REVIEW: Merrell Shoes

Posted In: Blog, Camping Gear, Product Review, RV Lifestyle, RV Products

Is there such a thing as “best” shoes for RV camping? I’m going to go out on a limb and say yes. At the very least, we can all agree that there are “worst” shoes for certain activities. For example, I’ve found that high heels aren’t very useful on the hiking trail. (They really cause me ankle strain.) We choose different shoes for different jobs.

With regard to shoes, let’s first consider some of the unique attributes of RV camping. In a typical day, you go outdoors. You go indoors. You go outdoors. You go indoors. You go outdoors. You go indoors. You go outdoors. You go indoors. You go outdoors. You go indoors. You go outdoors. You go indoors. Get the picture?

My wife and I like to remove our shoes when stepping indoors. We aren’t strict about it, but if possible we prefer not to track mud and dirt all over our RV floor. So our preference is for shoes that are easily removable (no laces), comfortable, and versatile. If your shoes have extensive lacing, you’ll spend about five hours a day tying and untying your footwear.

Look, ma! No hands!

Look, ma! No hands!

In good weather, my favorite camping shoe is a pair of Crocs flip flops. (Crocs is a longtime favorite, and you can read our ode to these flip flops in a separate post.)

In all other weather (including cooler good weather) I choose Merrell, a brand of outdoor foot apparel. Merrell makes everything from running shoes to hiking boots to semi-formal shoes. They’re the best thing for RV camping since fresh water.

Obviously I haven’t tried every shoe that Merrell makes. But I’ve found what I believe to be an ideal design for RV camping. It’s called the Jungle Moc. I wear the Jungle Moc (in the politically incorrect color dubbed “gunsmoke”) whenever I’m not wearing Crocs.

Gunsmoke!

Gunsmoke!

What makes Merrell shoes so great for RV camping?

First of all, they have no laces. Instead, there’s an elastic flap over the instep. You can easily slip on and slip off the shoes without using your hands. You step into the shoe, or step out of it. This is a huge advantage in an RV. It’s no big deal for me to remove my shoes at the door. They are are as easy as flip flops in this regard.

Second, they are incredibly comfortable. Merrell is a company that stakes its brand reputation on comfort. These shoes are among the most comfortable I have ever owned. I liked my first pair of Jungle Mocs so much, I bought a couple of additional pairs in more formal Merrell styles (for the occasional fancy dinner). All Merrells that I have tried have been supremely comfortable – no achy feet at the end of the day.

Then there’s function. The Jungle Moc shoes offer excellent support, traction, and grip. There’s “air-cushion technology” in the midsole to absorb shock and support the foot.

They are suitable for all sorts of outdoor activities. Of course, Merrell also makes an extensive line of hiking boots for rugged excursions. But for the majority of casual outdoor activities, I find the Jungle Mocs do the trick. I don’t hesitate to wear them on light hikes (although since they don’t offer much ankle support, I wouldn’t take them on a strenuous climb).

It's a rainy day in Glacier, but the Merrells are getting it done.

It’s a rainy day in Glacier, but the Merrells are getting it done.

They may not technically be waterproof, but they seem to be “water resistant.” I’ve worn mine in Alaska during the rainy season with few problems.

They are durable. I got almost five years of wear out of my first pair. They were still in such good condition that they moved on to an easy but active retirement as house slippers.

To my eyes, the styling is attractive and versatile. They look fine on the hiking trail, but they also look suitable for an evening on the town, albeit in the less formal places. Merrell makes Jungle Mocs in a variety of organic earthy colors. No neon yellows, oranges, and and greens – and that’s okay with me.

Are Merrell Jungle Mocs the best shoes for RV camping? For my money, yes. I recently discovered that the Jungle Moc is the Merrell company’s #1 best selling shoe. I’m not surprised.


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