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Merrell hiking shoes showing cracks in quality

merrell hiking boots shoes quality bad
Merrell Hiking shoe's quality start cracking up

I have been a supporter of Merrell shoes for quite a long time, actually about 10 years. Their comfort was amazing as well as build quality. My first pair was hiking boots and I wore them until they fell apart, I must admit that the sole wore through before the top started coming apart.  I then bought hiking or trail shoes. I think the style was Merrell Vibram, not sure but that was written on the side of the hiking shoe.  Anyway, who cares, I don't hike or go on trails.  They are mainly used in and around at home. I also don't do any gardening with them by the way.

So all in all I don't have a lot of wear and tear as can be seen on the amount of rubber left on the new pair of Merrell Hiking shoes.

What really disturbed me is how badly the new Merrell Hiking shoes are put together. Put it this way, my old Merrell's had 5 years of walking on them, and there is not much wrong with them other than the backend plastic started to crack. Also my laces are worn out which cannot be replaced, which I find ridiculous (Cape Union Mart in South Africa does not carry extra stock of those shoe laces)

In any case, Merrell do provide a type of guarantee on their shoes; if you have problems withing 6 months you can take them back. My issue is that most serious hikers never go hiking with shoes unless they have worn them for at least a year. Imagine walking the ATP with new shoes!

My second pair is two years old. Compared to a little over 5 for my first Merrell Hiking shoes. As one can see there is a lot of wear and tear on the old ones, but they are not cracking up like the newer ones.

Have a look at the images below and see for yourself, they are the same type of shoe, they older ones just were made much tougher than the new ones.

Since the new ones are much older than 6 months, I have no recourse to the law, or offer from Merrell to take them back. I do accept that, but, my point is, why is the new Merrell Hiking boot quality so bad compared to the old ones. There should have been an improvement not deterioration in quality.

Old Merrell Hiking shoe to the left and the newer Merrell Hiking shoe to the right

The only thing that cracked up on my old shoes was the plastic at the back. But still super comfortable.

My old Merrell hiking shoes had a couple of miles on the thread vs the new ones.

Merrell Hiking shoes hardly worn and starting to fall apart. This is the left boot

Merrell right hiking boot starting to fall apart

Make no mistake, Merrell still makes one of the best hiking shoes available, but I think one must be careful in making that assumption on all their shoes at the moment.  I am now considering moving to K-Way. HiTech use to have awesome boots, I still remember my Class V's, fantastic, but they discontinued the range and brought in crap, so they lost market share in my opinion.

I am not knocking off Merrel as a whole. Just that their quality of these shoes has gone down the drain and I wonder what is happening with all the other new models.


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