13 Best Merrell Running Shoes Reviewed & Tested


Merrell stands as one of the leading brands in exceptional outdoor footwear. Merrell was one of the earliest companies to introduce a barefoot shoe to help with trail grip, securing their spot as forerunners in the trail running niche. They are also, unsurprisingly, experts at producing top-of-the-line hiking boots and trail running shoes.

The Merrell story started in 1981 when Randy Merrell teamed up with American Olympians Clark Matis and John Schweizer. With Randy’s skilled craftsmanship plus Clark and John’s athletic instincts and industry experience, the three developed an affordable high-performance hiking boot. In fact, the Wilderness Boot, one of the earliest Merrell style boots with its signature blue laces, still remains in the line today.

Today, Merrell continues on its mission to keep athletes moving forward on the trails. Nothing stands in your way when you wear Merrell footwear. With barefoot shoes and running shoes now on the line, Merrell strives for comfort, design, durability, and versatility. Merrell wants to bring a sense of fun and adventure to the outdoors whenever possible.

Last Updated: March 3, 2018
By Kelly Siedhof:

We at Runnerclick always take the time to make sure our information is helpful and up to date. With this update, we did some further research, added helpful details, and increased the readability of the article to make your search for the proper show easier.

All Out Crush
  • All Out Crush
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • TPU cage pattern
  • Price: See Here
Trail Glove 3
  • Trail Glove 3
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • TPU Rear Foot Sling
  • Price: See Here
All Out Peak
  • All Out Peak
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Nylon arch shank
  • Price: See Here

13 Best Merrell Running Shoes


1. All Out Crush

If you're ready for an all-out adventure to crush those sharp rocks and mud with a running shoe that can handle significant amounts of water, this is the shoe for you. The Merrell All Out Crush is a versatile and protective trail runner that cleans up quite easily.
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Comfort / Stability
There were only a very few number of runners who did not like the comfort level of these running shoes. To most runners they are quite lightweight, comfortable, and extremely flexible. They are well-ventilated, allowing your feet to breathe easily while you run. The UniFly technology provides cushioning while its gusseted tongue provides a secure fit.

Durability / Quality
The TPU cage pattern makes the upper quite durable and there seems to be just a few complaints of the durability of the outsole. This is a durable and quality-made running shoe that will last a long time.

When running on trails you'll need a good amount of protection from different types of terrain. This running shoe drains water quickly, has a TrailProtect pad that provides protection, and its toe cap provides protection as well.

Cost or Value
Most trail running shoes tend to run on the expensive side because of the extra features involved. This one is no exception, but you will get your money's worth, and may be able to find them cheaper on Amazon.
  • Merrell Select Grip provides great Traction
  • Drains water quickly
  • Lightweight & comfortable
  • Extremely flexible
  • Well Ventilated
  • TPU cage pattern makes the upper quite durable
  • Uni Fly provides cushioning
  • Gusseted tongue provides a secure fit
  • TrailProtect pad provides protection
  • Toe cap provides protection
  • Some had issues with getting dirt in the shoe
  • Some were not satisfied with the amount of cushioning

2. Trail Glove 4

The Trail Glove 4 is part of Merrell’s notable minimalist trail shoe series and a great example of why you should choose a Merrell shoe. This easy and comfortable shoe has many of the benefits runners look for from a minimalist shoe and many attributes that might surprise even a minimalist veteran.
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The Merrell Glove 4 a is comfortable and lightweight shoe with short break-in time. The Trail Glove 4 also has a mesh lining to promote breathability, keeping the wearers feet cool. Many have also said the Trail Glove 4 is surprisingly stable and supportive, an uncommon trait in most minimalist shoes, and a boon to those who pick up The Merrell Trail Glove 4.

The high quality of the Merrell Trail Glove 4 isn’t just based on looks alone. The Trail Glove 4 grips the trail very well, a somewhat decent toe box allowing for a solid spread. The shoe also reportedly washes easily, contributing to the longevity of the shoe as a whole.

