Merrell Work Boots Review: The Ultimate Plantar Fasciitis Shoes?

If you’ve ever spent the day in a poorly fitting, uncomfortable set of boots, you’ll know you never want to experience that ever again; we’re here to help you find the best pair with this Merrell work boots review.

Updated March 2020 by Tony Bleak

Merrell Work Boots Review
Photo by Jake Ingle on Unsplash

Although your regular boots might feel fine when you lace them up in the morning, after a few hours on your feet they might feel a little less comfortable or even painful with a blister or 2.

If this is the case for you and you’re looking for some good new work boots, you’re in the right place! We’ve done the research and narrowed down the best Merrell work boots.

The Top Pick: Moab Rover

If you know the name Merrell, you might know them for their exceptionally high quality, high-performance hiking boots. But you might also know that they have a diverse line of shoes, sandals, and cowboy boots.

That same level of attention to detail, love, and care runs throughout the entire product line. Which is why if I were looking for a quality, long-lasting and safe work boot that looked and felt great, I’d be looking for a Merrell. 

Read on to find out why, and which boot I think is Merrels’ best work boot choice. 

Moab Rover Phaserbound Windoc
See on AmazonSee on AmazonSee on Amazon
Upper materialFull-grain leather, suede, textileFull grain leather, M select waterproofingMesh and 3D printed polymer
Toe capCompositeCompositeSteel
SoleHeat resistant, oil & water non-slip, 5mmOil and water slip resistant, 5mmHeat resistant, non slip, 3mm
Weight 3lbs (1380g) as a pair 3lbs 8oz (1587g) as a pair 2lbs 28oz (1746g) as a pair
WaterproofYesYesNo

Merrell Work Boots Review Key Features

There are a couple of things that generally set work boots apart from other types of footwear.  

Side note: Merrell doesn’t offer metatarsal boots at this time but they might offer a met guard down the line considering the quality they have in the current work boots.

Safety 

You’re wearing these boots because you’re working. Meaning that the boots are going to be subject to pressures that other types of footwear don’t have to deal with. 
That’s why almost all work boots are designed to be incredibly hard-wearing. They generally share a common set of safety features, including:

Photo by Guilherme Cunha on Unsplash

Toes Caps

The most common safety feature you’ll find in work boots, steel toes caps are something that I’m eternally thankful for. Working in cramped and messy environments, it’s easy to stub your toe on things and when what you’re kicking is made of steel, it’s not a pleasant experience. 

On top of that, accidents happen. Constantly. No one’s perfect. The time your toes are saved from destruction after a joist slipped from your fingers and landed square on the end of your square toe boots, you’ll be glad you’re wearing something robust. 

Not all toe caps are created equally, however. There’s three types in general use. Steel, Aluminium and composite. 

Steel toe caps

When you imagine work boots, the unfortunate image is battered and worked half to death, with exposed steel toe caps. There’s a reason for that. 

As the toughest type of toe cap you can buy, steel is incredibly resilient and completely encompasses the front of your feet, providing the highest level of protection possible. In fact, some industries require steel toe capped boots in order to work on site. 

Some steel toe capped boots are also electrically insulated, with a shock protection rating.

The downsides of steel toe caps are weight and expense. 

Aluminium toe caps

Made from an alloy of aluminium and titanium, these types of toe caps are incredibly strong and tough. Because of the qualities of the metal used, the cap takes up less internal space, leading to a less bulky boot and sleeker, more aesthetically pleasing shoe. 

However, these types of toe caps are vulnerable to temperature change. If you’re working in hot or cold environments, they might not be suitable.

Composite toe caps

Constructed from plastic, kevlar or carbon fibre, composite toe caps are a lightweight choice for standard day to day work. 

The lighter construction and less robust materials mean that they won’t stand up to heavy weights in the same way as a metal toe cap, but they will shield your feet from impacts and accidental bumps, as well as help lessen the damage from anything major. 

Composite toe caps are an excellent choice for working around machinery or outside, but don’t come into direct contact with heavy industrial equipment. 

safety shoes
Photo by Brandon Couch on Unsplash

Comfort and Support

The second major consideration when you’re looking at work boots is how comfortable and supportive they are. 

After all, these are boots that are designed to be worn in stressful conditions for half a day at a time, day in and day out. 

If they’re uncomfortable, or they don’t provide you with the right level of support and stability, you’ll soon start to feel it and suffer. 

Weight

Weight might not be a consideration for you, especially if safety is the prime concern, but given the choice between a lighter and a heavier shoe with equal safety features, choosing the pair that weigh a pound less will make a huge difference come time to take them off. 

shoe weight
Photo by Cyril Saulnier on Unsplash

Adjustability and ease of wear

Work boots tend to be stiffer and tougher than normal footwear, so it’s important to size them correctly. 

Extra comfort options like lace adjustments, tightening straps or varying fits are a great help, as is being able to size the boots appropriately before you buy them.

