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Merrell Continuum Boot

rated 2.5 of 5 stars
photo: Merrell Continuum Boot winter boot

The boots initially were exactly what I expected, great for wet snow. I only ever wore them in snow. I got them out last year and found the outer molded shell uppers were cracking and splitting in all the points that flex when you walk and the triple sewn skirt between the upper and the lace eyelets were separating from the upper shell.

I called Merrell about the performance of these $100 plus boots to see if they would do anything about it and Dave in customer service said "No. Product is outside of their one-year warranty. The boots will age even in the closet through a process call Hydrolysis."

Really? Other makers of $100 plus waterproof and insulated boots lasted me decades, even through being re-soled. Apparently Merrell fully expects their products to fail shortly after warranty. This used to be called designed obsolescence. I call it fleecing the customer.


  • Warm and dry


  • Absolutely pitiful design
  • Waterproof upper shell hardens and shatters while sitting in closet unused.

I purchased these Merrell Continuum waterproof Polartec insulated boots before Snowmaggedon in D.C. The boots initially were exactly what I expected, great for wet snow. I only ever wore them in snow.

I got them out last year and found the outer molded shell uppers were cracking and splitting in all the points that flex when you walk. And the triple sewn skirt between the upper and the lace eyelets were separating from the upper shell. 

I called Merrell about the performance of these $100 plus boots to see if they would do anything about it and Dave in customer service said "No. Product is outside of their one-year warranty. The boots will age even in the closet through a process call Hydrolysis."  

He didn't suggest there was a batch problem, or that there were problems with overheating the shell in the molding process, leading to embrittlement. He didn't suggest anything that would limit the customer's exposure to this failure. Really? So I can't expect a pair of Merrill high performance, high dollar boots to last more than a couple years? "Yes." 

Merrell apparently expects the customer to understand and expect that they will disintegrate in the closet, not being worn?  Wear them fast and buy more quickly.

I am severely disappointed as there is virtually no wear on the boots. I have purchased and worn at least eight pairs of other Merrell footwear and never had a problem. Someone in the engineering department did a poor job of selecting the polymer used for the shell, or designing the manufacturing process.

This is a DESIGN PROBLEM. APPARENTLY ALL CONTINUUM BOOTS OF THE SAME DESIGN WILL SUFFER THE SAME PROBLEM, AND THEY KNOW IT!  Merrell refused to help remedy their error. So the world must know, don't buy Merrell boots.  

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100+

I have been using these boots for four winters now and have put many Km on them over various surfaces.


  • Waterproof
  • Light
  • Vibram soles
  • Work well with gaiters in deeper snow


  • The laces don't stay tight unless you double knot them.

I have used these boots for four seasons now and unlike other reviewers, I love them. They have served me well and seem to have lots of miles left in them, knock on wood. They fit well and are very comfortable. The main problem I have had is keeping the laces from coming undone and now just habitually tie them in double bows to prevent this.

I previously used Columbia Bugaboots, but after two pairs over three seasons, both pairs cracking at the toes, I switched to the Merrell Continuums. They have be used on rocky terrain, asphalt, ice, and snow and have preformed well on all surfaces. They obviously aren't skates and some form of micro spikes are needed on sheer ice.

For a just over the ankle boot they work well with gaiters in deeper snow. The waterproofing has lasted extremely well. I have never had to apply any type of after market waterproofing to them. I have used them in a variety of temperatures from above freezing to - 30° C. I don't think they would keep your feet warm standing around in an ice fishing hut for hours on end, but as long as you are moving they keep your feet warm and comfortable with socks that match the temperatures you are going to be in.


Source: bought it new

These boots are great for this part-time weekend warrior. I recently did get to spend four days in them on a rugged trail in Maine and they passed with flying colors.


  • Very good traction
  • Very comfortable
  • Very good support


  • Blue shoelaces

I have had these boots for about a year now and they are great boots. They are rugged enough for weekend warrior status but I cannot attest much beyond that because I have not been on a trip longer than four days. On that four-day trip these boots were excellent. We hiked part of the 100-mile wilderness in Maine.  It's a pretty rugged area and these boots remained comfortable.

The Gore-Tex keep my feet dry through the rainy day and the subsequent mud and I had no issues with traction on the rocks, either wet or dry. I did slip a couple of times on wet tree roots but I don't think there is a boot out there that doesn't do that. (And in the Maine woods, roots are hard to avoid. There are a LOT of them.) I had worn the boots several times prior to that trip on a few short hikes through the power lines and also on a couple of overnight trips.

I wear a size 9 street shoe but I like to wear a midweight wool sock when I hike so I wear size 10 hiking boots.  These seemed like a very decent size 10 fit. The weather was mostly hot and my feet did not sweat any more than they have with other boots and wool socks. I have had them, as I said, for just over a year so durability is hard to judge, but so far I see no thread or soul issues of any kind.

Yes, I recommend these boots. I bought these boots at an REI garage sale. They looked brand new to me even though they had been returned. So I'll have to call them used even though I highly doubt they had ever been worn on the trail. I couldn't pass the deal and I am glad I didn't.

Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $35

I bought these 3.5 years ago to use on occasional fishing and hunting trips. After limited use and storing them clean and dry in a dark closet, the tops just completely disintegrated. I feel like I got very limited use from these before they completely fell apart.


  • Worked fine before they fell apart


  • Fell apart after limited use

I needed waterproof boots for cold weather fishing trips and very limited hunting—five or six trips per year.

When I purchased these, I was happy with them. They filled the bill of being pretty comfortable boots I could wear in wet conditions and still have dry feet. I was careful to avoid submerging these and stored them clean and dry in a dark closet when not using them.

They worked great for 3 seasons, but the tops just totally failed this year. The soles have almost no wear and the laces and inner liners look almost new, but the waterproof tops split in about 20 places and completely pulled apart. This is clearly a material defect and I can't trust this company for future purchases.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $109.95 + tax


  • Supposedly Good Quality
  • Comfortable


  • Not Good Quality
  • Not Durable
  • Bad Company CSR

I have the non-insulated Merrell Continuum Boot. I used to take walks in fall and occasionally winter. Yesterday, I took them from my closet, put on my ankle-height Merrell boots and within an hour the shells on both boots cracked extremely.




I have never in my 65 years had any boot do this. I am not hard or rough when walking a level trail.

I called Merrell, and the customer service rep. said "sorry, they are outside the warranty period of 1 year." I stated, "you didn't even ask to see how extremely these failed." Response: "doesn't matter." Piss poor customer service, and shame on Merrell for not at least addressing the issue, even if it was a credit on a replacement pair!

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 155.00

Version reviewed: Continuum Vibram

I purchased these boots for general winter wear six years ago. They are still holding up really well. I have had no issues with them at all. They are comfortable and keep my feet really warm when walking in snow, ice, or water.

The tread on the soles is still strong, as are the boots themselves well made. I would recommend them with no issues.


  • The boots are strong and I wear them daily in the winter
  • They are warm and fully waterproof in cold, wet, and snowy surroundings
  • They are over six years old and have little wear and tear


  • The shoelaces have to be double tied as a previous gentleman said.

Best pair of boots I purchased in quite a few years. They have weathered well over six seasons of cold, ice, snow and water. They look like I will get another six years out of them easily.

If you take care of them they are a great boot for everyday use. Just put them on and take them off. I would definitly buy them again. And I recommend them to all that have asked.


I am a six year customer. I had never bought Merrell Continuum boots before. I use them from September through March yearly. They are still comfortable and warm.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $85

Version reviewed: Merrell Polartec Continuum

I spent over $100 on Merrell Polartec Continuum boots about 5 years ago. They were kept in a temperature-controlled home, in a closet, and only worn once or twice per year. I am having the exact same problem as a few other folks here. The toe cap has split, right where the toes naturally bend. The material used at that part of the boot is of cheap quality right where the most stress is.

I am VERY disappointed. I called Merrell, only to have them say that their warranty is only good for one year. I was offered a 30% discount on another pair, but I have no faith in their products now. NONE.


  • Good grip on the soles


  • Cheap quality in an expensive boot, and the company doesn't stand behind its products.


This product doesn't last long enough to get your money's worth out of it.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $125

They were great until they started to fall apart. I’m in Vancouver and we get very little as far as winter goes. May have gotten 4 months of wear. Treads are perfect, but the toe on one shoe is torn apart and there is a 1 1/2" split on the other. No longer waterproof. I would expect more, but according to Merrell, it’s normal?? No promotion from me on this brand. I will stick to Columbia or North Face!


  • Good while they last.


  • They are of very poor quality. Don’t last.

Poor quality. If you want something that will last, buy Columbia or North Face or another reputable brand.


Falls apart with little use.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $200

Don’t buy this product


  • It looks good


  • Easily shattered after a couple of used
  • After a year of storage upper part torn out
  • Warranty department will just ignore you

I used it for few days last year when it snowed and stored it after a year I used it again and the upper part just torn out. I phone warranty from Merrell and told me it just normal wear and tear.

I’ve worn it for probably 5 times and still looks brand new. 

guest what Merrell emailed me and said I’m entitled for replacement.

I will update later 

Source: received it as a personal gift

The product quality of the Upper is terrible; it cracks easily and separates from the stitching. Indicative of a company that takes absolutely no interest in product quality control. Their after-sales-service is equally terrible.


  • Good aggressive sole.


  • Worn only once and product is falling apart

Felt comfortable in store fitting but am unable to comment further as the boots started cracking up and pulling apart from the seams on the first wearing.  Avoid like the plague.


Only worn once and starts to fall apart is indicative of poor quality product. Worse; their after-sales-service shows no interest in satisfying its customers

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Retail price

Best boot I’ve ever owned.


  • Great support
  • Super comfortable all day


  • Being discontinued

SAR volunteer who got them new and have literally used them to pieces. I not only used them for three seasons of SAR call-outs but for personal backpacking/hiking trips as well.

They have been the best boot I have ever owned. They are, much to my great disappointment, beyond repair now but lasted for over 5 years with heavy, hard terrain use. Waterproof until I literally wore them out.


Have been a lifetime outdoors person and hiker/backpacker as well as search and rescue volunteer.

Source: received it as a personal gift

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