11 Best Merrell Running Shoes Reviewed & Tested
Runners also love that they often come in bright and unique color options that are sure to generate quite a few compliments. In this guide, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite Merrell running shoes that lend just the right amount of support for your next training session!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research
Great shock absorption
Offers great traction
Top 11 Merrell Running Shoes
1. All Out Crush 2
Great shock absorption
Offers great traction
Sizing is off
Does not offer a lot of stability and support
The Merrell All Out Crush 2 running shoes are one of the best trail running shoes out there. They offer tons of comfort, support, and protection—all without sacrificing their flexibility or breathability. If you want a durable pair of Merrell running shoes that you can count on for the long haul, then the All Out Crush 2 running shoes are definitely worth a look.Read more
In terms of the support these running shoes have to offer, this model is great for neutral runners. They have an EVA midsole and a TrailProtect pad that offers extra padding and protect your shoe when you hit the trails. The EVA footbed also ensures you get some more cushioning and that the shoe is responsive enough for each and every stride.
When we took a look at how comfortable these running shoes, we found they were one of the most comfortable trail runners available. They feature an EVA midsole and footbed that will provide neutral runners with the right amount of support and stability. This ensures they get the shock absorption that they need. These shoes also feature a secure fit that will keep debris out and ensure that your feet don’t slip around when you are out running. The collar of the shoe is also padded for additional comfort and support.
As far as additional features, these running shoes offer excellent shock absorption and enough support for neutral runners. They come at a cost-effective price, but they also aren’t available in many colors to choose from. Their mesh upper is breathable, and they have a 6mm drop.
If you are a trail runner or someone who likes to hit more technical terrain, you will love these running shoes. They feature the brand’s M-Select GRIP outsole, which is perfect for rocky and uneven terrain or trails. These running shoes also have an effective and efficient drainage system that will make sure your feet don’t stay wet and weigh you down when you encounter any water. It is important to note, however, that although these running shoes are still lightweight, they weren’t designed for road running.
Overall, these are a great pair of sneakers for neutral runners. They are a lightweight option to hit the trails and are really comfortable. They offer great motion control and are responsive enough for more difficult terrain.
2. Bare Access 2
Versatile for the road and light trail running
Offers great energy return
A good transitional pair of running shoes
The upper is less durable
The Merrell Bare Access 2 running shoes are some of the brand's best road running shoes currently available. If you love that barefoot feel and revel in feeling each and every stride, then you have to check out these running shoes! Not only are they comfortable, but they also offer enough support and stability for those of you transitioning from minimalistic running shoes to barefoot running shoes.Read more
As far as the amount of support these shoes provide, they are definitely made for neutral runners. Although they do offer enough stability, support, and padding for neutral runners, they do not offer enough for anyone who may have pronation issues or arch pain.
If you want a comfortable pair of shoes, these are one of Merrell’s best options. They provide runners with a glove-like fit that will ensure you are comfortable and that your feet don’t slip around—which prevents chafing and blisters. They can be worn with or without socks and the wide toe box gives your toes enough room to splay.
These running shoes feature the sought offer Vibram outsole, which makes these shoes really durable as well. They are a perfect option for minimalistic runners who want to transition to a barefoot running shoe. They have a zero drop, so they will allow you to feel each and every stride. As far as breathability, these shoes will definitely keep your feet cool and dry. Their secure feet will prevent your feet from slipping and you can comfortably wear them with or without socks.
Although these Merrell running shoes are made for the road, you can take them on easy trails that are not too technical. They do not offer enough grip and traction for wet or rocky surfaces, but you can certainly take them out at your favorite park trails. All in all, if you want a more versatile option, this is a great way to go.
At the end of the day, these running shoes are perfect for neutral runners who want a pair of shoes they can use on the road and on easy trails. They are perfect for anyone transitioning into barefoot running shoes and are really lightweight and comfortable.
3. Trail Glove 5
Wide toe box
Minimal arch support
If you want a great minimalistic trainer that you can take out on the trails and still keep your feet protected and supported, the Trail Glove 5 is an excellent choice. We love that it is composed of strong and sturdy materials to keep your feet protected, and it boasts a wide frame to allow your feet to spread out naturally for added stability when traversing rocky trailheads.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it boasts a zero drop. This means that you will have a better understanding of the ground under your feet in order to maintain your footing.
It also has a wide toe box that allows for natural toe splay that is another great feature to help you keep your balance.
