Merrell Vs Timberland: Who Has the Best Hiking Boots?

Written By Sunny

Are you preparing for the next outdoor adventure and looking for the perfect hiking boots to conquer the most challenging mountains?

If so, Merrell and Timberland have the best-performing and most durable shoes for your upcoming outer activities.

In this comparison, I will compare Timberland and Merrell shoes to track down the most appropriate boot for your next hiking trip.merrell-vs-timberland

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Overview of Merrell and Timberland Boots

Few companies have significantly impacted outdoor footwear manufacturing, and Merrell and Timberland are the most prominent of them.

Both companies have a rich history, a commitment to quality, and a reputation for producing durable and comfortable outdoor shoes.


Timberland LLC is an American footwear and apparel manufacturing company whose origin dates back to 1918 when Nathan Swartz started his career in shoemaking.

Timberland’s real journey began in 1952 when Swartz bought 50% of the company.

Timberland emerged from work boots and now manufactures shoes for various outdoor and indoor activities, surpassing its work boots origin.

In 1973, Timberland introduced the first ever waterproof “Timberland boot,” which created a craze among the sneakerheads, and finally, in 1978, they renamed the entire company after this model.

In June 2011, Timberland reached a final acquisition agreement with VF Corporation, valuing each share at $43, or around $2 billion.

Nowadays, Timberland manufactures various types of footwear, such as boots, hiking boots & shoes, winter boots, field boots & euro hikers, shoes & slippers, boat shoes, sandals & slides, waterproof footwear, and chukkas.


Merrell is also an American footwear manufacturer established in 1981 (43 years ago) by two executives, Clark Matis and John Schweizer, and a custom boot maker, Randy Merrell.

Merrell started specifically for hiking while focusing on performance and comfort.

But soon surpassing its hiking footwear production, Merrell started producing various outdoor shoes and boots for multiple needs.overview-of-merrell

Merrell’s first ever best-selling product was the Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof Shoes, which was widely popular due to their enhanced durability, excellent grip, and comfort.

However, in 1986, Randy Merrell returned to his custom shoemaking profession.

Surprisingly, Merrell sold almost 25,000 boot units that year, making them one of the best shoe manufacturers of that time.

After the founder left the company, it was sold to Wolverine World Wide (manufacturer of Hush Puppies) in 1997.

Merrell still prioritizes quality, safety, and customer satisfaction and manufactures shoes for various outdoor activities such as hiking, trail running, winter, training, and work.

Attribute Comparison of Merrell and Timberland

Though both Timberland and Merrell are American shoe manufacturers, their shoes significantly differ in comfort, style, durability, and performance.

The divergences are evident in the design and silhouette of both brand’s shoes.

Consider the subsequent attribute comparison table to understand the differences between Timberland and Merrell.

Brand OverviewKnown for its innovative technologies and designsKnown for its iconic yellow work boots and emphasis on rugged construction and timeless style
ColorwaysNatural, earthy tones, brighter accentsMuted and classic
UpperMesh, leather, or suedePremium leather, suede
MidsoleAir cushion, QForm, EVA midsoleAnti-Fatigue Technology, EVA midsole
OutsoleVibram® outsoles, M Select™ GRIPRubber lug outsoles
CushioningGood, with technologies like Merrell Air CushionGood, often with EVA footbeds
FitTrue to size with half-size optionsTrue to size with half-size options
ToeboxRoomyRoomy, often narrow
VersatilityLess versatileMore versatile
Lacing SystemTraditional lace-up systemTraditional lace-up system
WeightLightweight to moderateModerate to heavy
Price Range$30-280$40-295
Best forHiking, trail running, casual wearWork, hiking, winter wear, casual wear

8 Primary Differences Between Merrell and Timberland

By staring at the above table, it’s clear that both brands have several divergences. Primarily, the differences are visible in the shoe silhouette, materials, weight, and product offerings.

For a better understanding of all the differences, consider the subsequent discussion.

1. Diverse Shoe Categories

Both brands offer shoes for various categories, and you will find shoe models for your running needs.

