REI is a good store with staff who actually know the gear they sell. They are all tree huggers, but they know gear. The backpack people are very good at fitting backpacks if you need one.
If there is a Cabelas within a few hours drive, they also have a very, very good selection of boots but I try to know what I want before I go and just try on one or two different boots. I am not sure their staff know all that much about the gear. It is about a three hour drive for me so I really plan a trip to Cabelas carefully.
I should tell you that the Merrells are usaully what are called hiking or light backpacking boots. They are not built to last much more than 3 or 4 years of hard use such as two weeks of hard backpacking and hunting in rocky steep terrain. You have to trade light construction and flexibility for durablity. That is fine with me being as I value flexibility and lightness and quietness in a bowhunting boot.
If you want rockhard, scree scrabbling, last a life time, boots that make more noise than a herd of goats then there are companies that make those and I have some of those, but I don't bowhunt in them.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club