The upper is composed of lightweight mesh materials that are quick-drying and help to lift hot air up and away from your feet to keep them cool and dry. Inside, it boasts an M-Select FRESH liner that is reinforced with microbial agents that help to fight odors.
We love that it has a Vibram rubber outsole with a tacky finish that is made to really grip all types of trail surfaces- wet or dry.
The Trail Glove 5 is a great minimalistic trainer that boasts supportive features inside and out. It also comes in a wide variety of color options to match your personal style.
4. Vapor Glove 4
If the ultimate dream is to run on the trails barefoot, the Vapor Glove 4 is the next best thing! We love that it is composed of incredibly lightweight materials that feel like you aren’t wearing anything at all. It’s also reinforced with sturdy yet flexible materials that keep your light on your feet but still protected. The best part? It comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.Read more
What makes this a great barefoot runner is its frame as well as the contraction on the outsole. The outsole is composed of Vibram TC5+ that has a slightly tacky finish to it.
The upper boasts a super low profile that sits low on your foot to give your ankle a full range of motion. It is composed of lightweight and quick-drying materials that is available in a wide variety of sleek neutral and bright color options.
While some users feel that the upper makes it a little stiff, we feel that the snug fit of the upper helps to increase lockdown to keep you protected on uneven trails.
The lugs are moderately shallow, which makes this design a great option not only for the trails but sidewalks and weight lifting at the gym as well.
If you are in the market for a great pair of barefoot running shoes, you can’t go wrong with the Vapor Glove 4. It has some marked improvements over previous iterations of this minimalist sneaker which makes it lighter and more durable. It also comes in at a super affordable price point that makes it worth checking out.
5. Pace Glove 3
The Omni-Fit lacing system ensures a secure and confident fit
TrailProtect pad provides underfoot protection over various types of terrain
The lightweight, breathable mesh
Upper non-stitched overlays for added support and durability
Vibram TC 1 outsole is highly durable
CMEVA provides cushioning
The sizing seems to be a bit off
Some thought they could be more snug
Sizes may run small
What are your top priorities in a running shoe? Whatever they may be, the Merrell Pace Glove 3 trail running shoe has the perfect match for you. Distinctive by its ‘TrailProtect pad’, this model of shoe is ready to welcome your precious feet.Read more
The ‘Omni-Fit lacing system’ efficiently keeps your feet tightly gripped without any harsh feeling.
First and foremost, the all-around synthetic sole and fine fabric give you a smooth and comfortable feeling in association with highly breathable mesh and padded collar. Considering the next thing in comfort, the mesh liner is the perfect inclusion as it undoubtedly keeps your feet free from sweat and temperature build-up inside the shoe.
Although very few of its users have complained about this model of running shoe being overpriced, most of them have admitted that the features that have been included in the price are quite not so bad in spending for.
The ‘TrailProtect pad’ is the new addition in this Merrell running shoe model that protects the underfoot excellently from any kind of external injury and sudden shock.
This is a highly durable running shoe made with quality materials that will last a long time.
Q FORM 2 midsole
Great for overpronators
Minimal arch support
What we love most about the Antora is that it is a perfect option for overpronators, newbies, or those that are carrying a little extra weight. Plus, it comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.Read more
The upper is composed of a blend of synthetic and mesh materials to provide extra stability while keeping your feet cool and dry. The synthetic panels are designed to help promote lockdown to keep them from shifting around on your feet when taking tight corners.
Mesh vents work to move hot air up and away from your feet and also wicks away moisture.
The most notable feature of this design is the midsole. It boasts a Q FORM 2 dual-density midsole that provides support and protection throughout the entirety of your gait cycle. The Vibram outsole has a slightly tacky finish that makes it perfect for trail running, but the lugs aren’t so deep that you can’t wear them on sidewalks or in the gym.
If you need to protect your knees and joints when running on hard surfaces, Antora is one of the best stability trainers in the entire Merrell lineup.
If you are in the market for something that offers unmatched stability that you can feel with every step, Antora is an excellent option. We love that it provides users a lot of extra support which helps to protect your knees and joints as you train. Plus, it comes in a wide variety of color options and clocks in at an affordable price point.
