It all started with a custom pair of cowboy boots. Randy Merrell made the jump from an industrial shoe-making school to crafting handmade boots. Eventually he decided to try his highly skilled hand at making hiking boots, and the word spread like wildfire. In 1981, Randy teamed up with two former ski company executives: all-American Olympian Clark Matis and John Schweizer, who were looking to strike out on their own. Randy`s expert craftsmanship paired with Clark and John`s industry experience and athletic instincts would prove to be the perfect combination. Together, they began to design a more affordable model of high-performance hiking boots. Each member of the trio had their own superpower. The Original Merrell product designs came from Randy. Clark Matis contributed production management knowledge as well as his marketing savvy. John Schweizer added his business acumen and Italian sources. Together, the Merrell brand began to take shape.