Keen vs. Merrell: A Tale Of The Tape

Many of us, including me, love to engage in day hiking and other outdoor activities. They are among the most exhilarating adventures that you can do in your life. But of course, before you can do this, you need to have all the essential amenities with you.

One of the things that you should get right is the footwear. There are a lot of options for this, but if you want comfort and breathability, you might want to choose a good pair of footwear. And when it comes to outdoor shoes, there is one bout that catches the attention of the market today is Keen vs Merrell.​


Honestly, both of these footwear brands are impressive. I can't say any bad thing about them because they are really living up to the expectations. You can guarantee that they have high-quality construction and fascinating design that make them perfect outdoor footgear.

In fact, it would become difficult to choose which of these outdoor footwear brands can suit your preferences. It has been a dilemma for many buyers. Trust me. I have been there, too.

I have created this guide for the sake of giving clarifications about the nuances of these outdoor shoe brands. Let's start now.​

Keen vs. Merrell: A Thorough Review​

1. Keen​


Keen is not a new player in the market. It has been there for a couple of years already. Therefore, it is completely not surprising if many of you know about this brand.

Keen is one of the shoe brands that are selling various affordable outdoor footwear. Most of their creations are not priced to the rip off your pocket. Some of them are playing in the entry-level category, which is already an appealing factor for many outdoor enthusiasts. The brand can provide affordable footwear for your hiking and trekking activities.

It has to be emphasized that Keen is more affordable than Merrell. You can go to your nearest shoe store or local outlets so that you can verify this statement. And even if you won't, you probably have an idea that Merrell is the most expensive brand. But certainly, that's not a factor that makes you frown down any Merrell products. It is just a thing that you have to know, especially if you are too conscious of the price of the footwear that you are going to wear.

Design and Ergonomics​

One of the most convincing traits of Keen outdoor shoes is their traction. By all means, I can say that their shoes can stick in the ground like it is a loyal friend. All Keen shoes can clutch in the ground and make sure that your body and feet have a good hold to your surface. This particular feature prevents you from being toppled and getting out-balanced. It is something that you need if you want to survive treks to rocky and slippery terrains.

I can say that a chief number of Keen shoes have upper that have mesh on their upper parts. The mesh covers the waterproof construction of the shoe, which typically features leather. The rigidness of the leather that Keen uses are pretty awesome. However, they are not durable enough to last long to you. You can see this effect manifest when you use their footwear on harsh applications frequently.

Furthermore, the leather is not as breathable as it seems. Therefore, your feet might feel hot and swampy especially during prolonged used. I do recommend that you use moisture-wicking and antifungal socks if you are going to wear Keen outdoor shoes on an extended basis.

Noticeably, there are parts in the Keen shoes that were not stitched. Some of them are just brought up together through the use of glue. I don't know about you, but this kind of construction is one of the reasons why the footwear from Keen doesn't last long in the field. If you expose them to extreme temperatures, the adhesion that was created by glue will dissipate.

On the other hand, it is already undeniable that Keen outdoor shoes feature soles that are flexible and replaceable. It is one of the most ergonomic traits that this brand has. You can certainly benefit from this, especially if you are doing high impact movements.

The overall aesthetics of Keen shoes are seemingly casual. You are always free to use for other leisure activities such as going on trips or doing urban walks. Since the shoes are lightweight, you can expect that they will not trouble you at all. Despite some drawbacks, Keen shoes can allow you to thread great distances.

2. Merrell


Merrell is a giant when it comes to outdoor footwear. The brand is one of the prime producers of rugged and ergonomic shoes for various activities like running, hiking, and trekking. They can showcase you a variety of footwear for any applications with the confidence that you won't turn them down.

Merrell has the best of both worlds. It is durable and comfortable at the same time. Such sophistication is quite difficult to achieve, especially that you have to compromise one factor to satisfy one another. But Merrell has achieved such kind of finesse to the footwear that they are making.

All of the Merrell footwear is befitting for any outdoor activities. They can last long to your feet even if you use them continuously. Even if their shoes are somehow expensive, they are still worth getting. Since they are built to last, you can guarantee that you won't be buying a new pair of outdoor shoes anytime sooner.

Design and Ergonomics

Similar to Keen shoes, Merrell footwear also features a mixture of leather and mesh construction. What makes them different is the way Merrell put things together. Specifically, all parts of Merrell shoes have been stitched. Such design made their shoes more durable than their counterparts. They can be used on harsh terrains and challenging applications.

However, I have to tell you that Merrell shoes have narrow construction. Therefore, people with wide feet can have difficulty in finding the right fit for this brand. They come in different sizes, but when it comes to width, Merrell is slightly lacking.

You just have to be happy that Merrell has excellent waterproofing technologies and innovation. Even if it starts raining, you can ensure that their shoes will keep your feet dry and fresh. A quick-drying feature also ensures that Merrell footwear will never bother you at all.

Final Verdict

As you can see, both Keen and Merrell have distinct advantages and disadvantages. None of them is perfect, that's why you have to choose the brand which favors your preferences and predicaments the most. Don't worry. Regardless of what brand you pick, I can assure you that these two outdoor shoe brands are beyond astonishing.

That's it for now. If you have questions and suggestions, feel free to ask me in the comment section below.

Keen vs. Merrell: A Tale Of The Tape
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