7. Trail Crusher
Little to no breaking in needed
Breathability and permeability
Supportive enough for all-day use
Grip and traction for mixed-terrain running
Rubbing around the heel area for the women’s version for some
The Merrell Trail Crusher carries on where the Mix Master Glide left off, being the minimalist trail running pair for the brand. Although not minimalist by barefoot standards, this pair is a reasonable pick in between minimalism and full-support. This line is available in 4 colors for both men and women with the latter selection more vibrant compared to the muted men's selection.Read more
The air cushion in the heel is designed to “absorb shock and add stability” to your run. This allows for a spread of energy through the system from landing to launch. It’s safe to say that this pair would be a good starting point for anyone considering minimalist footwear as it is significantly “minimalist” by trail running standards but also supported by barefoot standards.
The Trail Crusher delivers the comfort we all know and love instantly without the days and blisters of breaking in. Beware, however, of a few reviews on the women’s version being too high on the heels causing discomfort and rubbing.
Its upper layer has primarily meshed for breathability and permeability in both wet and dry terrain. Balancing this out is the protective toe cap to shield you from debris.
Although the outsole has a distinctly less-aggressive tread, it retains grip and traction even on slick surfaces.
User reviews have also confirmed this same performance for mixed-terrain running and paved urban running. Couple this with the overall flexibility and you’ve got a great trail-to-pavement or work-to-gym footwear.
8. All Out Charge
Hyperwrap 360 degrees fit system provides support
Several different colors to choose from
The removable footbed allows the addition of custom orthotics
Reflective detailing for safety
Added cushioning provides comfort
Gives you great take-offs
5mm multi-directional lugs provide great traction
UniFly midsole provides great responsiveness
They seem to run a little narrow
Sizes run small
May be seen as expensive
This is a running shoe that is extremely breathable, has an easily detachable footbed, and has an exact proportion of stack height.Read more
The removable footbed is another feature for the orthotics. The Hyperwrap 360 degrees fit system keeps the foot in place even when sweating vigorously.
The synthetic textile gives your feet a very smooth feeling. The synthetic upper sole gives you comfort while the mesh liner protects your feet from displacement, slip, and moisture.
Along with proving a superior grip for the feet, the Hyperwrap 360 degrees fit system increases the durability of the shoe too. The proportionate combination of 6 mm drop, 12 mm heel cushion, and 27 mm of heel stack height support the feet while increasing the shoe's durability.
The All Out Charge is more versatile, very rugged, and protective than many of the past models. It is a running shoe that assists in finding a lot of sweet spots. It will be great for traditional runners and minimalist runners. You'll dig into the ground with the protection of the lugs. The Unifly midsole will help to absorb shock which will protect your feet when they hit the ground.
The price of trail running shoes, in general, can be quite pricey because you get extra protection where you need it--so they are perfect for anyone who needs a great pair of trail running shoes.
9. Bare Access Arc 4
Great feel and responsiveness
Soles may be slippery when wet
For those that have always been big on style and practical use, you know we have you covered with these running shoes.Read more
These running shoes provide enough support and stability for runners with neutral arches.
Although a few runners did not like the new arch support and extra cushioning of this shoe, most were quite satisfied with the comfort level.
In the long checklist of comforting features, the Breathable mesh lining comes in at the top. Next in the list comes its 2mm lug depth followed by the Integrated EVA footbed. The price is unbelievably low in consideration of the features which have been included with these shoes.
Perfect for the road, these running shoes are comfortable, breathable, and effective.
Most of its satisfied users have expressed that the overall durability has surprised them and is up to par on a level they are very satisfied with.
10. Agility Peak Flex 3
Very narrow fit
The Agility Peak Flex 3 is a trail runner that provides users with a bit more stability and cushioning than some of the other barefoot runners in the Merrell line up.Read more
What runners love most about this design is that it boasts a Flex-Connect midsole that cushions and supports your foot throughout your entire gait. If you want a trail runner that provides excellent energy feedback, this design is a great choice.
The upper provides users with extra cushioning around the heel, as well as added support for stability. It is composed of a mesh material that moves hot air up and away from your foot to keep it cool and dry on those long runs.
What we love most about the Agility Peak Flex 3 is that it boasts a cushioned midsole while the upper offers a secure fit for improved lockdown and support.
Runners also love that it boasts a versatile Vibram outsole that is perfect for the trails as well as the gym.
If you are in the market for a great trail running stability sneaker, the Agility Peak Flex 3 is a great choice. It boasts quality stability features to keep your feet cushioned and protected, but it isn’t as stiff and unforgiving as some of the other stability trainers out there on the market.
