Merrell vs Salomon – Who Makes the Most Comfortable Hiking Shoes?

Here, I’ve decided to focus on two acclaimed hiking boots and shoe manufacturers: Merrel and Salomon. Which brand makes the most comfortable hiking shoes? Let’s compare them side by side and find an answer to that question.

There’s nothing quite like hiking. What’s not to like about the scents and sounds of Mother Nature, the fresh mountain air, and the unforgettable views? However, sore feet can ruin your hike. I have had this experience, and it turns a great day out into a hike I just want done.

Are Merrell Shoes Good Quality?

merrell hiking shoes

Established in 1981, Merrell was the vision of John Schweizer, Clark Matis, and Randy Merrell.

As the brand’s name suggests, Randy was the project’s mastermind. He already had extensive experience making custom hiker boots. Together, these guys decided to focus on designing and manufacturing footwear that would offer top-notch performance at an affordable price.

Merrell is known for making some of the most comfortable and affordable hiking shoes and boots on the market. Each hike boot or shoe produced by this company guarantees quality and durability while also coming at a reasonable price. Merrell Moab 2 and Moab 3 shoes, which we’ll be taking a look at later, are a great example of this.

When discussing Merrel vs. Salomon, it’s important to mention that both brands rely on sustainable production methods. In other words, Merrell aims to use as many natural materials as possible (like leather) and some synthetic ones (like nylon and polyester).

Some of Merrell’s most renowned technologies include the Kinetic Fit insole (a special design that offers support to the arch and heel of the wearer’s foot) and the M-Select Dry waterproof membrane (unfortunately, the already mentioned Merrell Moab 2 hiking shoes are not water-resistant). Merrell mostly relies on Vibram for outsoles.

This brand offers reasonable prices for most of its hiking boots and shoes. Their lightweight, less technical models start at around $80, while their top-notch offerings go up to around $250. A Merrell hiking shoe or boot at this price will provide excellent protection, comfort, and grip.

Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoes

Merrell hiking shoes

Out of all the hiking boots and shoes manufactured by this company, Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoes are the best example of the company’s aim to offer expertly crafted footwear at genuinely affordable prices.

The Merrell Moab 2 Vent is one of the most popular and comfortable hiking shoes. While not waterproof, it is a great choice for those who need a light shoe for day hikes and trail running. Unlike most hikers’ boots, Moab 2 is much lighter, at a mere 1.93 pounds. It’s a hiking shoe that works best for short, moderate ventures like day hikes.

Just like every shoe manufactured by Merrell, Moab 2 can be taken straight from the box to the trail. It comes with a generously spacious foot box and thick laces that are easy to untie. However, if you don’t find the model’s laces to your liking, remember that you can always replace them with better ones.

Due to its mesh upper, Merrell Moab 2 is also breathable and pleasant to wear in warm weather. The support, however, is more than sufficient for light hiking needs. The Kinetic Fit insole provides good torsional rigidity and arch support.

Thanks to its Vibram outsole, this shoe grips most surfaces well. While not as rugged as your standard hiking boot, the model performs well in mud, snow, and dry and wet rocks. In fact, its overall traction matches that of the far more expensive trail running shoes.

In terms of durability, these shoes are more than capable of withstanding a lot of trail abuse. A suede leather overlay protects the breathable mesh in the upper, while the outsoles show no signs of wear and tear even after hundreds of miles of walking. A well-designed rubber toe cap also deserves a mention.

All in all, Moab 2 offers excellent comfort, support, and traction. It’s one of the best options in its price range, which is often the case with footwear made by Merrell. An important thing to mention is that the company also offers a waterproof version of Moab 2, which costs $25 more. If you want to compare more Brands like Merrell, check out Oboz vs Merrell comparison.

Check Latest Price

Is Salomon a Good Brand?

salomon hiking shoes

Established in 1947 in Annecy, France, Salomon started out as a metalworking shop. Seven decades later, Salomon is widely considered one of the best hiking shoe brands on the market.. Their products are stunningly diverse and cover activities such as hiking, trail running, snowboarding, and skiing.

Regarding footwear, Salomon hiking boots and shoes are known for their premium materials, advanced technologies, and exceptional durability. There’s something for everyone – from boots that can be used on all terrain to comfortable, lightweight shoes.

Besides using various materials and manufacturing techniques to design and create footwear, the company also heavily relies on cutting-edge technologies as one of the most innovative brands on the market. Salomon X Ultra Mid 4 GTX is a great example of how feature-packed the company’s boots often are – we’ll take a closer look at it later.

Besides Gore-Tex, a waterproofing technology used by many other brands, Salomon boots and shoes often come with Contagrip soles. These greatly help traction and make footwear feel stable and secure in rugged terrain.

Salomon’s OrthoLite die-cut insole technology deserves special praise. It provides great comfort to the wearer’s foot and promotes high breathability. Other proprietary technologies worth mentioning are Advanced Chassis and SensiFit.

