New Merrell MQM collection blurs the lines between trail and hiking shoes

Up, over and down. The three phases of the mountain described by the Merrell design team when the created the MQM collection. Designed from the ground-up, MQMs are hybrid shoes to move fast while retaining protection and security.

There are two opposite trends in the outdoor gear world. Make a piece ultra-specific for a type of activity or merge different characteristics to get more versatile. The Moving Quickly in the Mountains™ (MQM) collection falls into the second category. The initial idea was to make a shoe for fast-paced hiking up, down and scrambling.

While a lot of people use trail-running shoes for hiking, they can lack support and durability and I think Merrell is trying a new approach with the MQM line, more hiking, less trail-running.

There are 3 different models in the line for both men and women. The MQM Flex is the low ankle, 540g version with the MQM Flex Gore-Text, 640g being the waterproof version. The third shoe, the MQM Flex Mid Waterproof is a760g mid-ankle boot with Merrell’s DRY membrane.

All the models share the same specs: 3.5mm lugs of proprietary M Select Grip, Merrell stickiest rubber. The sole use FLEXconnect dual-directional flex-groove, providing a lot of flexibility on the front part while keeping the heel locked in place. There is a lot of added protection around the shoe, especially on the outside-front, where I always wear mine down.

The design is very attractive and I like the added protection and the use of FLEXconnect in the sole. The weight is my main concern on those so I guess we’ll have to see that in a more in-depth review.