Cost or Value:
The price of the Merrel Trail Glove 4 is within a moderate range but the many attributes contributing to the value of the running shoes makes it more than worth the price.
  • Comfortable
  • Supportive, especially for a minimalist shoe
  • Great grip
  • Lightweight
  • Dry quickly
  • Good looking
  • Short break in
  • Easy on and off
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Shoes may be too firm
  • May be too narrow for some

3. All Out Peak

This is a neutral trail running shoe that will provide great stability, protection, and grip on rough trail runs.
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Comfort / Stability
There were a few runners that suggested the shoe runs a bit narrow in size, otherwise most agree this is a highly comfortable and stable running shoe. This is a highly breathable running shoe that keeps sweat away. It has reflective components that allow others to see you easily while you run. Its HyperWrap 360 Degree Fit System provides stability, its Uni-Fly midsole absorbs shock when your feet hit the ground, its Air cushion on the heel provides comfort, and its Nylon arch shank provides flexibility.

Durability / Quality
A very slim amount of runners thought the durability of the outsole should have lasted longer. The Megagrip Outsole has great traction and according to most is quite durable and made with quality materials.

The All Out Peak has TrailProtect technology that provides great protection to your feet when running on rough terrain. It is also great on wet and dry surfaces.

Cost or Value
Trail running shoes are typically higher priced, because of the added protection they provide your feet. We think it'll be worth every penny.
  • Highly Breathable
  • Reflective components allows others to see you easily
  • HyperWrap 360 Degree Fit System provides stability
  • TrailProtect technology provides great protection
  • Megagrip Outsole has great traction 
  • Great on wet and dry surfaces
  • Uni-Fly midsole absorbs shock
  • Air cushion on heel provides comfort
  • Nylon arch shank provides flexibility
  • Sizes run narrow
  • May be seen as expensive

4. Agility Peak Flex

The new Agility Peak Flex is one of Merrell’s newest trail running shoes. Unlike other current trail running shoes on the Merrell line, it sports the Omni-Fit lacing system which “provides a precise glove-like fit.” It also has a distinctly modern design which was welcomed by Merrell users both old and new.
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Comfort/ Support
Requiring little to no breaking in, whether for hiking or just everyday use, this pair definitely carries the comfort that the Merrell brand is known for. With its snug toe box, those with wider feet may want more wiggle room.

Despite some issues with squeaky soles (customer service suggested talcum powder), design-wise, Merrell gave us a refreshing look with the Agility Peak Flex as it’s made available in 5 contemporary colors and patterns for both men and women providing
you the option between more discreet and bolder palettes but all versatile nonetheless.

Secured with the M Select GRIP+ outsole with skeleton inspired lugs (they really do look like the feet of a human skeleton) this pair is aggressive on wet, muddy and dry trails and conditions. You can expect to do lateral movements and descents with ease, thanks to the Hyperlock molded TPU heels. Water is a non-issue as the mesh upper material allows permeability in whatever weather or terrain.

With EVA material in its midsole, M SelectTM FRESH antimicrobial agents to reduce shoe odor and topped with mud-resistant mesh, you can count on this pair for its durability.
  • Comfort right out of the box
  • Versatile design
  • All-weather, all terrain performance
  • Not enough toe-room for wider feet

5. Bare Access Arc 4

For those that have always been big on style and practical use, you know we have you covered with these running shoes.
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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. 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.

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.

Cost or Value
The price is unbelievably low in consideration of the features which have been included with these shoes.
  • The one piece mesh upper has a pretty good amount of airflow
  • Non-stitched overlays run directly to the laces
  • There is a good amount of cushioning, even for this minimalistic design
  • Pretty good marks on durability
  • Reflective components
  • Highly Breathable
  • EVA midsole provides stability
  • Affordable
  • Some aren't crazy about the new arch support
  • Sizes may run small
  • May take some time to wear in

6. Trail Crusher

The Merrell Trail Crusher carries on where the Mix Master Glide left off, of 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 males’ selection.
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The Trail Crusher delivers 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 is primarily mesh for breathability and permeability in both wet and dry terrain. Balancing this out is the protective toe cap to shield you from debris.

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.

Grip and Traction
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.

A great pair of shoes for not a lot of money!
  • 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

7. All Out Charge

This is a running shoe that is extremely breathable, has an easily detachable foot bed, and has an exact proportion of stack height.
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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 vaporising. The removable footbed is another feature for the orthotics. The Hyperwrap 360 degrees fit system keeps the foot in place even in vigorous sweating.

