made of recycled rubber, and the outsole is made of recycled rice husk.

The shoe also has Merrell Air Cushion in the heel, absorbing shock and adding stability.

While this isn’t Merrell’s most popular product, it’s got great reviews and gained popularity. A modern take on the classic moccasin, these comfortable rubber-bottom shoes are great for a stroll in the city or a day spent on the couch. 

Who are Merrell shoes for?

Merrell has shoe models for men, women, and children. Their most popular shoes are hiking boots which are also available for all genders and ages. 

Merrell’s primary customers are conscious of their foot health but don’t want to break the bank on the more prominent brands.


Overall, I think Merrell’s minimalist running shoes are perfect for anyone who wants different shoes at a reasonable price. There are plenty of affordable shoe brands, but none offer as many innovative shoe designs on the cutting edge of technology. 

If you’ve had your own experiences with Merrell barefoot shoes, help others out and write about it in the comments.

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