The extracellular matrix (ECM) is critical for maintaining tissue homeostasis therefore its production, assembly and mechanical stiffness are highly regulated in normal tissues. However, in solid tumors, increased stiffness resulting from abnormal ECM structural changes is associated with disease progression, an increased risk of metastasis and poor survival. As a dynamic and key component of the tumor microenvironment, the ECM is becoming increasingly recognized as an important feature of tumors, as it has been shown to promote several hallmarks of cancer biochemical and biomechanical signaling. In this regard, melanoma cells are highly sensitive to ECM composition, stiffness and fiber alignment because they interact directly with the ECM in the tumor microenvironment cell surface receptors, secreted factors or enzymes. Importantly, seeing as the ECM is predominantly deposited and remodeled by myofibroblastic stromal fibroblasts, it is a key avenue facilitating their paracrine interactions with melanoma cells. This review gives an overview of melanoma and further describes the critical roles that ECM properties such as ECM remodeling, ECM-related proteins and stiffness play in cutaneous melanoma progression, tumor cell plasticity and therapeutic resistance. Finally, given the emerging importance of ECM dynamics in melanoma, future perspectives on therapeutic strategies to normalize the ECM in tumors are discussed.