The beginnings of American outdoor brand Merrell can be traced to 1981, with a pair of cowboy boots would you believe? It was this year when custom cowboy boot maker Randy Merrell decided to branch out and try his hand at making a pair of hiking boots. By applying the attention to detail and precision craftsmanship that he’d already become so well respected for, the first Merrell hiking boots were born. With each pair being carefully hand-made one at a time they commanded a hefty $500 price tag though word quickly spread about their quality resulting in a six month waiting list for a pair. During these early days Backpacker magazine caught wind of these incredible boots and even managed to get hold of a pair which they went on to rate as the ‘best boot in the world’ in 1982. A feature on Randy in the magazine followed which then caught the attention of two budding entrepreneurs from a ski company who were on a quest for the perfect hiking boot and a new business venture. In Randy they found both and the Merrell Boot Company was launched in 1982 bringing his custom designs to a wider audience and creating a brand that is now sold around the world and is completely dedicated to the outdoor lifestyle.
For AW16 Merrell are returning to their specialist hiking footwear roots with the ‘Heritage Range’ which brings back some of their classic lines that have been subtly updated to suit both outdoor and urban environments. The Heritage range comprises of four new styles, the Eagle and the Solo which are both exclusive to Schuh and the Stowe and 1SIX8 which are both exclusive to Office.
The Eagle is an updated version of the traditional hiking boot, with all the aesthetic appeal of a vintage boot combined with the additional comfort of modern technologies such as lace enclosures and heel air cushion systems. Whilst the bright contrasting hikerdelic colours of the Solo combine running shoe comfort with a durable mountain-friendly sole unit making its low profile silhouette ideal for traversing between the city and the hills. Similarly the 1SIX8 is ideally suited to urban and more lighter outdoor adventures thanks to it’s Mid, Lace and Moc styles. Its numerical name refers to the amount of hours in a week and its multi-functional athletic appeal is designed for week-long wear. The Stowe is an ‘outdoor trainer’ that comes in both high and low ankle versions depending on how hard you want to hit the city or how easy you want to go whilst outdoors.