With the MQM, Merrell have produced a collection of hiking shoes that boast the kind of tech you'd normally see in a trail running shoe. This is a range built for travelling and exploring the great outdoors at pace, whether that involves lightweight hiking, fast-packing, or quick ascents before sunset.
Various iterations of the MQM are available, meaning that you can basically pick-and-mix to ensure you're getting a shoe that will cater exactly for your needs.
Across both the men's and women's collections, there's the burly MQM Edge or there's the lighter, more nimble MQM Flex pictured here, then there's the option for Gore-Tex or no Gore-Tex. And to top if off, you can get it in a mid cut or low cut ankle.
Across all of the versions of the MQM, it's the midsole that's one of the standout features. It has what they call a "natural flex" built in, which means that the shoe moves with your foot for a close, precise connection. What this basically means is that your comfort will be improved and you should have that extra little bit of stability as well.
Merrell MQM Flex Gore-Tex Trail Shoes
More info: ellis-brigham.com
Under the foot there's soft but long lasting EVA foam used in the midsole and removable footbed and there's also a built-in air cushion to absorb shock on rocky trails or steep descents.
3.5mm lugs than give that traction and stability needed at pace – it's not an overly aggressive grip but it should be enough on dry summer trails.
The upper is made from a breathable mesh with a TPU coating mapped over what you could call more ‘vulnerable’ areas of the shoe to ensure protection for your feet and for the shoe's fabrics.
“A really strong release by Merrell and one that is more than worthy of a place in our Outdoors Magic 100..."
Other things to note include the simple and secure lace closure, the bellowed tongue that'll prevent debris from working its way into the shoe, and a slight toe bumper.
We loved last year's Merrell Chameleon Flex, enough to include it in our last Outdoors Magic 100 series, and the new MQM series seems like a progression of it, being even lighter and more nimble but still offering protection and stability.
A really strong release by Merrell and one that is more than worthy of a place in our Outdoors Magic 100.
Stuart Kenny - Associate Editor at Mpora
I got the chance to put the Merrell MQM Flex shoe through its paces (literally!) in the Scottish highlands recently. It’s certainly a sturdy shoe, one that’s comfortable to wear and that can take whatever the elements throw it at. It was covered in mud, dampened in rivers and stuck through the bogs of Kingussie over the course of the weekend, but my feet stayed dry throughout and slips were few and far between. The shoe may be a little wide for a narrow-footed outdoors-man like myself but you can rely on the grip and the build for sure.