With its next-gen Hydro Moc, Merrell wants to make water shoes cool

Merrell Hydro Next Gen Moc
(Image credit: Highsnobiety / Instagram)

It’s a telling sign of the times that Merrell has decided to reveal the long-awaited update of its popular Hydro Moc water shoe on a trendy fashion site – Highsnobiety.

Part Croc, part Yeezy Foam Runner, the new Merrell Hydro Next Gen Moc say everything about the evolution of what was once a purely utilitarian type of niche footwear into bona fide streetwear. Even though Crocs have undergone their own cultural re-evaluation; they’ve been championed by arty bohemian types in a kind of anti-fashion statement rather than actually being cool.

But the Hydro Moc has been embraced by the true fashionistas, and Highsnobiety in its reveal article for the Hydro Next Gen Moc is gushing with praise. Of the original Hydro Moc, released amid the COVID chaos of 2020, the site says: “The Hydro Moc's golden ratio of familiar-yet-alien design cues truly hit different in the midst of a familiar yet alien year,” while this new Next Gen model, “one-ups the Hydro Moc by outstepping the stay-home sandal, literally. Note the shoe’s chunky outsole, made out of a denser rubber than the eco-conscious BLOOM EVA foam upper and perfect for pounding the pavement. No need for a heel strap, either: Merrell’s concocted a proper slip-on shoe.”

You can’t buy the Merrell Hydro Next Gen Moc yet – it will be released in spring 2024 with a price tag of $90. 

Advnture reviewed gave the Merrell Hydro Moc with BLOOM a decent 3.5 star review last year calling it, “a water shoe well-suited to summer walks where you know you're going to get wet, but want something more robust than a sandal or flip-flop.” 

But how will the Next Gen fare? Will it have substance as well as style? Or should it stay in the catwalk?