From hiking to work, Merrell has numerous shoe models. However, due to the early adoption, Timberland has broader shoe categories.

Consider the following table of the most popular models from Merrell.

CategoryMerrell Shoe Models
HikingMoab Speed 2 GORE-TEX, Moab 3, Speed Solo, Speed Eco, Speed Fusion Stretch, MQM 3 GORE-TEX
Trail RunningAgility Peak 5, Morphlite, MTL Long Sky 2, MTL Skyfire 2, Nova 3 GORE-TEX, Trail Glove 7, MQM 3
WinterThermo Snowdrift 2 Mid Waterproof, Nova 3 Thermo Moc, ColdPack 3 Thermo Moc, Thermo Snowdrift Zip Mid Shell, Jungle Slide Cozy
TrainingMorphlite, Agility Peak 5, Nova 3 GORE-TEX, Trail Glove 7 GORE-TEX, Vapor Glove 6, Trail Glove 7
BackpackingMTL Thermo Rogue 4 Mid GORE-TEX, Rogue Hiker Mid GORE-TEX, Moab 3 Apex Mid Waterproof, Chameleon 8 Stretch Waterproof
Water-FriendlyMoab Flight Sieve, Speed Fusion Stretch, Speed Fusion Web Sport, Accentor 3 Sieve, Speed Strike Leather Sieve, Wildwood Aerosport
WorkJungle Moc Leather Comp, Phaserbound 2 Mid Waterproof Carbon Fiber, Moab 3 Mid Tactical Waterproof, Moab Vertex Vent Comp, MQC Force Tactical, Moab Velocity Tactical Mid Waterproof, Chameleon Flux Leather Waterproof Carbon Fiber

Undoubtedly, Merrell has a huge shoe collection for diverse shoe categories as you can see in the above table.

But Timberland surpasses Merrell with more product and category offerings. Following is the table of the most popular shoes from Timberland.

CategoryTimberland Shoe Models
BootsTimberland® Premium 6-Inch Waterproof, Timberland® Heritage 6-Inch Lace-Up, Mt. Maddsen Mid Lace-Up Hiking Boot, White Ledge Waterproof Mid Hiker Boot, Converge Waterproof Boot
Hiking shoes & bootsGreenStride™ Motion 6 Lace-Up Hiking, Mt. Maddsen Mid Lace-Up Hiking Boot, White Ledge Waterproof Mid Hiker Boot, Winsor Trail Mid Hiking Boot
6 Inch BootsTimberland® Premium 6-Inch Waterproof, Timberland® Classic 6-Inch Waterproof, Timberland® C.F. Stead™ Indigo Suede
Winter BootsMt. Lincoln Waterproof Insulated Boot, Chillberg Waterproof Insulated Boot
Field Boots & Euro Hikers6-Inch Waterproof Field Boot, Waterproof Field Boot, Euro Hiker Leather Boot, Timberland® C.F. Stead™ Indigo Suede
Sneakers & Sneaker BootsMaple Grove Chukka, GreenStride™ Motion 6 Slip On Sneaker, GreenStride™ Motion 6 Mid Lace-Up
Boat Shoes3-Eye Lug Handsewn Boat Shoe, Classic Two-Eye Boat Shoes, Timberland® C.F. Stead™ Indigo Suede 3-Eye Lug Handsewn Boat Shoe, Timberland® x A-COLD-WALL* Waterproof Boat Shoe
Waterproof FootwearChillberg Waterproof Insulated Mid Boot, Heritage 6-Inch Rubber Toe Boot, Treeline Waterproof Insulated Boot, Mt. Maddsen Waterproof Mid Hiking Boot
ChukkasMaple Grove Leather Chukka, Timberland® 1973 Newman Waterproof Chukka Boot, Timberland® Premium Waterproof Chukka, Men's Maple Grove Chukka, GreenStride™ Atwells Ave Waterproof Chukka Boot

Timberland outshines Merrell with its more comprehensive range of categories and shoe models within each category.

