Keen vs. Merrell: What I Need to Know to Make the Right Choice?

Keen vs. Merrell

My primary objective is to go hiking ultra-light. I know that it would cost me extra bucks to buy suitable footwear that would last longer. It does not matter much. Ease and reliable quality are much more of an essence to me.

I’ve eyed two well-known brands, the Keen and Merrel. I did careful research to make it easier to decide. I have learned facts on what I need to know that helped me choose the right shoes.


The Importance of Wearing the Right Kind of hiking shoes

Many say you can wear any shoes as long as it’s comfy to your feet. However, I believe, that besides comfort, I need the kind that has the exact support, waterproof and won’t weigh me down.

Here are the benefits that I consider vital when wearing the proper shoes when hiking.

  • Ease-being comfy speeds up your strides covering longer distance and endurance.
  • Safety and protection- hiking shoes are designed to withstand the durability hiking needs. It prevents you from injury. It means to support your arch and heels correctly.

Keen vs. Merrel


As I have picked the women’s hiking shoes that I liked, Merrel Sirene Waterproof Edge Hiker costs an average of $90.00 compared to Keen Teradora WP that costs an average of $ 144.00. The Merrel brand is an advantage when it comes to price.

If only I’m not in a hurry, I could wait for Keen to go on sale. But understand that price is just one of the factors that I consider.


Hiking shoes must be light enough so not to drag you down. The lighter the shoes that I wear, the faster I walk with it. A pair of Merrel weighs 350 g while Keen hiking shoes weigh 320 g. Hence, both are almost equal in this aspect.


Both brands are distributed in the USA but mostly manufactured in Asia. I don’t find the manufacturing site significant since I put into consideration its performance based on user’s reviews. Price may be affected in this matter, but as you can see, both have a minimal difference.

Material and features

The material plays a significant role in the hiking shoes durability and comfort. Merrel and Keen offer outstanding materials and features that promises comfortable and secure hiking. In this category alone, it’s enough to know that they’re almost equal.



  • seamless upper overlays, synthetic and mesh upper
  • Vibram TC5+ outsoles
  • EVA midsoles
  • Breathable mesh M- Select Fresh lining
  • Removable FIT.ECO blended EVA footbed


  • Lightweight, breathable mesh with synthetic upper
  • non-marking rubber outsole
  • Low-density EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) Midsole
  • breathable mesh lining
  • Dual density PU footbed



  • With organic odor control
  • Lace closures for a secure fit
  • Molded nylon arch shanks
  • Merrell air cushions
  • Trail protect pads
  • waterproof


  • Cleansport NXT for odor control
  • 4mm multi-directional lugs
  • ESS stability shank for support
  • KEEN.dry waterproof breathable membrane

Here is a quick video showing Merrel hiking shoe features.

Here is a quick video showing Keen hiking shoe features.

Quality and Durability

Keen and Merrell hiking shoes have the reputation as durable and high-quality brands. That justifies the popularity they’ve maintained until now. The material and features itself are enough to support the quality of the product.

Durability on the other hand always comes from the honest feedback of users that have tested the shoes in time. Just a little concern that I found out upon trying each brand, the Keen is a right fit for women who have wider foot and Merrel is suitable for the opposite.


Keen hiking shoes are made to be narrow that steadily supports the heels and promotes strength. The low-density collar is a relief to the heels during walking and is a big comfort. The stability of the midsole offers protection from rocks. It is perfect for park hikes and casual use at the same time.

Merrel, in turn, has a Vibram rubber sole that makes hiking flexible and is perfect for different kinds of terrains. And also, the purpose of the bellows tongue is to keep debris from getting into the shoes.

I love to take long hikes and adventurous enough to try a variety of terrains, so I am thinking Merrel suits me best.

For me, both shares comfortable and useful features that are essential for a pleasant hike.

  • No need for break-in.
  • Waterproof to keep you dry
  • Mesh linings to keep feet from overheating

Final Thoughts

Enter Whew! Both shoes are excellent. I found out that the secret of avoiding confusion when choosing the right one between awesome shoes is to focus on the need. I am looking for a shoe that I can use for walking that is durable enough to withstand my strenuous hiking activities.

Learning above details though helps in making the decision. Merrel and Keen are both suitable for your hiking comfort and safety. The makers built this shoes for durability, versatility, and style. Come to think of it; I might buy both!

About the Author

Lauren Reese

I'm Laura. I have a huge passion for hiking and camping. Lying under the star beside the tent and camping fire with my team is the ultimate nature getaway to me. I wish to share my experience during the adventure with you through this blog. Feel free to read my stories and leave some comments if you like.

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