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 feel when they hit the ground.

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 supports the feet all the while increasing the durability of them.

Cost or Value
The price of trail running shoes in general can be quite pricey because you get extra protection where you need it.
  • 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
  • Highly breathable
  • They seem to run a little narrow
  • Sizes run small
  • May be seen as expensive

8. Bare Access Ultra

You can expect a very proportional combo of comfortable synthetic fabric, high-quality rubber and hygienic, durable midsole with the Bare Access Ultra.
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The fine fabric and synthetic sole of the shoe will have your feet feeling as if they are getting the quality that they deserve. The 0mm heel-to-toe drop incorporated alongside a bunch of delicate features like the ‘no-sew protective toe’, upper mesh and last but not the least ‘side overlays’, may just leave you with just one word: ‘perfect’!

M BOUND+ energy-returning technology in the midsole pampers you with unmatched durability and protection. Next, still on the subject of durability, the Breathable mesh lining is something you just can’t ignore.

Cost or Value
The price of this shoe range fits in the common price range of its contemporary models. From users’ overwhelming response, it is evident that hardly any buyers have any regret for their decision with spending the money for these shoes.
  • M BOUND+ technology in the midsole offers good energy return
  • The sticky Vibram outsole grips various types of terrain
  • The seamless upper is breathable and free of internal irritation points
  • Zero drop platform
  • Strobel Last provides comfort to underfoot
  • Serious minimalist runners felt that the soles on these were a little too thick
  • Can be seen as expensive

9. Moab Gore-Tex

No more worrying about keeping those feet dry. This running shoe provides an amazing waterproof feature and enhanced breathability.
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Comfort / Stability
Most runners appreciated the comfort of this running shoe. This is a highly breathable running shoe that has an Air Cushion® midsole to absorbs shock when your feet hit the ground. Its Gore-Tex Extended Comfort on your run, and its M Select Fresh prevents odor of your feet.

Durability / Quality
While there were a few complaints of the upper mesh not being quite as durable as some wishes, the outsole of this running shoe is highly durable. Its Vibram® Multi-Sport Plus provides great traction, and its lugs assist with grip.

Most were quite satisfied with the waterproof feature of this running shoe. It also has a Bellowed tongue to keep debris out.

Cost or value
It does run a bit on the pricey side, but if it's a waterproof trail runner that you seek you'll be quite satisfied.
  • Waterproof
  • Highly Breathable
  • Vibram® Multi-Sport Plus provides great traction
  • Air Cushion® midsole absorbs shock
  • Highly durable
  • Gore-Tex Extended Comfort
  • Bellows tongue keeps debris out
  • M Select Fresh prevents odor
  • Some had issues with the durability of the upper
  • Sizes run small
  • Laces don't stay tied

10. Pace Glove 3

What does your top list consist of? Is it Unicolour or duel-coloured? Whatever it 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.
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First and foremost, the all-around synthetic sole and fine fabric gives you a smooth and comfortable feeling in association with highly breathable mesh and padded collar. The ‘Omni-Fit lacing system’ efficiently keeps your feet tightly gripped without any harsh feeling. 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.

This is a highly durable running shoe made with quality materials that will last a long time.

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.

Cost or Value
Although very few of its users have complained about this model of running shoe being overpriced but, most of them have admitted that the features that have been included in the price are quite not so bad in spending for.
  • 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
  • Very Flexible
  • Vibram TC 1 outsole is highly durable
  • CMEVA provides cushioning
  • The sizing seems to be a bit off 
  • Some thought it could be more snug
  • Sizes may run small

11. All Out Terra

With the vibrant color combination, trustworthy fit and heavenly comfort, gift it to your beloved one or pamper yourself with it. You may not even get one mere chance to complain.
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Its synthetic linen texture, exclusive quality rubber sole, highly breathable mesh and thermoplastic polyurethane upper sole assure you the best of comfort and stability you can expect from any running shoe.

Removable footbed for the orthotics, a proportionate combination of 24 millimeters of stack height, 16 millimeter Cush and 6 millimeter drop.

