I didn't like my last pair of Merrill's at all.
As a experiment I decided to buy a pair of $35 hiking boots from Bass Pro and I spent another $20 on better insoles. Those were about the cheapest hiking boots they had.
Those did ok, but they only lasted for about 8 months before blowing out the soles. None of the Merrills or the one pair of Keens I bought over the past 8-10 years ever did that. I still had the Keens so I wore them for the rest of the year before getting another pair.
I just got another pair of Bass Pro hiking boots as a birthday present. These were a step or two up from that first pair and cost $55, and they do seem to be better made. I didn't have to buy aftermarket insoles for them, the ones they came with are surprisingly good. I've only been wearing them for about a month and a half now and I like them a lot.
So far I think they're pretty decent. The soles are pretty soft and have a good grip, the shoes are flexible and didn't need to be broken in, and the waterproofing has worked good. I've got them wet quite a few times already and we had a good snow a few weeks ago and my feet have stayed dry.
They're worth taking a look at if you have access to a store. I wouldn't recommend buying shoes online, I want to try them on first, but I will say these fit good right out of the gift box and I would've returned them if they hadn't.
"You want to go where?"