The WFH era in which we have found ourselves has created a ripple effect in more ways than one with perhaps one of the more obvious byproducts being the prioritising of an attitude that honours the importance of basic comforts and joy. A sense of mindfulness for well-being and all things comfortable, low-maintenance and cosy. Not unlike the practical yet still stylish act of blending a touch of Hygge into our homes and our lives in general.
This shift would also appear to cover the style stakes, for it seems Millennials and Gen Zers are now seeing eye-to-eye with the likes of their great aunts and uncles in terms of their sartorial choices gravitating towards the sort of comfort and practicality once associated with the onset of middle-age. Gen Z’s discovery of the super-comfortable, looser style of mum jean is one thing, but a spotlight on the realm of footwear has seen this blossom from a penchant for hyped-up sneakers to uber-sensible, what-fits-you-and-not-what-fits-in – and dare we say it, even orthopaedic-style – shoes.
In spite of what might seem like a rather seismic shift in style preferences here, the dynamic at play is nothing new for a certain go-to manufacturer of footwear and clothing for whom performance and lifestyle have never been mutually exclusive – Merrell – who have, for decades now, been the author of the ultimate in all-round, low-maintenance apres sport shoes that look and feel good, and can be worn practically anywhere.
This is especially case in point when you consider their top-selling lifestyle slip-on shoe, the mighty Jungle Moc. While embodying trail footwear at its most supreme, the design of this archetypal shoe also fits the lifestyle-meets-adventure genre of shoe to a tee. And yes, we say archetypal, for Merrell can be credited with defining a whole new product category in the footwear industry with the launch of Aftersport back in 1998, out of which the wildly popular Merrell Jungle Mocs were born – the ten-millionth pair of which was shipped in 2009 might we add.
Not one to rest on their laurels, this year the outdoor footwear giant has decided to bring on the heat when it comes to that unique style drip and blurring of lines between comfort and function. These premium and classic heritage-based silhouettes, which remain true to Merrell’s brand ethos of melding performance with lifestyle, keys in on a more fashion-forward aesthetic.
Made to go anywhere and in Merrell’s sage words, “designed for those searching for another dimension of trail”, the 2021 iteration of the iconic Jungle Moc is the most consummate yet – with some new colours set out to modernise and add to the traditional offering, refined durability, and also sustainability in a special ECO version. Its signature soft suede leather upper combined with Merrell Air Cushion underfoot, absorbing shock and adding stability with a lightweight EVA foam midsole, mirrors the earlier ’90s model. It also has double stretch gore for easy slipping on and off, breathable mesh lining, a Kinetic Fit BASE comprising a removable contoured insole for flexible support, and a sticky rubber outsole for reliable traction and grip.
The just-right fit and ready-to-style aesthetic of the reimagined Jungle Moc explains in large part, its gravitational pull to the sartorially savvy modern-day adventurer who hankers for comfort, versatility, efficiency and practicality all wrapped in a casual chic style. The answer it seems has always been in the enduring blueprint that makes the Jungle Moc still very much to this day, that exemplary all-round outdoor-forward lifestyle shoe for expressing yourself, and feeling both comfortable and confident.
Check out the Merrell Jungle Moc range online now.