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Merrell Intercept Review - Best Merrell shoes to buy

Updated on April 3, 2012
The Merrell Intercept - A shoe for all terrain
The Merrell Intercept - A shoe for all terrain

Getting out into the countryside and getting up close and personal with Mother Nature is one of the best ways of relaxing. A lung full of fresh air, some personal space, and the challenge of a long hike or woodland walk does wonders for both body and mind. Walking to get fit is great fun, and experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of the great outdoors is one of the great joys in life. The changing of the seasons always offers something new, and a run in the woods is infinitely more appealing than staring into a mirror at the gym.

Before heading out on an outdoor adventure and taking on the trail in your trainers, it’s worthwhile investing a little money in some high quality footwear to give you the maximum protection and support for the feet. You’ll need exceptional grip to cope with thick mud, waterproofing for standing water and streams, and great cushioning and support for hard packed trails. There are many performance footwear brands on the market, each offering a shoe tailored to outdoor sports, however if you want a shoe which is highly comfortable, and will maximise your speed both on the road and off, you need look no further than the Merrell Intercept.

The ultimate all weather all terrain shoe from Merrell
The ultimate all weather all terrain shoe from Merrell

The Merrell Intercept

The Merrell Intercept is an all-terrain shoe designed to keep you moving at speed across all surfaces. It’s highly comfortable and supportive for general casual wear, but to fully appreciate the technology you need to venture off the beaten track. As soon as you get off road you find out what the intercept is all about. On grass and soft ground the Vibram rubber Axis tread pattern gives exceptional grip, and helps you keep up the pace even on slippery terrain.

The Intercept is styled on a running shoe, providing great arch support and exceptional cushioning. When running in the shoes you can feel the air being drawn in through the mesh lining, keeping the feet perfectly cool. Over uneven ground the support is first rate, and for getting you back to the house they perform equally well on hard and unyielding urban surfaces. From the second you put them on your feet you can feel the difference from standard trainers, with the extra support and comfort offered and a really snug fit. With a pair of Merrell Intercepts on your feet, you will have the confidence to go anywhere, no matter what the weather forecasters tell you.

Merrell Shoes

Merrell are an American outdoor performance footwear manufacturer based in Vermont in New England. Founded in 1981, Merrell have nearly 30 years of outdoor experience in outdoor footwear, designing a host of technologies to give the maximum possible performance.

Covering the full spectrum of footwear, from summer sandals to winter walking boots, they are world renowned for the best possible fit, lightweight construction, stylish designs and great value for money offered.

No matter where your mission takes you, or what challenge you set yourself, you can rely on the performance of Merrell shoes to keep you well supported and in perfect comfort.

Merrell Intercept Technical Specification

Uppers & Inners

  • Constructed from full grain leather for flexibility, breathability and robustness
  • Mesh lining wicks away moisture and promotes airflow to keep the feet at the right temperature
  • An Ortholite anatomically moulded footbed cushions and supports the foot
  • An antimicrobial treatment keeps the shoes fresh and the feet healthy
  • A Gore-Tex lining keeps water out of the shoes, whilst being highly breathable
  • A bellows tongue forms a perfect seal around the instep to prevent water and dirt getting in

Outsole and Midsole Design

  • A Merrell Air Cushion runs the length of the midsole for excellent cushioning
  • An In-Board™ Compression moulded EVA foot frame keeps the heel secure to prevent slippage to keep the feet perfectly aligned
  • A Vibram sticky rubber outsole is designed for speed and multi-surface traction
  • Hard wearing TC5 rubber for the maximum lifespan.
  • 4.5mm lug depth for great traction on mud and lose ground.

Merrell Shoes

The perfect partner for the path less trodden
The perfect partner for the path less trodden

Where to wear them

The Merrell Intercept is designed to go anywhere and to get there fast. For trail running, light hiking, cross country running, casual wear and multi-sport use they are one of the best shoes on the market. The sleek styling is easy to combine with black and brown colour schemes, and they look great with jeans and outdoor wear. If you are a competition runner, you may find them a little too cushioned for race day, but for most, the comfort support and design makes them a great choice for all outdoor adventures. 

My Merrell Intercepts getting their first taste of serious off road action.
My Merrell Intercepts getting their first taste of serious off road action.


It is difficult to find fault with a shoe which does so much, offers such great cross terrain grip, and feels so secure and well supported. Whilst hiking shoes take an age to break in, the Intercepts felt highly comfortable straight out of the box. The foot sits low in the shoes for great stability with the feet free to move and the comfort and support is exceptional. Whilst the shoes can cope with water, provide grip on snow, and cushion hard ground very well, you may prefer to have the stability and ankle protection of a hiking boot for serious midwinter hikes, but as a great all round, all weather shoe, you can’t go wrong with the Merrell Intercept which is one of the most versatile models from the entire Merrell shoes range.

Nearly time to replace them, but after 18 months of virtually continuous wear the value for money was exceptional. Still comfortable too!
Nearly time to replace them, but after 18 months of virtually continuous wear the value for money was exceptional. Still comfortable too!

Update 18 months on.......

What can I say - I adore these shoes - and its been 18 months since I bought them and they are still going strong.

This makes them the longest lasting off road trainers I have bought. I wear them most days, much to the annoyance of my wife who hates them. Unfortunately for her, when these finally give up the ghost I will be buying another pair.

As for the wear of the outsoles, bear in mind that I wear these on concrete and paving and just about everywhere in addition to off road. They are worn now, but overall I think they have lasted exceptionally well. The lugs on the outside of the heel have almost gone so I will need to replace them soon for off road walking, but i think I have another 6 months of use out of them still.


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    • michifus profile image

      michifus 6 years ago

      Some 18 months on and my Merrell Intercepts are showing a little wear on the sole on the outside of the heel. I mainly wear them on hard surfaces rather than off road. The uppers are still in perfect condition. These trainers have been worn virtually every day since I bought them - much to the annoyance of my wife who doesn't share my love of them!

    • pooilum profile image

      pooilum 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Nice information. Thanks for sharing

    • BRIAN SLATER profile image

      Brian Slater 7 years ago from England

      An exellent hub on an excellent shoe