Keen Vs Merrell: Which Is Best Hiking Shoes?

Adding thrill to your life is crucial in ensuring that you are all rounded, and one of the means of achieving this is participating in group activities. You need to participate in engaging activities that ensure that you are fit at all times. One of the popular activities that you can do with friends to achieve this objective is hiking. This process has its various attire that you need with hiking boots being one of the most important things that you need to possess.

In addition, you need to select the perfect boots, otherwise, your experience will be all painful. Some of the popular brands that you will find in the market include Keen and Merrel types. Looking at these boots in detail, it is possible to determine which one perfectly suits your preferences.

Keen Vs Merrell

About Keen and Merrel

Keen and Merrel are two of the top quality boots that you will find in the market. Each comprises of a unique design that separates it from the other. It is this uniqueness of the respective boots that enable you to identify which one perfectly fits your preference. The bottom line is that both brands will never fail you when it comes to delivering an enjoyable camping experience.

However, it is imperative to look into the specifics before settling on the shoe of choice. Of the two companies, Merrel is the elder having been established in 1981, and the company has been producing footwear since then. Keen, on the other hand, is relatively new, as it was founded in 2005.

Keen vs. Merrell Comparison

The differences between the two shoe brands are limited. However, there exist some features that are stark different. Therefore, it is imperative to compare the two brands to have a clear picture regarding which one trounces the other regarding the manufacture of hiking boots.


The two shoe brands retail at relatively the same price range, especially if you are shopping from the local shop. However, the difference in prices exists when you purchase the respective boots from online retailers. This is because each retailer has a variety of offers, and therefore depending on the one that you approach, the price range will be variable.

All in all, even while purchasing from online retailers, Merrel hiking boots will sell at approximately $100, which is relatively lower than the retail price of the Keen boots that are comparatively more expensive.


The differences regarding both shoes on this front are outstanding. The Keen hiking boots employ the unspecified sole technology that gives them high traction and grip. If you are interested in these qualities, a keen hiking boot should be your top choice.

However, you should know that the threads of the Keen hiking boots are known to wear out quickly, and this means that you are likelier to visit the shoe shop that your counterpart, who wears the Merrel brand.


On the other hand, Merrel shoes sport the popular Vibram soles that are common in police and military boots. The good thing about Vibram soles is that they are highly durable and thus will offer you service for an extended period. Therefore, the onus is in you to either choose strong grip and traction or high durability. This solely depends on your personal preferences.


If you are more interested in the quality of the footbed, there's a lot to juggle when choosing between the two hiking shoe brands as they employ different technology. Keen is synonymous with the metatomical footbed that is available in a variety of versions from which you can choose whichever that favors you most. Merrel, on the other end, features the Merrell M-Select FIT type of footbed that is also available in a variety of versions. However, Keen offers more options than Merrel in regard to the footbed types.

Water Resistance

Both brands equal each other in regard to the ability to keep away water from penetrating the inside of the shoe. They are both designed to ensure that water from the surrounding cannot penetrate into the shoe. Also, to improve aeration, the shoe allows the exit of sweat seamlessly from the shoe to the outside, ensuring that the feet stay dry all the time.


Again, the shoes are a tie regarding durability. Both are designed to last for long, and this explains why they are among the top favorite brands for hikers. They are both constructed using high-quality materials that ensure that their durability is unquestionable. However, Merrel shoes are highly likely to outlast Keen brand, and this is down to the Vibram sole that the former sports which are highly durable.


Also, both shoes are comfortable to wear in all sorts of hiking environments. The ability to expel all the moisture that accumulates in the inside while at the same moment repelling the entry of water from the surrounding is an incredible feature that exists in both brands. This property is imperative in guaranteeing comfort to the wearer.


Splitting between which shoe is heavier than the other is also an arduous task as both are around the same weight bracket of approximately 400grams. Therefore, if weight matters a lot for you, there's little choice that you can make regarding the two brands as they are so equal in this regard.

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Other Features of the Keen and Merrell Hiking Shoes

If you are still undecided on which is the better hiking shoe between the two, the following additional key features may aid in your decision making. Other prominent outstanding features of the Merrel hiking shoes include the following:

  • Smell control feature that ensures that the smell inside the shoe is maintained by eliminating any moisture that is present.
  • Presence of laces to strengthen the grip on the feet.It also features the popular nylon shanks that make the shoe unique from other hiking boots.
  • Also features the Merrel air cushions that are designed to aid in aeration inside the shoe.

On the other hand, the other common notable features of the Keen brand include the following:

  • A breathable membrane that doesn't allow the entry of water from the surrounding.
  • An odor control to manage the aeration.
  • ESS stability shanks that are available in a variety of forms.

Final Verdict

If you are still undecided on the shoe brand that is more superior to the other, you can be forgiven as their features are so similar. Both shoe brands are made of high-quality materials and are also designed to give you the perfect hiking experience that you've ever thought about. Both are also made in a manner that ensures that your feet are dry at all times, and this is imperative, especially during hiking sessions that take long hours.

All in all, if you are looking for comfort, Keen should be your first choice option as it is made to deliver on that property. However, regarding durability, Merrel is the go-to kind of hiking boot.

Daniel Sturm

I started this blog to provide the guideline, you towards a better and more comfortable hiking experience. I deliver more than hiking, camping and backpacking guideline.

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