I'm a first time Merrell buyer, but these shoes made a believer out of me! These are by far the most comfortable hiking shoes I've ever had. The traction is incredible and the stability over rough terrain is fantastic. The only downside I noticed to these are the laces that come with them. Like another reviewer said, the laces are coated in something (probably for waterproofing) and come untied very easily. I found out early on to double knot them and check them regularly. I may end up buying new laces for these as it can be annoying having them come undone often. Aside from the laces though (a small downside in my eyes), these are a great buy!!