Hi-Tec vs Merrell Hiking Boots [Which is Best for Treks?]

Written By Sunny

Already set up your mind to go hiking in a few days but still couldn’t decide which boots to wear. It usually happens because there’re a lot of options & each brand claims to have the best hiking boots.

Merrell and Hi-Tec are two of them. With some extraordinary features, they’re reigning in the field of trekking boots.

But when it comes to choosing one, which pair is more capable?

Let’s dive in & find out the answer!


Features Comparison of Hi-Tech and Merrell Hiking Boots 

Merrell and Hi-Tec have a wide range of hiking boots in their collection. Moab and Rogue are the most popular lightweight hiking boots from Merrell.

On the other hand, Hi-Tec has Acadia, Altitude, Apex Mid, Skamania, Black Rock, and so on. Each of them is beneficial in different aspects. For now, let’s see how much comfort these two brands offer. 

1. Comfort 

Hi-Tec: 4.8/5
Merrell: 4.8/5

Upper materials, inner cushioning, midsole thickness, and overall paddings are the main criteria that determine a shoe’s comfort level.

Hi-Tec is always praiseworthy because of its:
– OrthoLite® Impressions sock liners.
– Breathable memory foam.
– Impact-absorbing CMEVA midsole or Compression-molded EVA midsole. 
– Genuine leather, suede, synthetics, or mesh upper.

The combination of these elements brings about unparalleled comfort when your feet are covered with Hi-Tec hiking boots. Some shoes, like the Hi-Tec Altitude, contain moisture-wicking fleece lining for extra comfort.

Women’s Apex Lite features a pliable suede upper, padded collar, and tongue & soft mesh lining along with the above mentioned features. As a result, their comfort is top-notch.

Now, let’s come to Merrell. They have gold-rated leather, suede, recycled materials, ballistic mesh, and TPU for the upper. All materials are breathable and lightweight so that no discomfort arises while you’re on trekking.

The dual-density FloatPro™ foam midsole and PU footbed make a comfy bottom for the hiker’s feet. The whole interior is coated with a recycled mesh lining, which accelerates advanced comfort. 

2. Stability & Support

Hi-Tec: 4.8/5
Merrell: 4.5/5

There’s no one who wants to groan in pain after long hours of strenuous hiking. That’s why everyone needs balanced and arch-supportive shoes while they’re on a hike or standing for prolonged hours.

Luckily, Hi-Tec and Merell both offer stable and supportive hiking boots, however, all models of Merrell do not hold this advantage.

Hi-Tec has a nylon fork shank and molded EVA heel cradle to fulfill the essential support and stability.

On the other hand, Merrell has a nylon arch shank to meet this purpose.

But after testing Hi-Tec Altitude and Merrell Moab 3’s stability and support, Hi-Tec seemed more efficient and robust. Additionally, most designs of this brand have a supportive shank, whereas Merrell has only Moab 3 with a shank.

Considering all this, Hi-tech is the winner in this phase.

However, wearing shoes or boots in the summertime is quite annoying. Instead, you can rely on Chaco sandals for hiking during warmer days.

3. Traction

Hi-Tec: 4.9/5
Merrell: 4.9/5

Traction is another crucial agent which prevents you from sudden slipping and injuries. Fortunately, Hi-Tec and Merrell are equally worthy in giving reliable grip.

However, Hi-Tec has more variations in its outsoles. Michelin rubber outsole, Vibram outsole, and Penta Grip outsole are worth mentioning in them.

The Vibram sole works for superior traction and durability at the same time, PentaGrip is for non-slip performance on multiple surfaces, and the Michelin rubber outsole adds flexibility with improved grip.


Merrell is fully focused on the Vibram outsole. They brought different editions of this component, such as Vibram® TC5+ and Vibram® MegaGrip. These high-performance outsole provides striking grip on dry and wet surfaces, slippery banks, and muddy trails.

4. Price

Hi-Tec: Budget-friendly
Merrell: Expensive

Merrell is very expensive compared to Hi-Tec, however, their performance is almost similar in the hiking arena.

Hi-Tec’s Apex Lite and Skamanina sell for only $60. It’s Acadia and Altitude price is between $80-$90. That means you will get hiking boots from $60-$90, and I guess that’s quite affordable.

