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Review Summary

An amphibious foam summer shoe that has a conversation starting style. The Merrell hydro moc is all around strange, and that’s what I like about it. Built by a company known for rugged hiking and dusty trail running, the hydro moc weirdly encompasses some of this DNA by being a shoe that you can slide on and put through the paces. Having the ability to take these on a short hike, navigate rivers and streams, or casually (and stylishly) wear out to lunch is unprecedented in a slip on shoe.

The star of the show is the EVA foam material, commonly found in yoga mats and the like. This incredibly lightweight, durable, slightly squishy, and super comfortable foam makes up a one piece design that comes in a variety of swirly colors and is accented by a heel strap for added fit. The unique holey pattern is immediately noticeable, certainly memorable, and definitely a trademark of the hydro moc. All 30 of these holes aid in ventilation as well as give the shoe its hydro properties that allow it to conquer any body of water. At a price of only $60 at full retail, the Merrell hydro moc is 100% a no-brainer if you’re looking for a summer shoe at the center of form and function.

Review Ratings


  • Quite comfortable and incredibly lightweight foam design with a super unique style
  • Easy to slip on and off with an added heel strap for extra hold
  • Comes in a variety of swirly hued colors and can be worn with or without socks
  • Relatively durable construction that is suited for both land and water


  • Tends to get sweaty on hotter days after prolonged use which feels less than desirable
  • Sizing runs large and can be difficult to find the perfect fit with some inconsistency in same sizes

Merrell Hydro Moc

Buy at Merrell

Review Details

Merrell Hydro Moc Sizing

As with any shoe, obviously, I highly recommend trying on the Merrell hydro moc before purchasing if given the opportunity. Reason for this being, I have encountered the hydro moc sizing to stray from my normal shoe size while also experiencing a bit of inconsistency between pairs of the exact same size. In just about every pair of shoes I wear, I am a solid 10.5 US. Unfortunately for me, Merrell only offers the hydro moc in full sizing. This left me having to make the tough decision of whether to go up or down. 

Not being able to decide, I tracked down a local store that offered the shoe and made my way there for some on foot testing. I started with the full size 11 as I figured a more spacious fit would allow me to pair with socks. Turns out, this was far too large. I then made my way to the 10. To my surprise, this too still felt like my foot was swimming in it. I jumped down to a size 9 which finally seemed to feel much more natural. It was far from tight and still allowed for wearing a sock without any concern or discomfort. In addition to the very large fit that will inevitably pose a problem when buying your first pair, I also noticed that there was some variance between shoes of the same size. I wouldn’t say that this was significant, but I did purchase two pairs which certainly had differing levels of wiggle room.

merrell hydro moc review white black

The toe box area of the Merrell hydro moc is very spacious with plenty of room for movement. There’s no compression of the toes and I believe even wider feet will find this to be true. The bridge securing the top of the foot is snug yet stretchy, which is a necessity to keep the hydro mocs in place. The upper area as a whole is very nicely form fitted, hugging the contours of the foot while still providing ease of movement. There’s a minor cutout where you would typically find the tongue on a shoe which allows for the lower shin to slot in when in stride. This helps relieve any unwanted friction or rubbing for added comfort. The back of the shoe cups the heel and gradually extends up wrapping around the achilles for a perfect fit.

A moveable heel strap has been added to the back of the Merrell hydro moc which is a nice touch both aesthetically and from a wearability standpoint. It’s easy to push this strap down slightly when stepping into the shoe and then move it up and into place just along the back of the achilles. This helps lock the heel in during more vigorous activity as well as keeps the shoe more secure when submerged in water.

I can confidently say that once you find your correct size (good luck), the overall fit is pretty solid. The mold of the shoe is well thought out with a flowing and spacious design that allows for all day comfort. A slight curvature along the bottom aids in stride and from front to back, the shoe grips the foot without any rub or unwanted shoe to skin interaction.  

Merrell Hydro Moc Construction

Aside from the unique design, the construction is probably one of the more interesting aspects of the Merrell hydro moc. Weighing in at just under a pound for the pair, the shoes are ridiculously lightweight while still being surprisingly durable. They are built from EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam which you might be more familiar with from yoga mats or thick children's floor puzzles. This foam is injected into a single mold that forms the Merrell hydro mocs one piece complex design. 

merrell hydro moc review white

EVA foam is known for its high degree of durability and slight elasticity which is evidenced by the products that it is used in. Having worn a few pairs for the greater part of a year now, I can see that the sole still has plenty of life left with no major signs of wear. The subtle stretch and pliability in the foam make it easy to throw a pair on one handed while still feeling secure on foot.

