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Introducing Merrell 1TRL

Introducing Merrell 1TRL

Merrell Canada

Chances are if you’ve ever set foot on a dirt trail, you’ve heard of Merrell. That’s because these folks have been the patron footwear saints of granola-munching, weekend-hiking, GORE-TEX-wearing good times for four decades! Founded in 1981 by Clark Matis and John Schweizer, Merrell was conceived with the goal of bringing something new to the hiking boot market. Both founders served as executives for Rossignol, so they knew their way around the great outdoors. To create their hiking boots, Matis and Schweizer teamed up with renowned bootmaker Randal Ivan Merrell, who was best known for his high quality bespoke leather boots. A year later, Merrell had their first big success with the release of the Moab, an affordable performance hiking boot which quickly became a brand signature. 

 

 

Merrell’s next evolution occurred in 1997 when they were bought by Wolverine World Wide. Part of Wolverine’s vision was to expand Merrell’s offering beyond just hiking boots. Their first attempt was the Jungle Runner, a lightweight trail runner which was met with disappointing sales. With the next design, however, Merrell struck pure gold. Matis had the bright idea to slap a trail running outsole onto a slip-on suede upper, thus creating the now-legendary Jungle Moc. Suffice to say the Jungle Moc was a success—today it’s Merrell’s flagship model, and in 2009, Merrell sold its ten millionth pair! Somehow this peculiar pigskin suede technical loafer became one of the most beloved (and polarizing) trail shoes of the 21st century.

 

 More recently, Merrell has emerged as a player in fashion circles as footwear tastes have gravitated towards the functional, technical, and comfortable. You may have even noticed the Jungle Moc getting some wear time on some of the most fashionable feet in the industry. In 2020, this momentum culminated in the Merrell 1TRL collection, a new line inspired by their rich design archive and the capabilities of modern outdoor technology. The result is an oddball combination of nostalgic shapes, futuristic details, and top-tier performance that scratches nearly every footwear itch we have. For one, a big chunk of our Merrell 1TRL collection for Fall/Winter ‘21 features GORE-TEX, that wondrous waterproof material. The Thermo Rogue 3 Mid GTX and Agility Synthesis Zero GTX are forward-thinking hiking boots with Vibram outsoles, while the Moab Speed GTX is a waterproof trail running version of the iconic Moab Boot. Merrell makes it easy to appreciate how far we’ve come from wellies! Moving into the oddball category (arguably Merrell’s speciality), we have the Shoreline 1 Tri Luxe, the Hut Moc, and the king of them all, the Hydro Moc. This amphibious slip-on is essentially a deluxe Croc, enhanced with artistic flourishes like the marbled colourway and the biological pattern of the grooves. Looking at the Hydro Moc, it’s remarkable how well Merrell 1TRL’s designs tiptoe that fine line between fascinating and weird, but we’re not questioning it; we’re just happy to be along for the ride. 

 

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