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- Crocs may dominate the foam shoe market, but Merrell’s Hydro Mocs are an underrated hit.
- The water-friendly shoes are lightweight, breathable, and most importantly, comfortable.
- After trying them for the first time, Merrell Hydro Mocs are my new favorite shoe for summer.
There’s no doubt that foam shoes — including clogs, slides, moccasins, and other futuristic designs — have taken over the footwear industry in the comfort category.
Whether it be a pair of Crocs or Kanye West’s hyped-up Adidas Yeezy Slides and Foam Runners, they’re almost inescapable.
Hydro Mocs, Merrell’s iteration of the slip-on, have been around for a while, and though they’ve always been popular in the outdoors community, the shoes have also become streetstyle mainstays. Celebrities like Julia Fox have been spotted wearing them, and the New York Times did a feature on how water shoes like the Hydro Mocs have “made the leap to the streets.”
For a long time, I was set on sticking with my favorite sneakers for comfort days, sure that foam shoes were simply not for me. But then I tried a pair of Hydro Mocs, and it totally changed my view.
First and foremost, they look great. The Merrell Hydro Mocs have a sleek, ergonomic design that looks better than most foam shoes. Second, they’re easy to get. You won’t have to jump through hoops to secure a pair, and at $55, they’re rather affordable. You can sometimes find certain colors for less.
Sizing and Fit
When it comes to foam shoes like the Merrell Hydro Mocs, sizing can make all the difference for comfort. Since there is no lacing system, there’s no way to tighten or loosen them, except to add a pair of socks.
Merrell says that the Hydro Mocs run a little bit big. I went with my true size 8, and it worked out well for me, but my editor has a pair and she found she needed to size down. To be fair, they are slightly roomy at my usual size, but overall the extra room doesn’t make the shoe feel like it’s slipping around or truly too big. The generous sizing allowed me to wear them with socks and without socks with equal comfort.
Hydro Mocs only come in full sizes, so if you’re in between sizes, I recommend choosing the smaller full size.
What Merrell Hydro Mocs are like to wear
I tested the Original Hydro Mocs and Hydro Mocs with Bloom, an eco-friendly version made of 10% algae. Both materials feel the same in hand and on feet. Merrell’s website lists the Original version at 14 ounces and the Bloom version at 15 ounces, but other than that, they’re virtually identical.
My first impression when trying on Merrell Hydro Mocs was that they feel secure with the articulated heel and strap. Once your foot is in, you’ll have plenty of room to wiggle your toes comfortably. Although you can wear them with socks, I prefer to wear them without socks for that open-toe breezy feeling.
They’re perfect for day-long comfort, especially when you’re enjoying the outdoors. I love that I can wear them in dirt and grass without worrying about scuffing them up or getting them dirty. The foam material is very easy to wipe clean.
As the name suggests, they’re also great for the pool, beach, or anywhere else you might be in and out of the water. You can get them wet without the foam material soaking up any water. The water rolls right off, and after a few minutes, they’re completely dry again.
Although I couldn’t tell a major difference between the Original Hydro Mocs and Hydro Mocs with Bloom, I appreciate Merrell’s effort in making a more sustainable version. The fact that they’re nearly identical proves that choosing a more eco-friendly version of a product rarely, if ever at all, means you’re getting something inferior.
How I styled Merrell Hydro Mocs
Since Hydro Mocs are designed to be worn in and out of the water, I like pairing them with equally versatile shorts — Patagonia Baggies. You can read my full review on them here to learn why they’re my favorite shorts ever.
I kept it super simple by styling the black Hydro Mocs with a black T-shirt, black Baggies, and a black Yankees hat. For the butternut Hydro Mocs, I went with tan Baggies, and a tropical pattern summer button-up shirt from Buck Mason. Both outfits are casual and perfect for summer. I can run errands or hang out all while feeling my best — and when it’s time to go swimming, I can take my shirt off and I’m ready to jump in the pool.
The bottom line
Overall, Merrell Hydro Mocs are like a cheat code for when you don’t want to wear shoes. They’re lightweight, super breathable, easy to put on, and if you choose a darker color, they’ll stay looking clean after countless wears.
At $55, Merrell Hydro Mocs are a great value because they can do everything your favorite slides can do and more.
In the few months I’ve had them, the Merrell Hydro Mocs have become a summer staple and one of my favorite footwear designs of all time.