Hi-Tec VS Merrell Hiking Boots: Which Is Better? - Brand Separator (2024)

If you ask any experienced hiker or backpacker on the trail what the most important piece of gear is, they would probably say “A Good Pair of Hiking Shoes”.

Well-established brands like Merrell and Hi-Tec are considerable players in the world of hiking footwear as they offer great day-to-day activities shoes to wear on rough terrain.

In our today’s write-up, we will elaborate on their brief overview and background, each company’s features like the design of their shoes, popularity, and what sets them apart from the competition. So let’s get started:

Comparison Table Between HI-Tec And Merrel:

Founded in 1974Founded in 1981
Outdoor crossover shoes, trail running shoes, and hiking bootsHiking, Trail Running, Slip Ons, Sneakers, Boots, Shoes, Sandals
Not the very best choice for HikingGreat options for Hiking
DurableLasts a long period
Provide less tractionMore grip on any surface due to Vibram
Less BreathableMore Breathable
XLR8 midsoleEVA Midsoles
45 days return policy30 days return policy
Relatively less varietyHuge variety of stylish designs and colors

Overview of Hi-Tec:

Hi-Tec is a popular manufacturer of outdoor footwear and athletic apparel. They’ve been making footwear since 1974, and their trail running shoes, crossover shoes, and hiking boots got a lot of fame.

The brand was set up in the United States in 1978 with the introduction of the Sierra Sneaker, the world’s first lightweight hiking footwear.

After nearly three years, the Silver Shadow was introduced in 1981 to dominate the running category; 23% of London Marathon runners wore it that year. There was no better all-purpose training shoe on the market than the Silver Shadow, so it soon became Britain’s most popular running shoe.

In 1996, Hi-Tec debuted the Adventure Racing Series, a line of shoes optimized for performance in adventure and obstacle races by combining the best features of trail running and lightweight hiking footwear. The Hi-Tec Men’s Bandera Mid Waterproof is their top-rated Hiking Boots which are widely appreciated by lots of people worldwide.

Hi-Tec VS Merrell Hiking Boots: Which Is Better? - Brand Separator (1)

Moreover, Hi-Tec is committed to helping people everywhere who enjoy nature and want to see the world around them. This international shoe brand sells in almost 85 countries across the world under the brands Hi-Tec Court, Hi-Tec Outdoor, Hi-Tec Golf, Hi-Tec Sport, Urban Collections, and Magnum.

Overview of Merrell:

Merrell is a footwear and apparel company founded in 1981 by Clark Matis, John Schweizer, and Randy Merrell. John and Clark have considerable background in outdoor travel gave them a boost in building a successful company, Randy, on the other hand, had the appropriate shoemaking skills.

The main goal of this friendly and cooperative partnership was to design, manufacture, and market high-quality outdoor shoes and bootswithout sacrificing the wearer’s comfort or productivity.

There’s a lot to like about all of the phenomenal Merrell shoes, and their best-selling Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof Shoes are durable, provide great grip, and feel very comfortable on most types of trails.

Due to their exceptional footwear brand got worldwide appreciation and millions of nature enthusiasts all around the world still consider Merrell a top-tier shoe company.

Despite the brand’s success, Randy Merrell preferred to sell his share of the company a few years later, and in 1997 it became a part of the Wolverine World Wide label.

Presently, Merrell’s footwear is still crafted from superior materials, exactly as it was in the 1980s, however, the brand now designs and sells a variety of other products.

Merrell has always a strong commitment to quality and safety in its manufacturing processes, has believe in the shoes they manufacture, and aims to inspire and encourage its customers by providing them with reliable footwear.

Major Differences between the brands:

Continue reading to see which brand we think meets the criteria for being the best hiking shoe brand,and then you can make your own choice.

1) Comfort:

When it comes to comfort, Hi-Tec and Merrell hiking boots will definitely not let you down on the trail.

The best quality of Hi-Tec boots is in their ability to combine tough construction with careful considerations for user comfort in almost any weather condition.

In addition to being resistant to abrasion and blisters, their footwear provides exceptional ankle and foot support due to the generously padded top.

Furthermore, the XLR8 midsole utilized by Hi-Tec is 10% lighter than standard EVA and is capable of absorbing energy with every step while keeping your feet relaxed and comfy.

Therefore, by providing unrivaled technology, versatility from city to trail, and durability, HI-TEC provides comfort anywhere.