2. Technologies and Materials

It is very common for shoe manufacturers to use proprietary technologies to craft their shoes; the same applies to Timberland and Merrell.

Both manufacturers have various unique technologies and proprietary materials that assist in creating the best shoes.

The following are Merrell’s most used technologies.

Merrell’s TechnologyDescription
M-Select FRESHAntibacterial treatment to combat odor.
Air CushionShock-absorbing technology in the shoe’s midsole.
Kinetic Fit BASEAnatomical footbed for a personalized and secure fit.
Vibram® solesRubber outsole for excellent traction and durability.
Merrell HyperLeatherA waterproof synthetic leather.
Merrell Barefoot™ technologyMimics a barefoot feel for more freedom and connection to the ground.

Timberland is the pioneer in shoe waterproofing technology. Along with their waterproof technology, they frequently utilize various techs and materials to craft their durable shoes.

Following is the list of Timberland’s technologies.

Timberland’s TechnologyDescription
Timberland® waterproof technologyA unique technology for complete waterproofing.
PrimaLoft® insulationLightweight and warm insulation for winter boots.
Timberland PRO® RubberNon-marking, slip-, oil- and abrasion-resistant rubber.
Timberland® full-grain leatherFull-grain leather after roaming excess thickness.
Timberland® nubuck leatherFull-grain leather with a smooth, velvety surface.
SensorFlex technologyA three-layer outsole technology.

Both brands have several proprietary technologies and materials. However, Merrell has a wider range of techs, so Merrell is the winner in this category.

3. Shoe Silhouette & Popularity

Merrell silhouettes tend to be more technical and functional due to their focus on performance and comfort.

The shoe outline of Merrell’s shoes is instantly recognizable, thanks to the wider toe boxes, mesh & leather upper panels, and unique design scheme.

Primarily, Merrell manufactures shoes for hiking, running, and everyday wear.

Though the Merrell shoes aren’t as fashionable as Timberland shoes, they use a wider color palette for their shoes and offer tremendous and colorful shoes.shoe-silhouette-of-merrell

Timberland silhouettes are instantly recognizable, and their timeless design effortlessly blends rugged functionality with fashion appeal.

These unique silhouettes make it suitable for outdoor adventures and semi-formal occasions.

However, Timberland prefers more muted colors for its shoes, and its most iconic 6-inch boots feature a chunky build and signature yellow laces, making them easily identifiable.

In terms of popularity, Merrell has dominated the performance footwear arena for decades.

Several publications like Forbes and Travel + Leisure featured them, and Merrell was also awarded as “Brand of the Year” multiple times.

Their focus on innovation and comfort makes them popular among sneakerheads and individuals who prioritize function and outdoor activities.

On the contrary, Timberland offers highly durable and timeless masterpieces and has become a cultural icon among the Black community.shoe-silhouette-of-timberland

But surpassing the African-descent community, Timberland has become widely popular among musicians, hip-hop artists, and cultural figures.

Timberland’s iconic design, durability, and cultural significance are behind its widespread appeal.

In short, both brands offer iconic shoes, and most are widely popular.

4. Cushioning & Comfort

Both brands have significant divergences regarding cushioning and comfort.

I have tried several shoes from each of them and found something interesting that you must consider if you’re seeking a comfortable outdoor shoe.

Without a doubt, Merrell is more focused on comfort and lightweight design.

If you closely look at the materials of Merrell shoes, you will find the soft and cozy Air Cushion (or Air Cushion+), Kinetic Fit Base, or QForm in the midsole.cushioning-and-comfort-of-merrell

In addition, the mesh upper of the Merrell shoes also contributes to the overall comfort. As a result, their shoes feature out-of-the-box comfort.

For instance, I have been using the Merrell Moab Adventure Lace shoe for several years for hiking and often casual walks.

This shoe is the most comfortable from Merrell I’ve ever tried, thanks to its combined nubuck leather & mesh upper and EVA midsole. The Vibram outsoles assist in challenging terrains while ensuring the best comfort.

