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Compass Brands are the appointed sales agency for Merrell Socks.

 Founded in 1981, Merrell® manufactures footwear and apparel in hiking, running, and casual styles that equip people to experience the outdoors at its fullest.

The rugged and comfortable socks we craft are built on the rich outdoor heritage, quality, and performance that is synonymous with the Merrell® brand. From classic hiking styles to everyday favorites, every stitch in every pair of socks is carefully designed so that nothing gets in the way of the next outdoor adventure.

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Over the years

Merrell shoes
Merrell Store front

1981 - 1986


1987 - 1992

Sale to Karhu

1993 - 2007

Sale to Wolverine Worldwide

2008 - Present

Merrell was established in 1981 when two executives for the Rossignol ski company, Clark Matis and John Schweizer, launched a new maker of hiking boots. The pair joined forces with Randal Ivan Merrell (R.I. Merrell), a maker of praised custom boots which retailed for $500 a pair. Matis set to work designing a more affordable high-performance boot, which was developed in 1982. Plans were made for production of the new line in factories located in Italy, a leading exporter of footwear to the world market at the time.

In 1983, the new Merrell company delivered its first product to the market, making shipments to a pair of east coast retailers specializing in hiking gear.

In 1986, Randy Merrell sought to return to his previous life as a maker of custom boots and sold his share of the company bearing his name. That same year the company sold its 25,000th pair of boots.

In 1997, Karhu sold Merrell to Wolverine World Wide, a large footwear corporation which manufactures Hush Puppies shoes and Wolverine brand boots. In the year of the Wolverine acquisition, Merrell sales volume totaled $23 million.

Wolverine introduced a new lighter-weight sensibility to the line, beginning with a trail running shoe called the "Jungle Runner". This initial foray into lightweight footwear was not a commercial success, but a team led by Clark Matis came up with the idea of using a very aggressive trail running outsole with a casual slip-on upper made of pigskin suede, a material previously perfected and used extensively in the Hush Puppies line.

The work of Matis' design group culminated with the introduction of what would become the brand's signature shoe, the "Jungle Moc." The new product was a success, with total shipments of Jungle Mocs hitting 3.5 million pairs by 2002 and 10 million by 2009.

In 2007, the Merrell line was expanded to include apparel and accessories. By 2010, Merrell products were being sold in 151 countries. The brand generates the most revenue in Wolverine World Wide's portfolio.

In 1987, Merrell was purchased by Karhu. The new owners moved production of Merrell products to Asia, reducing retail prices and expanding sales. In 1988, sales of Merrell products topped the $4 million mark.

A period of rapid growth for Merrell followed with 1989 sales increasing by 50%, to the $6 million mark. By 1990, some 300,000 pairs of shoes and boots were being sold annually, with sales for the year topping the $10 million mark for the first time. The company became a global enterprise, with divisions established in Canada, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and the United States.

The year 1992 saw another doubling of the company's sales volume, topping the $20 million mark. By the middle of the decade, Merrell products were being sold in 22 countries.

On November 30, 2022, Merrell was voted the Brand of the Year at the Footwear News Achievement Awards (FNAA). In the third quarter of sales that ended Oct. 1, 2022, Merrell posted its total revenue of $198.6 million, up 33.6% since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

In 2023, Merrell was rated the top barefoot running shoe for beginners by Wired. The idea behind a minimalist running shoe is less cushioning and support for more foot engagement.[8] Along with the barefoot running shoes, Merrell has been called one of the top beginner hiking boot companies. As stated in The Strategist, The Merrell Moab 3 is "waterproof, sturdy, and relatively affordable ... a classic"

Dramatic Sunset over the Mountains


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