Most runners were quite satisfied with this bootie style running shoe and agreed it was quite durable and made with quality materials.

The TrailProtect pad for superior protection is surely enough to have longed for the delivery date.

Cost or Value
Most trail runners are on the expensive side because of the additional features they provide to protect your feet while you run. This one is no exception, but will be worth every penny.
  • Fairly aggressive tread performs well off-road
  • The removable insole allows the use of custom orthotics
  • The Mesh and Thermoplastic Polyurethane upper allows decent airflow
  • Reflective components allow others to see you easily
  • Roomy toe box
  • Underfoot protection is provided by TrailProtect Pad
  • Highly durable
  • UniFly midsole absorbs shock
  • Bootie-style construction keeps debris out
  • Some expected the collar to fit a little tighter 
  • Sizes run big
  • May be seen as expensive

12. Vapor Glove 2

Are you looking for a running shoe without the stereotypical running shoe construction? Well, you may very well be impressed with what we have here.
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The premium quality rubber sole offers the feet and extremely comfortable and cozy feeling. The lace-up vamp along with the pull-tab at the counter are nice additions for the low profile trail runner!

The Vibram outsole offers a significant benefit in its traction, and is accompanied by an exceptionally durable insole.

It has good toe protection from debris. The upper is constructed to withstand rocks and other sharp objects.

Cost or Value
It’s not very easy to find a reliable runner who does not find the every penny spent on the Vapor Glove 2 worth it.
  • Excellent ground contact
  • Soft microfiber footbed for comfort
  • A true minimalist design
  • Good toe protection against debris 
  • Highly breathable
  • M Select FRESH odor-wicking technology keeps odor away
  • Highly durable
  • CMEVA provides cushioning
  • Rear Foot Sling supports the heel
  • Some durability issues with the toe area of the shoe's upper
  • Sizes may run large
  • Some thought the responsiveness of the shoe could be better

13. All Out Crush Shield

Merrell’s All Out Crush Shield is an alteration on an already solid shoe on this list. The Shield does what its name suggests, stepping up the protection. And that is exactly what runners who frequent trails and rough terrain need.
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This Merrell trail shoe is comfortable, the footbed and sole are designed for shock absorbency and an easy run. The All Out Crush Shield is also set up with support for a high arch, making it a solid stability shoe for the runners who need it.

Runners who wear the All Out Crush Shield often remark that wearing these shoes any where but a trail could result in degradation and flaking of the sole. Other than that slight drawback, the durability of these shoes is comparable to any other Merrell. While on the trail, they excel with good traction and grip of the terrain. They also are designed with a roomy toe box to allow the wearer to better utilize their own natural grip while they run. This shoe also has exceptional water resistance as an added benefit for runners who frequent wet and damp trails.

Cost and Value:
The All Out Crush Shield is on the low to middle end of cost, but it is an exceptional value when it comes to its merit as a trail shoe.
  • Comfortable
  • Good arch support
  • Roomy toe box
  • Good traction and grip
  • Keeps dry
  • Lightweight
  • Sole durability may be an issue

We really hope that this buying guide was helpful to your search. Remember, there is a wide variety of shoes to choose from. The trick is to weigh your needs and practical uses to find the best possible pair for you.

The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation Of the Best Merrell Running Shoes

We spend hours, days, and even weeks researching reviews from runners all over the world to provide you with the most accurate top 10 list. Below is some of the criteria we use when deciding which shoes will make our top 10:


Flickr: terren in Virginia


If you are looking at Merrell’s you’re most likely in the need of a trail running shoe. The most important thing a trail running shoe can provide is protection. We will let you know how much or little protection is provided with each of these top 10 running shoes. Do they fair well against sharp rocks? Can they withstand water? Those are just a few of the features we look at when deciding which will go in our top 10.


Comfort is always important. No one wants to run in uncomfortable shoes that cause pain or blisters. We will let you know how much cushioning is provided, and if other runners thought the shoe to be comfortable.


Trail running shoes can run a bit on the heavy side due to their extra added features to protect you on your run. We will let you know if they are too heavy, lightweight, or just right.


If you are running on trails you’ll want a running shoe that has amazing grip. We will let you know what type of traction and grip to expect from the running shoe.


