They saved my life on an 11-mile hike.
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Even though we’re (sadly) about to have to say goodbye to the long days of summer, that doesn't mean it’s the end of the days you can spend outdoors. And whether you’re a hiking newbie (like me) or a trail aficionado who plans months-long hiking trips, now is the time to stock up on new hiking shoes, thanks to Merrell’s Labor Day sale.

I recently hiked to the summit of Mount Washington—New England’s tallest peak at 6,288 feet—and I would not have been able to climb the slippery rocks if it wasn't for the pair of Merrell hiking shoes I just bought the weekend before.

While I’ve hiked smaller (and shorter) trails in the past, I really didn't know exactly what I was getting myself into when I agreed to a camping trip with my boyfriend and a few friends—but I did know my current tennis shoes with worn-down tread and holes were not going to cut it.

After nine hours and 11 miles of treacherous terrain up and down Mt. Washington, it was my new Merrell MQM Flex shoes that really helped me balance and navigate the rocky trail. They usually retail for $110, but right now, you can shop the pair I got (as well as the rest of the MQM Hiking Footwear Collection) for 25% off until September 3.

Credit: courtesy of manufacturer

To buy: $83 (marked down from $110);

Not only were they comfortable the entire time, but they kept my feet dry after I had to climb over a waterfall (yes, you heard that right), and the lugs on the bottom gave me enough traction to keep my feet stable over the rocks. I was nervous about getting blisters wearing a brand new pair of hiking shoes I had never worn before on such an intense hike, but I didn't have a single blister on my feet after it was all over. And of course, the girl in me needed a cute pair, and the color selection Merrell has definitely is more stylish than I imagined for a simple hiking shoe.

If you’re not sold, just remember these babies got me over and up slippery rocks, through a waterfall, and out of deep mud piles safely and dry. I 10/10 would recommend Merrell as a brand for new (and experienced!) hikers alike.

Also good: Through September 3, you can get an extra 40% off clearance Merrell styles with the code MERRELLFIRST40, including Moab Hiking Boots, jackets, sandals, and casual sneakers.

Happy hiking!