The addition of a heel strap, also made from foam, is attached to the side of the shoe right beneath the ankle bones via Merrell branded plastic rivets. This allows the strap to swivel from front to back as desired, although I always keep it in the back. The strap has been impressed with a Merrell logo as has the top of the shoe near the front of the ankle and the inner sole. I do like that these logos are debossed to blend in with the rest of the shoe and aren’t in accenting colors to stand out.

The exterior of the Merrell hydro moc is slightly matte which can attract scuff marks on the lighter colors. As you would imagine, the black pair hides everything except dust while the white pair can get dirty from bumping objects or being stepped upon. The good news is, these shoes clean up quite easily with just a bit of soap, water, and elbow grease. For more serious marks, I’ve found the mr clean eraser to work absolute wonders. It’s far from difficult to keep these shoes looking brand new with each wear.

The bottom of the Merrell hydro mocs seem to oppose the uppers. While the top is filled with holes, the bottom has many similar shaped protruding grippers which serve the purpose of traction. These run from front to back and even up the side of the mocs, aiding in not only function, but form as well. The grippers are an absolute necessity on wetter slick surfaces as well as when fully submerged in water. 

One slight gripe I have with the hydro mocs, which isn’t unique to this shoe, is that due to the full foam design, there is no absorption. Any type of moisture that may be present in the shoe, whether it be from sweat or the elements, tends to be noticeable and slightly uncomfortable. This is obviously less of an issue when wearing socks, but is something to be aware of when deciding to go sockless. 

Merrell Hydro Moc Style

Love it or hate it, the Merrell hydro moc makes a statement. I’ve lost count how many times people have mistakenly assumed I was either wearing some form of Crocs or something they’ve seen associated with a popular rapper. Never have they ever guessed accurately nor even heard of Merrell when I politely correct them. This is a plus in my book as I’m always a fan of the lesser known brands and conversation starting styles. 

If you have trypophobia (fear of holes), you’re going to want to steer clear of this pair of shoes. Near the toes are small holes that enlarge as they move up the top of the foot towards the ankle, amounting to somewhere in the ballpark of 30 total openings. These holes serve the purpose of mega ventilation as well as aid in the amphibious functionality. They also can help give you one of the most interesting tans you’ve ever had. 

merrell hydro moc review side

One common theme with the Merrell hydro moc is the various colors that grace each pair. What might appear to be a single hue is almost always a beautiful blend of subtle swirls that are either contrasting or just one shade lighter. The white pair might be the only offering that is truly free of any blending and it’s quickly become one of my favorites in rotation. A close second is the black pair tied with the black and white mix. If you’re feeling wild, there are full-on rainbow options featuring 4+ colors that blend from front to back.

One of the more bold style choices when wearing the Merrell hydro moc is the accompaniment of socks. If you’re seeking an ultra gorp look, some slouchy socks paired with some Gramicci shorts will certainly fit the bill. When wearing sockless, I bounce between athletic type shorts, pinwheeled black jeans, or some joggers that display the ankle like the John Elliott himalayan pants. These can also very easily complement a techwear aesthetic as they are seemingly from the future, although the more recent Merrell AT cage or ripstop versions are a better choice. The day to day versatility of the Merrell hydro moc is pretty unsurmountable with functionality that far surpasses its closest competitors.

Merrell Hydro Moc Value

The Merrell hydro moc is one shoe where value is off the chart. At a price of $60, I tend to stock up on each seasonal release as they do tend to sell out from time to time. For the colors that stick around a while longer, you can typically get a pretty decent discount which only sweetens the pot. Given the fact that these tend to last for a good while, you may find yourself with an overwhelming amount of hydro mocs spilling out of your closet, something my significant other is not too happy about.

When considering the price of other fashion forward foam slip ons such as the Salehe Bembury crocs and Yeezy foam runners, it’s easy to convince yourself that the Merrell hydro moc is a steal. While clearly not as popular nor having the same big name as the other offerings, the Merrell hydro moc does punch significantly above its weight in terms of form and function. It is recommended you try on a pair first to land on the correct size, however, after doing so, you’re sure to find some great deals online with plenty of stockists having regular sales.

Very few items reviewed on megaleaper have this level of form and function at this favorable of a price point. A brand not necessarily known for style has somehow pulled off the unthinkable and delivered a shoe that is easily obtainable by the masses, looks the part, and handles the elements. I can’t say that I’m in the market for any of the other shoe offerings from Merrell, but they’ve got a fan in me with the hydro moc.

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