No one wants sweaty feet. We’ve heard the runners reviews and let you know if they think they are well ventilated or could use better airflow.


A good pair of running shoes should last between 400 and 600 miles. We want you to know if these shoes meet that criteria as far as durability goes, or if they will likely wear earlier or last even longer.

Other Important Factors To Consider When Selecting The Best Merrell Running Shoes


Flickr: edge balino

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, with the time their products have been recognized as the best in the market of outdoor equipment, specially its hiking boots.

The brand follows four core concepts when it comes to manufacture quality products: comfort, design, durability and versatility. You will find that Merrell’s running shoes integrate successfully at a high level of comfort and durability while maintaining a great design that gives them a great feel. As the brand focuses on multi-sport technology, the running shoes fit a wide variety of people, for a wide variety of adventures.


As Merrell offers wide versatility, you will need to think first if you want to have long or short runs, the terrain where you plan to run and the kind of grip you need to have to make your experience the best.

Have in mind that in order to get the best ventilation, grip, comfort and stability from your shoes, you have to be conscious of the conditions of the environment you want to run in. Merrell has plenty of options you can choose from, versatility is one of the core values of their products.


Depending on the surface, the climate and the length of your run, you can choose the perfect pair of trainers. The technology used my Merrell can provide you with he best quality products for a wide variety of adventures. You may need waterproof trainers if you live in a rainy place or if the season is wet. You may need greater grip and stability if you are planning to run on off-road trails.

Personal Level:

Merrell offers different technologies so you can connect your feet to the terrain, they offer three categories to choose from: cushioning, minimal and barefoot. Depending on your preferences, you can pick you pair of trainers from a wide variety of styles within each category. For example, the All Out Charge trainers, make part of the Cushioning selection, The Bare Access trainers are part of the Minimal selection, and the Trail Glove trainers are part of the Barefoot selection.


Merrell offers a wide variety of colors and styles of trainers for different purposes and with different technologies. They design their shoes for men, women and children. They are specialists on bringing the best performance in every product.

Know Your Feet:

This is the most important part to consider. In order to run comfortably, efficiently, and most of all safely, you have got to know what works best for your feet. If you over-pronate, underpronate, have flat feet or high arches, if your feet are wide or narrow, these are the things that you have to understand and know how to take care of.

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 that when you have to think about whether it is better to wear the hottest styles, or support and possibly correct a condition that can potentially become a problem.

And, the same thought should go into picking shoes for high arches or flat feet. you don’t want something that doesn’t offer enough support, or something that has too much.

What if you happen to have wide or even narrow feet? You will want to choose a brand and model which has sizing that works for you. These are all things which are important to think about, especially if you intend to puts some miles on them.

To further help in your search for the best pair of running shoes, we have also put together some frequently asked questions that may help you spark some considerations of your own.




Q: What is pronation and how should I take it into account when shopping for a shoe?

A: 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: What is the difference between the cushioning, minimal and barefoot lines?

A: 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, but sturdy design. The Barefoot line is the minimalist line of Merrell.

Q: How slip resistant Merrell shoes work?

A: Merrell design their shoes with the right weight, correct ventilation and appropriate ankle support for each type of trail and level of activity. The slip resistant technology starts working with the outsole. The brand offers the M-Select™ GRIP traction outsoles with specialized lugs that release dirt and debris or the trusted technology of high-performance rubber soles from Vibram®.

Q: Is Vibram part of Merrell?

A: Vibram is one of the industries that has the leadership of, and commitment to, the performance hiking, running and mountaineering. Vibram partner with Merrell bringing together one of the highest performances of rubber soles in the industry.

Q: What should I do if my half size isn’t available?

A:Merrell will recommend sizing up over sizing down. In the instance that the shoe doesn’t fit, Merrell has easy returns or offers a free exchange.

Here are some sources we used while conducting our Research:


  1. Merrell, Our Story, Running shoe company,
  2. Runnersworld, Take the Wet Test: Learn Your Foot Type, Running site, Jan 22, 2016
  3. Stretch Coach, What is Pronation and Supination?, Stretching site,
  4. Rei, Barefoot / Minimalist Running Shoes: How to Choose, Feb 12, 2016
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