Merrell is a footwear company founded in 1981 by Clark Matis, Randy Merrell, and John Schweitzer as a maker of high-performance hiking boots. Since 1997 the company has been owned as a subsidiary of shoe industry giant Wolverine World Wide.
An initial foray into lightweight footwear was led by Clark Matis, who came up with the idea of using a very tough trail running out-sole with a casual slip-on upper made of pigskin suede; a material previously perfected and used extensively in the Hush Puppies line of its parent company. The work of Matis' design culminated with the introduction of what would become the brand's signature shoe, the "Jungle Moc".
In 1988 the company won Backpacker Magazine’s Best Hiker for Merrell Leather boots. In 1993 it perfected its cross trainer. Front Range was the next evolution in its pursuit of faster and lighter footwear. The result provided runners and hikers speed, stability and durability. It was the first in a long line of multi-sport and cross-training products designed to help sports enthusiasts go farther & faster.
The rubber Vibram sole canonised the company in 1995 and has since led the way to summits like Mt Everest and K2. Famed for its lightweight, long-wearing and flexible soles, the Vibram range provide excellent traction and high abrasion resistance.
The After Sport Shoe range was another instant success with the introduction of the Jungle Moc. These slip-ons featured comfort technologies from the company’s performance footwear but in a casual format. Moulded nylon arch shanks, compression moulded EVA foot frames, Merrell Air Cushioned heels and sticky rubber soles provide the perfect fit and comfort.
The launch of Merrell Kids brought all ages fun, comfort and reliable performance. Today, the company has expanded its output to outfit any kind of adventure with every kind of footwear.
2006 marked the debut of its outdoor adventure line for men and women. Over the years the line has grown to encompass several clothing technologies, including Opti-Shell waterproof and Opti-Warm insulation. This also marked the year Merrell won the UK Drapers Footwear Brand of the Year award.
2011 marked the continued partnership with Vibram soles and the launch of Barefoot; a collection of low-profile, 0mm heel shoes for all outdoor adventure and natural-run-free enthusiasts.