Merrell are a great brand for this, as you’ll see when we get to the reviews. Almost all of their boots have multiple options for fit, with medium and wide sole options across the range. 

Breaking in

Because of the stiffness that comes with solid construction, work boots generally require a few days to break in and become completely comfortable. 

Higher quality materials will shorten this period, and bear in mind that they should never be uncomfortable, but after a couple of weeks, your boots should fit you like a glove.

Merrell work boots review – Top 3 choices

1) Moab Rover Waterproof Composite Toe

A perennial classic, developed from a hiking boot design and packed full of safety features whilst still looking sleek and classy, the Moab is a boot that’s suited for almost any working situation, from logger boot to welding.

Durability

Thick, full grain leather holds the design together and keeps each boot as a sealed unit, protecting your feet under the composite toe cap. The polymer closures are hard wearing and continue right up to the neck of the boot, ensuring a tight, stable fit. 

Hard wearing soles with 5mm lugs ensure stability no matter the floor conditions, including anti-oil slip technology. The sole is also treated to withstand short term contact with temperatures up to 500F. 

Lastly, the toe cap is composite, offering a good balance between protection and weight, under a solid layer of shock absorbing rubber. 

Comfort

If there’s something wearers say about these boots, it’s how comfortable they are. Made from flexible leather and suede, they hug your feet, forming around your particular shape quickly and minimising the break in period. 

The extra shock cushioning around the heel, zone based arch support and KINETIC FIT footbeds give your feet the support they need on long days. 

Also for the long days, strategically placed textiling and breathable mesh linings let your feet breath, whilst keeping the entire shoe waterproof. 

Usage

Unless you need regulatory compliance with steel toe caps, there’s few situations that the Moab won’t take in stride. 

Lightweight but tough, with flexibility enough to last a whole day, they almost don’t feel like work boots. But when the going gets tough, whether that be heat, groundwater or oil or simply common or garden impacts, these boots will eat it up. 

That’s why they’re the number one choice for a working boot, as well as being an absolute best seller. A common threat amongst online buyers was repeat purchases. It seems pretty standard, once you’ve worn a pair of these, to buy them again and again and again.  

Pros Cons
Light and comfortable No rear pull strap
Tough and resilient Toe cap is composite
Almost completely waterproof

2) Phaserbound 8” Zip Waterproof Composite

With a high necked design that sits snug around your ankle for maximum support whilst still offering all of the comforts of a Merrell boot, the Phaserbound is a fantastic choice for heavy duty workloads

Durability

Solidly constructed from full grain leather, these boots are designed specifically for long hard days. 

All the fittings are made to be resilient, with heavy duty fittings and zippers that will stand up to hard abuse. 

The stability arm built into the insole and resistant composite toe cap keep your feet safe, no matter what might come from outside, and for the times that you’re facing adverse floor conditions, you’ll be thankful for the slip resistant sole. 

Comfort

Despite how tough they are, these boots are incredibly simple to get on and off, because of a few smart design decisions. First off, the heavy duty zipper paired with the built in handles means that you can pull these on even in gloves. Y’know, if that was something you needed to do. 

Once your feet are inside, there’s a suite of cushioning keeping your tootsies snug and comfortable throughout the day. 

KINETIC FIT footbeds mould to your foot shape, backed up by the built in arch support and heel and toe air cushioning. 

Lastly, the meshing and waterproof membranes keep your feet dry whilst still letting them breath, which you’ll be thankful for when it comes time to take them off. 

Usage

Like the vast majority of Merrell products I’ve seen, these boots supposedly slip onto your feet like gloves, almost without a breaking in period. For boots this size, that’s quite frankly incredible. 

Considering all of the comfort and safety features built in, if you’re looking for a boot that offers maximum support for your ankle without skimping on quality, you might just have found what you’re looking for. 

Pros Cons
Incredible close, secure fit Relatively heavy
Huge amount of foot support Composite toe cap
Easy to get on and off, despite the height

3) Windoc Steel toe shoe

From the outside, the Windoc basically looks like a trainer. But once you realise exactly how tough these things are, especially considering the built in steel toe cap, you’ll soon see them in a completely different light. They have a black color available as some workplace have that requirement.

Durability

Made from mesh and 3d printed polymer, the base frame of this boot isn’t going to be as tough as a Moab or Phaserbound, but it more than makes up for it in other ways. 

First, and most obvious is the steel cap tucked away in the front of it that’s fully compliant with US and UK regulations. But beyond that, there’s several other smart features built in that you probably wouldn’t notice at first glance. 

First off, despite being more of a trainer, the sole is rated for 500 degree Fahrenheit temperatures for short periods of time. 

Second, there’s built in static diffusing technology, protecting you from unexpected jolts. 

Third, despite the design, structural stability arms and abrasion resistant coverings protect both your feet and your footwear against the majority of day to day mishaps. 

Comfort

Comfort is where these shoes beat out every other. 

