‘Build for the outdoors, styled for the city’ is the motto, and it’s something Merrell have perfected. With the release of the Emergy range I got to try out the collection and also got to feature in the AW15 lookbook.
Having heard of the brand before, my first initial impression when I heard of the idea of bridging the gap between the trail and the city weren’t the greatest. It’s something a lot of brands have tried to do before and struggled in their attempt. After getting my hands on the shoes, and most importantly my feet, it quickly became clear that Merrell had created what they set out the achieve.
Lead designer, Martin Dean says. “The challenge was simple – create a shoe that’s made for the streets but also ready to hit the dirt. Merrell’s heritage as an outdoor footwear brand also had a big influence on the design process; this is most noticeable on the sole, which takes inspiration from an indoor climbing wall and uses bold bright colours to contrast the shoe’s upper.”
The shoe’s were comfortable (I mean really comfortable) and the technical detailing makes the shoe great for all terrains. I tested it out on the street, on cliffs and even the beach and the comfort and wearability stood up to the tests. The brand is known for it’s more technical features so it really wasn’t a surprise to me that the shoes were great to wear and perfect for the outdoors.
The comfort of the shoe is merged with Merrell’s patented performance technology: M Select Fresh which offers breathability alongside the M Select Grip which delivers slip-resistant traction on wet or dry ground. The shoe also has a non-slip tongue with foam padding which of course adds to the overall comfort and it features breathable mesh lining and hidden air cushions which offer durability whilst wearing.
The style element is obviously where things become difficult. How do you make a shoe that’s built for the trail look good? The colour combinations that the collection come in are spot on, nothing to outrageous and keeping it simple with classic colour ways. The suede also adds some style you wouldn’t expect with a classic off road shoe and the overall shape is more slimline too.
My favourite has to be the Navy and also the Brown which are exclusive to Office.
Overall I think Merrell have achieved what they set out to achieve with this collection and personally I’m a fan. I’ll wear them when I’m looking for comfort and if I know there’s a lot of walking to do throughout the day.