Contrarily, Merrell claims hefty price tags. Their hiking boots’ price starts from $120 and it reaches up to $230.

Right now, the most high-priced boot is Rogue Hiker Mid GORE-TEX. It includes exclusive Cleansport NXT™ treated material for odor control, FloatPro™ midsole, and the waterproof GTX membrane. However, these features are also accessible in Hi-Tec which costs a very affordable price.


[Hiking boots on a rock. From: Merrell]

5. Waterproof Feature 

Hi-Tec: 5/5
Merrell: 5/5

Though both brands hold waterproof feature, their strategy is different. Hi-Tec uses Dri-Tec and i-shield technology to accomplish this purpose.

The Dri-Tec membrane resists water penetration and keeps feet dry in the watery environment. The i-shield works to repel water and dust, it also prevents stains at the same time.

Merrell makes use of a premium GORE-TEX® waterproof membrane. Its functionality is identical to Hi-Tec’s Dri-Tec coating.

6. Durability

Hi-tec: 3/5
Merrell: 4.5/5

Hi-Tec boots are lesser durable than Merrell. A pair of Hi-Tec hiking boots last a minimum of 2-3 years even after rough use. And I guess this longevity is sufficient compared to their inexpensive price.

Merrell’s durability is admirable. They survive nicely for half to a full decade in spite of using on harsh surfaces. Due to their longer lifespan, you don’t often need to replace this hiking boot.

Pros and Cons of Hi-Tec and Merrell Hiking Boots


  • »Slip-resistant rubber outsole for multi-directional traction. 
  • »Cushioned & Impact-absorbing CMEVA midsole.
  • »Nylon fork shank for arch support & stability.
  • »Stain-resistant i-shield technology.
  • »Dri-Tec waterproof membrane.
  • »Moisture wicking & antimicrobial lining under the feet. 
  • »Supplies regular and extra wide shoes. 
  • »Rustproof materials. 
  • »The price is quite reasonable. 
  • »Relatively less durability. 
  • »Doesn’t make narrow-width shoes.


  • »Exceptional outdoor traction.
  • »Promotes smooth transition by absorbing high impact. 
  • »Air-cushioned heel for comfort and lightweight feel.
  • »Breathable mesh-lined interior. 
  • »Molded nylon arch shank for stability & support. 
  • »Abrasion-resistant heel and toe cap.
  • »Waterproof membrane. 
  • »Some models have malodor-controlling & moisture-absorbing footbeds. 
  • »Recycled laces and webbing for a secure fit. 
  • »Ideal for hardcore hiking. 
  • »Overpriced.
  • »Heavier (nearly 15.97oz per shoe). 


Whether you’re a frequent traveler who loves to hit the trails or an amateur hiker, you can undoubtedly choose any pair between Hi-Tec and Merrell.

However, you should go for Merrell when your primary focus is to get a striking & long-lasting hiking boot no matter what the price is. Because Merrell’s best-featured boots come with hefty costs. You can invest in Merrell Moab 2 or Moab 3 as per your requirement.

But if you wanna get all the finest benefits within a minimal budget, simply opt for Hi-Tec. These pairs will help you trek confidently on any steep, rocky, slippery, and hostile surface. On top of that, these hiking boots are stylish, rich in favorable features, hiking-friendly, and worth the money.

That is, both Hi-Tec and Merrell are eligible for challenging hikes. But remember that, Hi-Tec won’t last longer like Merrell does.


Do Hiking Boots Make A Difference?

Yes, hiking boots make a huge difference. While hiking in rough terrains, a pair of ordinary shoes or sandals can’t provide adequate protection for your feet. But hiking boots will provide necessary traction and support to the foot while protecting it from various aggressive objects.

Are Hi-Tec Good for Hiking?

Yes, Hi-Tec shoes are good for light hiking or multi-day backpacking trip because of their supportive and foot-molded soles.

Can Merrell Hiking Shoes Get Wet?

Yes, Merrell’s hiking shoes can get wet. However, the waterproof Merrells keep feet dry in the watery terrain, but feet become damp in the pairs where waterproof feature is absent.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

Leave a Comment