In addition, many boots and shoes made by this company usually come with a protective toe cap and a gusseted tongue whose purpose is to stop the dirt from getting inside the footwear as you’re walking. Pricewise, their products are more expensive than Merrell’s – after all, Salomon’s boots and shoes are made out of premium materials and sport more bells and whistles.

Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX

SALOMON Men's X Ultra 3 Mid Gore-tex Hiking Boots

There are many good things about Salomon as a brand, but the naming convention they use for their footwear isn’t one.

The boots we’re about to analyze here shouldn’t be confused with Salomon X Ultra 3, their low-top, more lightweight offering. However, I will compare these two options throughout the rest of the text, as one may be more suitable for your needs than the other.

In the Merrell vs Salomon battle, Salomon definitely takes the cake regarding durability. Salomon X Ultra 3 and Mid 3 GTX are outstandingly durable, with the latter being particularly resistant to abrasion. After all, Mid GTX is the company’s high-top offering that is made to endure all kinds of trail conditions.

Furthermore, the Mid GTX weighs more (2.28 pounds) than the Salomon X Ultra 3 (1.93 pounds). As such, it provides more support and stability to its wearer. It also offers better traction due to the already-mentioned Contagrip soles the company uses on most of its footwear. The lug pattern found on the Mid 3 GTX is a true lifesaver in muddy and wet terrain.

However, this doesn’t mean that the company’s lighter offering, Salomon X Ultra 3, can’t be used for more demanding outdoor adventures. Just like its taller and heavier cousin, this shoe performs well on all kinds of terrain. Its more nimble nature than Mid 3 GTX makes it a better option for ultralight backpackers.

However, the Salomon X Ultra 3 lacks the ruggedness of its bigger (and pricier) cousin. Mid 3 GTX is a proven performer in intense thru-hikes and a much better option for professional outdoorsmen. X Ultra 3, on the other hand, is more suitable for those who like to pick up the pace and move fast and light.

Overall, the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX is a fantastic option for hikers needing more stability to carry heavier packs. And, as we said before, it’s a great example of how versatile and feature-packed the boots made by this company are, particularly when compared to more budget-oriented brands such as Merrell.

Check Latest Price

Which Brand of Hiking Shoes is the Best?

Salomon vs Merrel which brand is a better choice? The answer will depend on what you’re looking for.

You won’t go wrong with Merrell if you’re looking for the most affordable, comfortable hiking shoes that provide decent support and traction. The Moab 2 and Moab 3 are among the best hiking shoes you can buy for under $150.

On the other hand, those who need the most durable, feature-packed hiking shoes or boots for long hikes on challenging terrains should opt for Salomon instead. While pricier, Salomon boots like the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX use premium materials and technologies to provide the best performance and comfort on the trail.


Are Salomon shoes good for hiking?

Yes, Salomon makes some of the best hiking shoes and boots on the market. They are known for using premium materials and advanced technologies to provide exceptional trail comfort, durability, and performance. Popular models like the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX are great for long hikes on challenging terrain.

Is Merrell a good brand for hiking shoes?

Absolutely. Merrell is among the most popular and respected brands in the hiking footwear industry. I have used these shoes on and off for many years. They offer a wide range of high-quality, affordable hiking shoes and boots that are comfortable right out of the box. The Merrell Moab 2 and Moab 3 are some of the best hiking shoes you can buy for under $150. 

How do Salomon and Merrell’s shoes fit?

For most people, Salomon and Merrell’s shoes tend to run true to size. However, I find Salomon shoes are known for having a slightly narrower fit, especially in the heel and midfoot, which some hikers find more supportive. Merrell shoes often have a roomier toe box, which can be more comfortable for those with wider feet. It’s always best to try on shoes in person or order from a retailer with a good return policy to ensure you get the right fit.

Are Salomon’s hiking shoes worth the money?

While Salomon hiking shoes are more expensive than other brands, most hikers find them worth the investment. The high-quality materials, durable construction, and advanced features like Gore-Tex waterproofing and Contagrip outsoles provide excellent long-term value. Salomon also offers many models to fit different budgets and hiking styles.

What are the most comfortable Merrell walking shoes?

The Merrell Moab 2 and Moab 3 consistently rank among the most comfortable walking and hiking shoes on the market. They have a supportive, contoured insole and a roomy toe box, allowing your feet to spread naturally. The air cushion in the heel absorbs shock, while the Vibram outsole provides good traction on various surfaces. Many people find they can wear Merrell Moabs all day without any discomfort.

5 thoughts on “Merrell vs Salomon – Who Makes the Most Comfortable Hiking Shoes?”

  1. I have this pair of Salomon. Took them on 500 miles of Camino de Santiago. Performed very well. Got one size larger. No blisters whatsoever. And sole hardly wore out.

  2. I have several pair of Merrill MOABs and very happy. I have well over a 2000 miles on them. I walk 5-15 miles a day, often in the woods and on a beach. Extremely comfortable and very impressed with durability. I often walk on packed snowmobile trails in the winter and the grip is very impressed. One pair will be retired soon.
    I have never tried the Salomon’s but have heard nice things about them as well.


Leave a Comment