11. Mix Master Move
Breathability and permeability
Sizes may run small
The Merrell Mix Master Move running shoes are a great pair of running shoes for anyone looking for additional reflective features when they go out on their night or early morning runs. This model is incredibly comfortable and well-cushioned.Read more
The heel has additional cushioning for additional shock absorption and the tongue and collar are also both well-cushioned. They also have a removable footbed, so you can insert your own insole or orthotic if you'd like.
These shoes are really lightweight, comfortable, and breathable.
These come at a pretty average price when compared to other running shoes.
As far as quality and durability these shoes have both. They feature a protective toe cap for added protection and a rubber sole for increased durability.
Overall, these are a great pair of shoes for anyone looking for a pair that is compatible with an additional insole or insert. They offer a good bit of comfort and are really durable as well.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Support is always an important factor to look for when choosing running shoes.If you are looking for a pair of Merrell running shoes then you are most likely a trail runner or outdoor enthusiast.
Merrell trail running shoes provide you with the protection, stability, and support you need when braving the great outdoors. Our thorough reviews will highlight how much protection each shoe provides as well as specify what they can or can't withstand.
No two feet are the same and runners come with different foot types and arch support needs. If you are a neutral runner, these minimalistic running shoes, by Merrell, will work best for those of you who like to feel every inch of your stride while you are running. On the other hand, if you have serious support issues you will want to look more closely at the shoes you decide to get.
If you have pronation issues or arch support issues that need to be addressed, you will need to look for the Merrell running shoes that have the most cushioning to offer or the models that are compatible with insoles or inserts. If you are unsure of your foot type or the type of support that you need you can do the wet foot to figure out if you overpronate, underpronate, or have neutral arches.
It is important to find shoes that are comfortable at the start and end of your runs.Comfort is always an important factor to look for as well.
No one wants to develop any discomfort, pain, or blisters during their runs. Trail running shoes can run a bit on the heavy side due to the additional features they employ to protect you during your runs. We will let you know if they are too heavy, lightweight, or just right.
Regardless of the terrain you enjoy running or the distances you typically shoot for, the top Merrell running shoes should fit your comfort needs specifically. The most important factor to look out for--and the one most runners forget--is to make sure you are getting a pair of shoes in the right size.
All in all, aside from making sure that your running shoes meet all of your preferences in terms of comfort and how you like your shoes to feel, you need to make sure you can adjust them to fit you securely. Of course, you don't want them to be too tight--but you do want to make sure your feet don't slip around uncomfortably at any point in your run.
Be sure to check the other important features that you want and need in a good pair of shoes.
The type of sole you will need will depend on the terrain you will be running on--we will discuss this more in our next section. Some Merrell running shoes feature lugs and additional traction and grip features for those of you who like to hit more technical terrains or trails where you need to make sure you aren't slipping and sliding with each stride.
The amount of cushioning that you need will depend on the level of support you require. A running shoe that has too much cushioning or too little cushioning can be detrimental, so make sure that you keep your foot type and support and stability needs in mind before going for any type of running shoe. The right cushioning will absorb shock and keep you comfortable no matter how far you run.
If you are a trail runner looking for the best-rated Merrell running shoes, you may want to consider looking for a model that also features a rock plate. This feature is especially important for anyone who enjoys running on technical terrain and is tired of dealing with running shoes that don't appropriately protect them from the rocks and debris that they will encounter.
Also consider the traction you need, the level of breathability you prefer, your foot type, and how much stability you will need.
The technology used by Merrell can provide you with the best quality products for a wide variety of running locations. You may need waterproof running trainers if you live in a rainy place or if the season is wet and you will need greater grip and stability if you are planning to run on off-road trails.
If you are serious about getting a pair of Merrel running shoes that are completely waterproof and not just water-resistant, you will want to look for a pair of shoes that features Gore-Tex--you will know because they will include "GTX" at the end of their name. Merrell offers GTX shoes, and we offer some on our list.
A lot of trail running shoes often include a rock plate. The rock plate is typically located between the midsole and the outsole. It is specifically made to give you a smooth ride and prevent you from feeling every rock, stick, or piece of debris that you will undoubtedly encounter anytime you run outside or hit the trails.
In order to run comfortably, efficiently, and safely it is important to know what works best for your feet.
Merrell offers a wide variety of colors and styles, all with different purposes and technologies. They design their shoes for men, women, and children. They are specialists at putting the best performance in every product. In order to run comfortably, efficiently, and safely it is important to know what works best for your feet.
