Our History

More than thirty years ago, Randy Merrell embarked on the venture of crafting and producing meticulously tailored boots tailored for a select community of outdoor aficionados. From the outset, these boots were acclaimed as "the finest hiking boots ever crafted." Recognized by Backpacker Magazine as "the premier choice for comfort and functionality in North America," Merrell boots have traversed a remarkable path since their inception. This journey has not only influenced the evolution of our products and workforce but has also solidified our commitment to emerging as a leading global provider of outdoor gear.

Mrl 20160425 Desktop About Heritage1

Our Roots

It all commenced with a personalized set of cowboy boots. Transitioning from a background in industrial shoe manufacturing, Randy Merrell ventured into the realm of handcrafted boot making. Eventually, he decided to apply his exceptional craftsmanship to the creation of hiking boots, igniting a rapid spread of acclaim.

In 1981, Randy joined forces with two former executives from a ski company: the renowned Olympian Clark Matis and John Schweizer, both eager to embark on an independent venture. Randy's artisanal skills combined seamlessly with Clark and John's industry expertise and athletic intuition, forming an ideal partnership. Together, they embarked on the development of a more accessible line of high-performance hiking boots.

Each member of this triumvirate possessed their own unique strengths. Randy spearheaded the original designs for Merrell products. Clark Matis contributed his proficiency in production management and marketing acumen. John Schweizer brought his business acumen and connections from Italy to the table. Collaboratively, the Merrell brand began to take form.

Mrl 20160425 Desktop About Forefathers1

Innovative Advancements

Merrell embraced an unwavering commitment to excellence in boot craftsmanship. Infusing American cowboy boot technology into the Italian manufacturing process, the team introduced a ¼-inch thick heel counter, engineered to ensure boots endured for a decade. Notably, the Wilderness boot, featuring its distinctive blue laces, remains a cornerstone of our product line to this day.

In 1983, Merrell's inaugural products debuted on the market, accompanied by the introduction of our pioneering women's hiking boot equipped with QForm® comfort technology. Tailored specifically to accommodate the unique profile, bone structure, and gait of female hikers, this innovation promised enhanced comfort and performance.

In 1985, we unveiled the Eagle model, merging the performance attributes of running shoes with the practicality of backcountry footwear, resulting in lighter and swifter trail gear. This marked a watershed moment in Merrell's history, signaling our foray into groundbreaking multi-sport technology.

By 1993, our product range expanded to include the first cross-trainer model. Over the subsequent decade, our relentless pursuit of innovation saw the integration of mountain-conquering VIBRAM® SOLES, the introduction of the pioneering Aftersport JUNGLE MOCS, and the debut of our World Collection. Innovation became our creed, with scarcely a moment's pause for rest.

In 2006, Merrell expanded into apparel, forged a partnership with THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION, commemorated three decades in the industry (feeling a bit weathered), and continued to redefine the boundaries of high-performance outdoor equipment.

While the journey thus far has been remarkable, it merely scratches the surface of our aspirations. In 2016, Merrell proudly joined forces with TOUGH MUDDER as the presenting sponsor, celebrating the tenacity and resilience of outdoor enthusiasts through this inspiring challenge, where camaraderie reigns supreme. It presents an ideal opportunity to put our Merrell gear to the ultimate test. We look forward to your participation.

Driven by a spirit of exploration and a commitment to charting our own course, Merrell remains steadfast in our mission to create some of the world's finest footwear, apparel, and accessories. These are the same products we trust to accompany us on our outdoor adventures, and we're gratified to see so many of you embracing them as well.

Mrl 20160425 Desktop About Innovation1

Our Purpose

At the heart of our ethos lies a firm conviction: nothing should hinder the pursuit of exhilarating outdoor escapades. So, set aside that game controller, let your phone recharge for a moment, and bid farewell to excuses. There exists an entire realm awaiting your imprint. Dash. Leap. Stroll. Stumble over a root and graze your knee. Simply embrace your instincts and pursue what feels natural.

Core Principles

From the genesis of our bespoke hiking boots to our latest breakthroughs in product development, we adhere to four fundamental principles: Comfort, Durability, Design, and Versatility. Our mission revolves around dismantling barriers that obstruct the enjoyment of the great outdoors.


We champion the belief that indulging in one's passions should evoke both mental and physical comfort. Scaling Everest demands ample endurance, minus the agony of blisters resembling pancakes. Hence, our products are meticulously crafted to provide utmost comfort.


Merrell gear epitomizes a harmonious blend of aesthetics, functionality, and performance. Our appeal transcends mere superficiality; each product is meticulously designed to seamlessly integrate form, feel, and function.


At Merrell, durability is synonymous with reliability. Our commitment to crafting resilient, high-performance gear echoes the endurance of Stonehenge or the longevity of King Tut's mummified remains. We engineer our gear to withstand the most unforgiving conditions, time and time again.


Our offerings cater to the diverse pursuits of individuals—be it walking, running, hiking, scaling mountains, or simply lounging. Merrell boasts groundbreaking multi-sport technology, ensuring suitability for a broad spectrum of adventures.

Mrl 20160425 Desktop About Mission1