Merrell Men’s Intercept Trainer Review

I once made the mistake of going on a hiking trip with nothing but sneakers. They were good sneakers, but they could not protect my feet from some of the rough terrain that we crossed. I ended up getting blisters that took days to heal.

That wasn’t a very pleasant experience, but at least I learned my lesson. If you’re going on a serious hike, bring some serious shoes.

Earlier this year I picked up a pair of Merrell Men’s Intercept Trainers to replace an old pair of hiking shoes that were starting to fall apart. I talked to some of my hiking and mountain climbing buddies. Everyone who had tried these shoes had good things to say. Also, the price was right.

Merrell Men's Intercept Walking Shoe, Smooth Black, 11
5,855 Reviews

Merrell Men’s Intercept Trainer Features

Strong Build With Good Materials

Merrell has a reputation for building durable shoes that get the job done. This is no exception. There are a lot of features that make this an excellent shoe with a strong build. Not all of them are immediately obvious. After a few hours on your feet, though, you start to notice how the shoes are working for you.

Like most Merrell shoes, the Intercept Trainer has an air cushion in the sole. I’m pretty certain that this feature saved my feet on more than one occasion. The time that first comes to mind is when some friends and I went hiking in an area that’s also used for logging. We’d been there before without running into any problems. This time, though, they had done such extensive logging that we lost the trail and ended up wandering around a deforested area where the clay soil had been baked hard by the sun.

Two other guys in the group started complaining within minutes. Not surprisingly, they ended up with blisters. My feet were fine thanks to that extra bit of cushion.

I also like that the upper material is made from full grain leather. This is a seriously durable material that doesn’t show many signs of use even after several hiking trips. Obviously they get dirty, but the material doesn’t get scraped easily.

Flexible with Plenty of Grip

There are two things that I look for when browsing hiking shoes. I want shoes with flexible soles so my feet don’t feel worn out halfway into a hike. I also want shoes that offer good grip so I don’t accidentally slip on a muddy trail. The Merrell Men’s Intercept Trainer offer both of those features.

The shoes also have a toe cap that comes in handy more than you would think. Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve stubbed my toe on mountain hikes more than a few times. Subpar shoes don’t do much to protect the tops of your toes. I guess that area gets overlooked by designers who are too focused on making sure the sole is made well.

This combination of flexibility, grip, and safety features makes me feel comfortable no matter where my travels take me. You want to climb that treacherous path? Sure, let’s do it!

Avoid the Stink

You know what’s not fun? Sleeping in a tent with a pair of stinky hiking boots.

The Merrell Men’s Intercept Trainer avoids this by treating the interior lining with Aegis solution. Aegis solution has antimicrobial properties that prevents foot odor from developing. You won’t have to air your shoes out at the end of your hike. They stay pretty fresh even after hours of strenuous walking.

Where it Could be Improved

This is a really good pair of shoes that you can take practically anywhere. They’ve done me well on steep mountains and gentle trails. With that said, there’s always something that could be improved, right?

If I had to choose something that I dislike, it would be the shoe’s ventilation. Yes, the shoes are covered in mesh, but they still somehow manage to get hotter than some of my other pairs. There’s just something about it that doesn’t let the air flow in and out as well as I would like.

In the future, I will probably reserve these for hiking on cool days. They aren’t your best option for summer hiking.

Product Variations

Merrell Chameleon Wrap Slam Lace Up
Merrell Axis 2 Sport Trainer
Merrell Phoenix Gore Tex Trekking and Hiking Shoes

Merrell Men’s Intercept Trainer Reviews


Final Say

Merrell has made a great pair of shoes that you should consider for your hiking trips, especially if you’re heading into a rocky our mountainous area. The mediocre ventilation makes them a little unsuitable for warm days, but that isn’t a very serious complaint. If you’re going out on a warm day, you know you’re going to get hot. These shoes just don’t do much to stop that.

Considering the excellent materials and strong build, I highly recommend the Merrell Men’s Intercept Trainer. They’re great shoes at an affordable price.