It's important to know if you overpronate, underpronate, have flat feet or high arches, and whether your feet are wide or narrow. These are all factors you need to address when choosing a shoe. For the different levels of pronation, you’ll need the right kind of support. Sometimes the model with the right support may not meet your style expectations, but not having the right support can quickly become a problem.
Regardless of your foot type, you need to know all of these specificities in order to find the most effective running shoes for your needs. Make sure that the shoes you get fit the number of miles you want to pack in and double-check with actual user reviews to see how they hold up when they are actually put to the test.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Merrell running shoes are sleek and minimalist in design for the most part. Many models are available in several color choices, but not many. When it comes to running shoes, functionality over style should be your main priority.
If you enjoy the barefoot feel that minimalistic running shoes have to offer, then you will love all Merrell running shoe models and are definitely looking the right place for your next pair of running shoes.
Other Factors to Consider
Here at RunnerClick we strive to take into account every runner that comes to our site looking for guidance in finding the best pair of running shoes to fit their needs--and this includes the different budgets each of our readers may have. Although the cost is not the most important value factor, it is significant and we want to make sure our runners are happy with their investment.
First and foremost, when took a look at the overall value of each our running shoes we took a look at all of the features they have to offer and how they would hold up for the type of runner they were designed for. We then made sure to take a look at countless user reviews, so we could see if they really held up and offered what Merrell said they would.
Finally, although the actual ticket price is not the most important component of the overall value of the shoe, it certainly plays a significant role. We matched up all the previous factors to the overall cost to estimate the shoe's value. We encourage you to do the same but do it based on your personal needs and preferences to see the value the shoes will bring to you, specifically.
With over 30 years of experience in manufacturing outdoor equipment, Merrell is without a doubt a leader in the market. The company started designing and manufacturing handmade custom boots for outdoor enthusiasts over three decades ago. Over time their products have been recognized as the best in the market when it comes to outdoor equipment, especially their hiking boots.
The brand follows four core concepts when it comes to manufacturing quality products: comfort, design, durability, and versatility. You will find that Merrell’s running shoes or both comfortable and durable--all while maintaining a great design that gives them custom fit. As the brand focuses on multi-sport technology, the running shoes fit a wide variety of people, for a wide variety of adventures.
At the end of the day, it is clear that Merrell running shoes are among the best in the industry, however, that doesn't mean there is one single pair that will work for all runner types--if there were then you wouldn't have so many options to choose from! Make sure that the running shoes you decide to get fit your needs and preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What is pronation and why does it matter?
Pronation is the rolling motion that absorbs the effect of landing on the outside of your heel as your feet hit the ground. Understand your pronation, and knowing how you walk in general, is an important point of consideration when deciding on a type of shoe. Many shoes can help or alter your pronation so doing a little reading about your potential choices and how they impact your walk is wise.
q: Cushioned, minimalistic, and barefoot running shoes--what's the difference?
The Cushioning line provides a deeper drop (8-12mm) for intense runs where you need more resilient cushioning.
The Minimal line provides medium drop (0-8mm) helping you have more connection to the ground, those are the trainers you use if you don't do intense runs but want to keep the stability.
The Barefoot line provides 0mm drop providing full foot contact with the ground in a lightweight and sturdy design. The Barefoot line is the minimalist line of Merrell.
q: How does Merrell's slip-resistant Merrell technology work?
Merrell designs their shoes having both balanced weight and breathability in mind, as well as the consideration to provide good support for all kinds of trails. The slip-resistant technology starts working with the outsole.
The brand offers two options: either the high-performance Vibram®rubber soles or the outsoles with M-Select™ GRIP traction technology which include specialized lugs that take care of dirt and debris for you.
q: Is Vibram part of Merrell?
While reading through our reviews, you may have noticed we mentioned Vibram quite a bit! This is because Vibram partnered with Merrell and they collaborated to bring you one of the best--if not THE best performance rubber soles in the running world. The top-rated Merrell running shoes feature these high performing outsoles, so you are definitely getting some of the best shoes in the industry with Merrell.
- Our Story, Brand Website ,
- Take the Wet Test: Learn Your Foot Type, Running Website ,
- What is Pronation and Supination?, Fitness Website ,
- Barefoot / Minimalist Running Shoes: How to Choose, Sporting Website ,