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Our Favorite Merrell Shoes for Families

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Merrell shoes and I go way back.  I started wearing them just out of high school, back in the 1900’s (as my children lovingly remind me.  Through more pairs than I can count, they’ve taken me on countless adventures around the world.  Not only do I love their shoes, but so does everyone in our family and between all of us, you’ll find someone wearing Merrell shoes daily around here. 

We love that Merrell makes a variety of shoes that are perfect for our family’s active lifestyle, that are great quality without breaking the bank.  I want to share with you some of our favorite Merrell shoes that are perfect for everyone in the family.

Merrell Moab Speed 2 for Women

The Moab has been a longtime staple in Merrell’s hiking shoe repertoire, and we’ve owned several throughout the years.  They have a special place in my heart for getting my tiny 12-year-old son through a grueling 50-mile backpacking trip in the High Uintah Wilderness here in Utah. 

However, the Moab line just got a MAJOR upgrade and I’m pretty obsessed.  The latest version is the Merrell Moab Speed 2 and it’s become my go-to hiking shoe, and since these shoes are new, I want to share my full Merrell Moab Speed 2 review.

merrell moab speed 2 womens hiking shoes

From the outside, it looks like a trendy trail runner with it’s bright colors and fun design.  However, once you slip your foot in, you’ll see it’s much more than just a trail running shoe.  This is a full hiking shoe with excellent support and structure.  I’ve been wearing mine for a while now and they’re a great all-around hiking shoe.  They’re lightweight enough to not be clunky, but they really support my foot well on everything from the soles to the footbed to the uppers.  They have more structure than I need for an everyday shoe, but they’re fantastic for on the trail.  

merrell moab speed 2 womens hiking shoes

To say that I’ve put these shoes to the test pretty quickly has been an understatement.  They’ve been hiking on ice, through snow, in the mud, and through desert sandstone and performed great through it all.  Best of all, they didn’t need to be broken in at all.  The traction on these shoes is unbelievable, which has become really important to me.  As I get older it’s become more and more important to feel really solid on my feet as I try to keep up with my older kids.  The kids are getting stronger and faster, and the truth is that getting a good footing when I’m out hiking isn’t something that I have time to worry about (I’m too busy trying to keep up with my teens).

merrell moab speed 2 womens hiking shoes

The Merrell Moab Speed 2 are my go-to shoes for early morning walks on the trail near our house when it’s icy, but do just as well scrambling up sandy slickrock in Moab.  I guess it’s probably meant to be that the Moab shoes are perfectly designed for adventures in Moab Utah!

merrell moab speed 2 womens hiking shoes

Truthfully, the original Moab shoes for women didn’t ever fit me great, so I was a bit hesitant to get these new Speed 2 hiking shoes, but they have been such a pleasant surprise.  One of my feet is wider than the other and I often need to get a wide width, but for these shoes I can wear a regular width and it works great for both of my feet.  I did end up sizing up ½ size since they seemed to run a bit small, but now the sizing is great.  When I first got them, the laces were giving me a bit of a hassle and they felt like they were loosening up as I would hike, but that was solved by always double knotting them now.  Another pleasant surprise is that the heel cup fits really well, which is something that I struggle with in lots of hiking shoes.  The ankle is quite padded, which I’m still not sure how I feel about.

merrell moab speed 2 womens hiking shoes

Since I’ve only worn these shoes in the winter and the spring, it’s hard for me to tell how they’ll do in warmer hiking weather.  I have the Gore-Tex version and it’s kept my feet nice and warm, but I’m not sure how the breathability will be in warmer weather.  

Best Features of the Merrell Moab Speed 2

Available with or without GoreTex
Vibram outsoles provide excellent traction
Lightweight
Made with recycled materials
Toe is made with an abrasion resistant material

Things to improve in the Moab Speed 2.0

I’d love to see color options besides pastels and neutrals
Laces need to be better so they don’t slip

Overall, I highly recommend the Merrell Speed 2 shoes.  They’re a great upgraded womens hiking shoe that offers incredible traction and great structure and support.  Whether you need a good shoe for the trail, or a more stable and supportive shoe to wear around town, these are a great option.  

Note:  The Merrell Speed 2 is available in both a mens and women’s version.  While we haven’t tried out the mens version yet, from the reviews I’m reading, it might be even more amazing and well loved than the womens version.  


Merrell Shoes we LOVE for Kids

I don’t know what sort of magic is going on at Merrell, but their shoes just fit my kids really well.  Truthfully, as a brand, we’ve never had a shoe that fits everyone as well as Merrells, which is a huge deal since I try to pass all our kids shoes down to younger siblings.  Our kids have been wearing Merrell shoes for over a decade, and here are our current favorites both for kids hiking shoes and water shoes/sandals.

merrell kids hiking shoes

Merrell Moab 3 Low Kids

One of my boys is SO HARD on his shoes.  I literally don’t know what he does, but he can completely destroy a pair of shoes in under 3 months.  After searching and searching for something for durable that he couldn’t destroy, we settled on the Moab 3 Low.  It’s been 6 months and the shoes are almost as good as new.  While they’re heavier than a sneaker, they’re his daily wear shoe and he has no problems using them for hiking, biking, and even middle school PE.  If things keep going this well, this might just be the first pair of shoes that I can pass on from him in YEARS.  If you’re looking for a durable and comfortable kids shoe the Moab 3 is a great option.