Conversely, Merrell always considers the wearer’s comfort at every stage of the design process, beginning with the sole and working through each material they used in the entire construction.

The main thing that makes their hiking boots comfortable is how light they are, since your feet take most of the force during a hike so dropping a few pounds from them will help you hike faster and last longer on the trail.

Additionally, cushioned and flexible outsoles and midsoles of Merrell shoes provide maximal comfort no matter where the day takes you.

Lastly, Merrell’s “M Select cushioned footbeds” are a key component in the brand’s promise to deliver exceptional comfort where it’s needed most.

Also Check Out Our Article: Merrel VS Oboz

2) Popularity:

Hi-Tec is the official shoe brand of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

At the Footwear Industry Awards, “Hi-Tec was selected as Sports Footwear Brand of the Year 2014” and “Outdoor Footwear Company of the Year 2013”.

Moreover, Hi-Tec’s V-Lite Altitude Ultra Luxe boot was named Best Buy Walking Boot in 2012. The Great Outdoors Awards was also given to “Hi-Tec’s ZUUK trainer”.

Conversely, Merrell is popular among day hikers, backpackers, outdoor adventures, and trail goers.

In addition to being “Brand of the Year” at the Footwear News Achievement Awards, Merrell has been honored with many product awards, including the Moab 3 receiving an “Innovation in Design” honorable mention from Fast Company, the “Moab Speed Thermo Mid Waterproof” being selected for “Outside’s Best in Hiking Boots in the 2023 Buyer’s Guide”, and the “Rogue hiking boots and MTL Sky fire 2” receiving “ISPO Awards for product excellence”.

Also Check Out: Merrel VS Sorel – Which Is Better?

3) Target Market:

Merrell intends its footwear to almost everyone; the brand does not necessarily target a specific age group but offers something to suit everyone who loves outdoor recreation.

Conversely, Hi-Tec targets their boots for the general public and outdoorsy people, particularly men and women aged between 21 to more than 35.

Also Check Out: Timberland VS Merrel

4) Price:

One of the main selling points of both of these brands is their reasonable pricing. However, Hi-Tec has more affordable options and their footwear is from $54 to as much as $99.

Prices for Merrell’s shoe collections can go up to over $200 but most of Merrell’s hiking boots fall between $90 and $100.

Also, Check Out our Comparison B/W Moab 2 and Moab 3

5) Design:

Hi-Tec is well-known for designing some of the lightest yet most durable shoes on the market this is due to the incorporation of multiple innovations.

They have incorporated the V-Lite technology to ensure that their footwear is always made from lightweight materials and has less rubber than traditional boots.

In addition, their famous Dri-Tec membrane provides unrivaled waterproofing and exceptional water transmission, allowing you to perform at your peak even in the hottest and wet conditions. This membrane has millions of tiny pores that let moisture vapor out but don’t let water droplets in, so your feet stay dry and boots endure longer.

Lastly, they insert DTA in the midsole that is ergonomically designed to help improve the feet’s transition from heel to toe and prevent any unpleasant experience while hiking.

On the other hand, for over 60 years, Merrell has been designing superior hiking boots than Hi-Tec, and the durability of the brand’s footwear is ensured by rigorous field testing.

The brand incorporates “The GORE-TEX, M-Select WIND, M-Select WICK, M-Select WARM insulation, M-SelectTM GRIP, M-Select Dry,” and many other technologies in all of their shoe designs to meet the needs of every outdoor explorer.

Moreover, Merrell combines natural and synthetic materials in their hiking footwear that acts as an effective barrier against cold and hot environments, ensuring that you will never face any discomfort even after hours of trekking in different weather conditions.

Also, their Vibram rubber outsoles offer the best support and are engineered to deliver proper balance and traction, so whether it is hiking, light backpacking, trail running, or trekking Merrell is the way to go.

Conclusion: What Should You Buy?

In summary, Hi-Tec boots are an affordable option for beginner hikers, and they offer many useful features in their footwear.

However, in comparison to Merrell, Hi-Tec’s hiking boots fall short, they have a very limited selection of shoe styles that don’t have the best craftsmanship.

Also, those who need better quality boots that they’re going to use for long hikes on challenging terrains should opt for Merrell.

Summing up, while pricier than Hi-Tec, the footwear offered by Merrell has premium materials and technologies to provide the best hiking experience possible.

Hi-Tec VS Merrell Hiking Boots: Which Is Better? - Brand Separator (2024)
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