Now, let’s get back to Timberland.

Timberland shoes are not as comfortable as Merrell shoes, but they still offer cushioning to ensure a comfy ride.

Timberland’s Anti-Fatigue technology (small hexagonal structure) absorbs the shock and returns adequate energy with each stride.cushioning-and-comfort-of-timberland

Moreover, the SensorFlex technology also assists in comfort in three layers.

The first layer is firm and ensures stability and comfort all day; the second layer is softer EVA foam that adapts to uneven surfaces, and the third layer is grooved sole bottom that flexes with each step.

Some models also incorporate EVA footbeds for further cushioning.

However, Timberland shoes don’t offer out-of-the-box comfort like Merrell and have a high break-in period.

The rubber outsole of Timberland shoes is sturdier and heavier than Merrell shoes. However, somehow, this outsole provides support and comfort for prolonged wear.

Some brand-new Timberland boots can hurt your ankle, but that can be fixed effortlessly.

Though both brands offer some level of cushioning for a more comfortable ride, Merrell outshines the Timberland with its superior cushioning.

5. Durability and Traction

Durability and traction are great concerns when choosing outdoor shoes for challenging terrains.

As you know, Merrell is more comfort-centric, and their shoes are not as durable as Timberland shoes. That doesn’t mean Merrell’s shoes are not enduring.

Due to the lightweight materials, Merrell shoes are more flexible and comfortable, directly affecting long-term durability.

In reality, Merrell shoes usually last 350-500 miles, which is upright for most users.

For traction, Merrell depends on the Vibram outsole. Some models also feature the proprietary M Select™ GRIP for additional grip on wet, dry, or mixed surfaces.

On the other hand, Timberland is widely known for producing the most durable footwear.

Timberland utilizes sturdier materials like premium full-grain leather and rubber outsole to build the most durable shoes that last decades.

I have been using the Pit Boss 6″ Steel Toe Work Boot for several years, and it still looks like a new shoe.

But you must care and maintain properly to get the best out of your Timberland boots.

Though Timberland doesn’t utilize any unique outsole materials like Merrell, the lugged outsole of Timberland shoes is highly capable and ensures the best grip on all terrains.

Some models also use the lug reversal technology for improved self-cleaning and grip.

In summary, Timberland is the ultimate winner in this section due to its extended longevity and superior grip on most surfaces.durability-and-traction-of-timberland

6. Fit, Sizing, & Stability

To get the best performance from your boots, it’s crucial to ensure a perfect fit and sizing.

Usually, both brand’s shoes are true-to-size, but this can vary depending on shoe models. For instance, some Merrell models often run slightly larger or smaller, which also applies to Timberland shoes.

Merrell shoes generally feature a wider toe box and a more accommodating fit to offer the best fit regardless of different foot shapes.

Moreover, Merrell also offers narrow, medium, and wide options for many models.

Merrell shoes utilize the molded midsole and anatomical footbed and offer good stability for moderate

In addition, the Moab 2 provides enhanced ankle support.

Conversely, Timberland shoes are narrower in the toe box and provide a secure, sock-like feel. However, wider feet may struggle in the narrower toe box.

Timberland offers excellent stability on rugged terrains thanks to its stiffer construction and supportive ankle collars.

Some popular models like TiTAN 6″ Safety Toe provide superior stability for demanding tasks.

In short, while the Merrell offers the best accommodating fit, Timberland provides better stability for arduous duties.

7. Price and Significance

Merrell shoes start at a slightly lower price point than Timberland, and their boots cost around $80 to $250.

Conversely, the price of Timberland boots is pricier and often typically ranges from $100 to $300.

Now, considering both brands’ price and value ratios, some exciting facts exist.

For instance, if you’re more budget-conscious, the best option is to wear the Merrell shoes. These shoes offer the best value while ensuring the best comfort and fit.

However, if you pay a few extra bucks for Timberland shoes, it’s kind of a long-term investment.

Their shoes are highly durable and last way longer than Merrell shoes.

