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    Learn About Merrell’s History


    Discover the history of Merrell boots, apparel and running shoes


    Get outside in rugged hiking boots, lightweight running shoes and protective apparel today. From 1981 and on into the future, Merrell has been a top-provider of performance outerwear, giving you what you need to combat the elements and conquer your summits. Check out Merrell’s brand history below to learn more about our products and people, then find your favorite pair and explore the outdoors.

  • 1981 — Randy Merrell's Boots
    The original Merrell hiking boots.

    The best hiking boots ever made. That's what Randy Merrell's customers were saying in 1981. Backpacker Magazine named them "the most comfortable and functional boots in North America."

    That's just the beginning of Merrell's history. Word spread, and like all legends, ours grew. Today, we're much more than boots. We're the gear that gets you out there—from city streets to mountain trails and everywhere in between. Find the original men's Wilderness boot or browse our other collections today.

  • 1983 — Women's Last Introduced
    Women's Last Introduced.

    When it comes to the differences between men and women, feet might be the last thing you think of, yet women’s feet are significantly different. Which is why when we build women’s footwear, we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. We design our lasts to fit the unique profile, bone structure and stride that women need for greater comfort and performance.

  • 1985 — Eagle Boots Debut
    Eagle Boots

    Eagle boots combined 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 the beginning of our movement toward groundbreaking multi-sport technologies.

  • 1988 — Backpacker Magazine’s best hiker
    Backpacker Magazine’s best hiker

    We’ve won a lot of awards, but winning Backpacker Magazine’s Best Hiker for Merrell Leather in ’88 was special. In fact they called our boots “the best in the world.” Over a decade later, we’re still making ‘em like we used to. Check out our backpacking grade hiking boots to see how the legend continues.

  • 1989 — Merrell Goes Global
    Merrell Goes Global

    Our footwear had forded a lot of streams and stomped through plenty of puddles by 1989, but crossing the pond to the U.K. was the biggest splash in Merrell history yet. It announced that even an ocean-sized boundary couldn’t hold us back from breaking new ground or exploring the world outside.

  • 1992 — Merrell Hits 38 Employees
    Merrell Hits 38 Employees

    Throughout the history of the Merrell brand, our people have designed, tested and promoted the footwear that sets us apart. We’re proud of our accomplishments and thank them for making us who we are today. Here’s to the original 38 from 1992.

    Take a quantum leap into the future. Wait, the past. Ugh, time travel is confusing.

  • 1993 — Our Original Cross-Trainer
    Our Original Cross-Trainer

    Front Range was the next evolution in our pursuit of faster and lighter footwear. We started with lightweight leather uppers and built them on a more agile athletic platform. The result provided runners and hikers with speed, stability and durability. It was the first in a long line of multi-sport and cross-training products designed to help you go farther, faster.

  • 1995 — Vibram® Brings New Sole to Merrell Footwear
    Vibram® Brings New Sole to Merrell Footwear

    Vibram has led the way to summits like Mt Everest and K2 for decades. Famed for their lightweight, long-wearing and flexible soles that provide excellent traction and high abrasion resistance, the Vibram team was a perfect fit for our high-performance footwear.

    Our future is looking bright. See what happens next.

  • 1998 — Aftersport Jungle Mocs 1st of their Kind
    Aftersport Jungle Mocs 1st of their Kind

    The Jungle Moc makes Merrell and industry history by creating the new Aftersport category of casual shoes. These slip-ons featured the comfort technologies from our performance footwear but in a casual format. Molded nylon arch shanks, compression molded EVA footframes, Merrell Air Cushioned heels and sticky rubber soles provide the perfect fit and comfort after a hard day of play.

    Fast forward to 2011. Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock calls the Jungle Moc “The greatest shoe ever sold,” in his movie The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.

  • 1999 — Introducing Little Feet to Big Performance
    Introducing Little Feet to Big Performance

    The launch of Merrell Kids brought all-ages fun and performance to our lineup of footwear. Today, we’ve expanded to fit every kind of adventure with every kind of footwear, from boots, sandals Jungle Mocs, shoes and even Barefoot—but more about that later.

    Speaking of kids, this is the year they named NSYNC their favorite group at the Kids’ Choice Awards. Ah, the 90s. Goodbye 20th century, hello 21st.

  • 2002 — Introducing the World Collection
    Introducing the World Collection

    Exploring the outdoors is a consistent theme in Merrell’s history. We’ve been known to follow our own path wherever it takes us. That includes heading out to distant shores. Our travels inspired a new collection of footwear that blended sophisticated style with our legendary outdoor performance. Check out the World Collection.

  • 2003 — QForm® Comfort Technology for Women
    QForm® Comfort Technology for Women

    Building on our history with the Lasts collection, QForm technology was developed in partnership with Sport Biomechanics, Inc. to create customized footwear for women. By addressing the anatomical and biomechanical differences between men and women, we engineered a midsole that provides unique support, cushioning and corrective positioning to help women go farther in exceptional comfort and performance.

  • 2004 — Team Merrell Founded by Robyn Benincasa
    Team Merrell by Robyn Benincasa

    We were incredibly honored to have Robyn found Team Merrell. She’s gone on to rack up an impressive list of accomplishments over the years. She’s a 2-time adventure race world champion, 10-time Ironman finisher, and Guinness world record holder for 24-hour flatwater paddling to name just a few.

    Team Merrell includes a roster of 10 of the most inspirational outdoor athletes competing today. We couldn’t be more proud to sponsor their achievements and help them reach their goals.

  • 2006 — Merrell Apparel Launched-and more
    Merrell Apparel Lauchned

    2006 was a big year in Merrell’s history. It marked the debut of our line of outdoor adventure wear for men and women. Over the coming years the line would grow to include several apparel technologies, like Opti-Shell, Opti-Warm and AreoBlock. Eventually this evolved to the M-Select line in 2013 with M-Select Dry waterproof gear, M-Select Warm insulation and M-Select Wind protection to name a few. Check out the benefits that come with M-Select technologies from Merrell to get outside and brave the elements.

    It was also the year Merrell UK won Drapers Footwear Brand of the Year. The magazine has been an authority on UK fashions for 120 years. Cheers, Drapers. Thanks for the award and a cracking good time.

  • 2009 — Merrell Partners with National Parks Foundation
    Merrell Partners with National Parks Foundation

    Outside at its best. That’s what the millions of acres within our public lands provide each and every visitor. Naturally, we’ve made preserving the majesty and beauty they contain one of our top priorities.

    Through our partnership with the National Parks Foundation, we’re raising awareness of the challenges America’s National Parks face and helping people see the importance of conservation and stewardship. We encourage you to visit the National Park Foundation to learn more.

  • 2011 — Turning 30, launching Origins
    Turning 30, launching Origins

    We celebrated our 30th year with the launch of Merrell Origins. The collection brings back top styles from the Merrell brand's history, such as our Wilderness, Eagle and Solo footwear from 1981—all updated with modern technologies for even better comfort and performance.

    Also in 2011, our partnership with Vibram® continued with the launch of Barefoot—a collection of low-profile, 0mm heel drop shoes for all your outside adventures.

  • The Future
    The Future

    Standing still isn’t part of our plan. We’re constantly innovating new technologies and products to help you get outside. Here’s to another 30 years of adventure! Let’s get outside.