From the flexible design that gives your feet space to flex and move, to the breathable lining that keeps your feet fresh to the amount of cushioning hugging your feet with great support, they’re a joy to wear. 

But don’t take my word for it. Pretty much every review I’ve read for these mentions how comfortable they are. 

Usage

If you’re looking for a durable piece of footwear that you can wear on a day to day basis; that’s gonna keep your feet in one piece, but don’t look or feel like a traditional boot, then you’ve come to the right place. 

These boots are perfect for tradesmen visiting houses, for example a plumber or, because of the antistatic technology, electrician. 

They’re also just a great choice for anyone who wants that little bit of extra security for their feet. For example, if you’ve got a home workshop or you’re out and about a lot. 

Safety and aesthetics at a great price, without skimping on quality. Need I say more?

Pros Cons
Tough, resistant design with a host of safety featuresBase structure is less resistant to damage than ‘boot’ boots
Light and comfortable Not waterproof in any way
Great looking

Conclusion

As a general level boot, you can’t beat the Moab Rover as you can see from this Merrell work boots review.

Really tough, near completely waterproof, with a composite toecap for that balance between protection and comfort. And although it doesn’t have a moc toe and they’re not an easy pull on boot, that’s definitely no deal breaker.

Plus, it’s just stupidly comfortable, if you’ve just pulled them out of the box, or you’re several years in and still going strong. 

As a general purpose working boot from summer to winter, they’re hard to beat. So do yourself a favor, if you need a new pair of boots, pick up a pair and thank yourself later.

Merrell Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis at Work

merrell shoes
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful stabbing in your foot usually caused by small tears in the plantar fascia. Definite Plantar Fasciitis causes are unknown but repeated intense stress and tension on your fascia are likely part of the problem.

If you suffer from PF, Merrell has you covered. Not only for casual shoes as mentioned below but also boots which are mainly for hiking and can also be used as work boots as long as you don’t need a steel toe.

Effective DIY therapies to reduce the inflamed area and pain:

– Exercises to stretch your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon 
– Night Splints
– Supportive shoes with arch supports and cushioning
Avoid any high impact on your feet

The easiest and biggest help you can be to your sufferening feet would be to wear firm and sturdy boots. As many of us suffer from plantar fasciitis, shoes manufacturers have adapted designs to aleviate discomfort. 

for Men

Merrell is known for their extremely comfortable shoes, mainly thanks to the cushioning. This is ideal for combating plantar fasciitis pain. Besides the the air cushioning to absorb shock, Merrell also has a built in molded arch shank in many of their shoe designs. One of the best suited hiking boots for PF is the women’s Moab Ventilator and mens Merrell Moab 2 Vent Boot.

Plantar Fasciitis

This makes it perfect for people with plantar fasciitis pain. Arch shanks are usually found in work boots to provide increased support and stability. But this Merrell shoe has it built into their hiking boots. It is the best you can treat your feet to for any walking distance.

Although you might find the shoes too stiff and even uncomfortable initially, this rigidity is important to provide your feet the support they need.

If you wear specific shoes for work, I recommend using Insoles designed for pain relief. The insoles from Tread Labs allow you to choose from 4 arch heights to allow the best possible fit.

Or if you don’t want to spend to much, it is a cheap option to invest only in insoles. These insoles can then be used in most of the shoes you already have so you don’t have to buy a specialised pair of shoes or boots.

The Best Merrell Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

If you are looking for Merrell shoes for plantar fasciitis relief but not lace up hiking boots, then you might like a slip on casual shoe as an option.

The Jungle Moc benefits from a casual office shoe appearance but has the key elements you need for that extra comfort: The molded nylon arch shank and the air cushion mid sole. These 2 criteria make this one of the best shoes for platar fasciitis pain. 

Although these shoes might not be to everyone’s taste in style, your health trumps style. If you ignore the pain and try to power through, you are not doing yourself any favors. The pain will likely gets worse and your feet fascia more inflamed. 

Other Merrell work boots review: as long as the shoe has decent stability by incorporating an arch shank and providing good cushioning to absorb any shock to the heel, the shoes should be suitable to minimise fascia strain and inflammation. 

For Women

For work shoes, I’d recommend using inserts from Tread Labs to help your feet.

Are Merrell Shoes good for Plantar Fasciitis

In short: Yes, as long as you wear the right Merrel design. The options mentioned above will have you walking on cloud 9, they are the most comfortable shoes you can find. 

If you need further convincing, read the reviews from customers who bought them for PF pain. 

JR “so comfortable, even for people with foot issues (plantar fasciitis…”, gmBelle80 “having plantar fasciitis these were the only brand my feet could tolerate” and Shannon “…these shoes have provided the most relief”. 

Your feet need rest whenever possible and as little impact as much as possible. These Merrell shoes for plantar fasciitis and hiking boots will help reduce the pain and also the stress and pressure. This way your feet so that your fascia can start healing.

I hope you find quick relief and when in doubt pack your insoles just in case.

Happy walking!

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