Merrell moab kids hiking shoes

Merrell Nova 3 Sneaker for Kids

I sent my youngest off to school wearing these this morning, and they’re such a great shoe.  The pair that he’s wearing has been through 2 older siblings and while it’s starting to look a bit worn, I’m beyond thrilled that they’ve lasted through 3 kids.  The Merrell Nova 3 is a lightweight shoe that’s pretty comparable to an adult trail running shoe.  It’s got a bit more traction and structure than a traditional sneaker, but it’s still lightweight enough for everyday use and lots of time on the playground.  This is a super versatile shoe which is nice since then it means kids need fewer shoes to do more things.  

fox 30 backpacking backpack for kids
merrell kids hiking shoes

Merrell Trail Chaser Kids Shoe

These shoes have a special place in my heart from the 2 years that my daughter wore them.  She’s a picky little thing, and these shoes somehow checked every box for her.  She wore them to school, to play with friends, and I think she even wore them with a church dress a few times.  They’re pretty similar to the Moab 3 Low that my son is now wearing.  When she finally grew out of them after 2 years, we passed them onto a friend who was so grateful that we gave her some shoes that were practically brand new!  HA!

Merrell Agility Peak Kids Trail Shoe

We actually haven’t tried these shoes yet, but I’ve got my eye on them for one of my boys who will need some trail running shoes this summer for his cross country team.  This is a newer shoe in the Merrell lineup for kids and it looks amazing. The parts that stand out to me the most are the lightweight upper combined with the reinforced toe and sides, since that’s where my kids are hardest on their shoes.  I also really love bungee laces for active kids since my kids have a hard time getting just the right fit with tie laces, so these are a good perk for us.  We’ll be sure to update this after we try them.  

Kids Hydro H2O Sandals

These are fantastic closed toed sandals for kids.  They’re surprisingly easy to get on and off and they have great support.  My kids wear these for hiking in the summer and we love that they’re lighter than a lot of other closed toed kids sandals, while still offering good support and traction.

Kids Hydro Glove Water Shoes

If you’re looking for a water shoe with more structure, the Hydro Glove kid water shoe from Merrell is fantastic.  My youngest just outgrew a pair that we’d passed down for years and I love them so much.  One of my boys always has really hot feet so he wore these as sneakers for a good majority of the year (except in winter), to keep his feet form sweating so much.  They’re fantastic for water play and just about anything else that summer can throws your way.  

merrell kids hiking shoes

Tips For Caring For Your Hiking Shoes 

We’ve had some pretty incredible adventures with Merrell shoes and boots over the years, and  lot of that is because we take good care of our shoes so they last longer and perform better.  Here are our top tips for caring for your favorite adventure shoes:

  1.  Always dry them out after using:  We hike and explore as a family in all conditions and a lot of times, we come home wet and soggy.  Whether it’s snow boots or hiking shoes, make sure to always dry out any wet shoes before you store them.  We have several Merrell kids snow boots that have gone through 3-4 of our kids since we always dry them out after using.  
  2. Clean them regularly: Our hiking shoes take a BEATING out on the trail, so keeping them clean is really important so they don’t deteriorate.  Whenever you come home muddy, it’s best to wipe the mud off before it dries.  If they do have dried mud or dirt on them, a rag and some warm water with a few drops of soap usually does wonders.  
  3. Take care of your laces:  The laces that come with your shoes are usually the ones that will work best for the life of your shoes.  Don’t let them drag on the ground or they’ll quickly wear out.  If you need to, most shoe laces are machine washable to keep them in great shape.  

Tips For Making Hiking Shoes Comfortable

Not all hiking shoes are comfortable right out of the box.  Regardless of how new your shoes are, these things can help make them more comfortable.  

  1. Get your size and width fitted in store.  While we all love the convenience of shopping online, there’s a lot to be said for being sized in person.  Before I got my Merrell Moab Speed 2 shoes, I went to a local Merrell store and was fitted to help me determine the best size.  Spoiler:  It wasn’t what I would have ordered online, and I’m so grateful I got a good fit from the beginning.  
  2.  Wear good socks.  We prefer merino wool socks, but there are so many good socks out there for different activities.  A good pair of socks will make just about any pair of hiking shoes fit better.
  3. Play around with different lacing.  The way you lace your shoes has a big impact on how they fit.  Take a short hike and try a few different ways of lacing your shoes to make sure they fit like a glove!
About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

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