By staring at the price, it may seem the Merrell shoes are the better option. But if you consider the longevity of Timberland, it is an excellent long-term investment, and you will get better value over time.

Overall, Timberland surpasses Merrell in the context of price and value with its durable and premium materials.price-and-significance-of-timberland

8. Collaborations & Revenue

Big brands usually collaborate with others and launch special editions; the same goes for Merrell and Timberland.

Merrell has collaborated with Jeep and introduced the Merrell Moab 3 Mid x Jeep for hiking.

They also collaborated with Native American artists to build a community representing the outdoors.

In 2022, Merrell’s revenue was $764 million, an 18% increase from 2021. Surprisingly, Merrell’s official website generates $131.9 million in revenue.

On the other hand, Timberland worked with numerous fashion and shoe brands and introduced multiple special editions.

Among numerous brands, some of the more prominent collaborations were with Supreme, Tommy Hilfiger, Jimmy Choo, Off-White, OVO, and so on.

Recently, Timberland collaborated with Supreme and MLB team New York Yankees and introduced a Yankees-logoed boot.

In 2022, Timberland’s revenue was $1.4 billion, and its official website generated $121.6 million of revenue.

In summary, Timberland surpasses Merrell in terms of collaboration and revenue.

Pros & Cons of Merrell and Timberland

Merrell and Timberland have their own advantages and disadvantages, like any other prominent shoe manufacturer.

So, before finalizing your acquisition decision, you must consider the merits and drawbacks of both brands to pinpoint the most appropriate shoe.


  • »Durable and rugged construction.
  • »Excellent grip on various surfaces.
  • »Increased ventilation and breathability.
  • »Variety of shoes for different activities.
  • »Best value considering the quality and durability.
  • »Less stylish than Timberland.
  • »Wider design is not for everyone.


  • »High-quality materials and durable construction.
  • »Highly reputed for excellent service.
  • »Suitable for a variety of weather conditions.
  • »Features a classic, timeless look.
  • »Committed to environmental sustainability.
  • »More expensive than Merrell.
  • »Timberland boots are heavy.

Merrell vs Timberland: Which Brand Offers the Best Value?

Undoubtedly, both brands are prominent for making high-performance and best-quality outdoor footwear to overcome the most challenging terrains.

But when choosing one brand over another, you must consider several aspects.

Timberland shoes are leading in appearance & style, durability, and performance. So, if you need a shoe for semi-formal or casual wear, Timberland shoes are the best pick.

In addition, these shoes are made to last. Even though Timberland has a higher price tag, its boots will accompany you for several years, offering the best value in the long run.

Merrell, on the other hand, focuses more on camping and backpacking trips.

Due to these reasons, Merrell’s shoes are lighter, cozy, and more affordable. So, if you prioritize lightweights, out-of-the-box comfort, and the most cost-effective boots, you should go for Merrell shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Merrell a good brand of shoes?

Yes, Merrell is a prominent outdoor footwear manufacturer widely known for crafting the best hiking footwear. Merrell’s shoes are lightweight, comfortable, performance-oriented, and highly durable, making them ideal for outdoor activities apparel and shoes.

Are Timberland shoes well made?

Timberland stands out as one of the most recognized and respected global brands in high-quality footwear. Their shoes are well-constructed, and the use of premium materials makes them highly durable for outdoor activities.

Do special forces wear Merrell boots?

Yes, several Special Forces units wear the Merrell boots. Though it is not a required brand for any force, some forces prefer Merrell boots, especially the Merrell MOAB Ventilator, as their default Special Operator boot due to its durability and comfort.

Does Timberland last long?

Timberland shoes are made to last prolonged. These shoes are made of most premium materials and usually last longer than five years, even after heavy use. Timbs are often considered an investment due to their durability and long-lasting nature.

How long should Merrell’s shoes last?

Merrell’s shoes are incredibly durable and built to last longer. Blending premium mesh or leather upper, Vibram outsole, and Gore-Tex, Merrell’s shoes have an average lifespan of 400-500 miles.

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.

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