Merrell Agility Peak Flex 3 Review Facts
The Merrell Agility Peak Flex 3 was designed for rugged trails while still being fit for use on paved roads. It features a Vibram Megagrip outsole with FLEXconnect dual-directional flex grooves for a stronger grip and easier movement. The compression-molded EVA midsole ensures long-lasting shock absorption and a TrailProtect rock plate safeguards against jagged surfaces. And while its Jacquard knit upper provides an adaptive and breathable wear, overlays work with a TPU heel counter for added stability and protection. Buyers are also happy that the Omni Fit lacing system is included, offering an even more secure and customizable fit.
It seems to be quite common now for running shoe brands to rely on Vibram
s when it comes to creating outsoles for their outdoor footwear. Merrell has done the same when it comes to the Agility Peak Flex 3, which is formed using a Megagrip rubber compound for increased levels of durability and traction. Its unique tread pattern features tightly-clustered rectangular lugs and the brand’s FLEXconnect
dual-directional flex-grooves, making it resemble the bones of a human foot. Not only does this ensure a better grip on challenging surfaces, but it also enables the runner to have better control over their movements.
Like many other trail running shoes, the Agility Peak Flex 3 is outfitted with a compression molded EVA midsole. While it may not offer as much energy return as injection-molded EVA, or more modern technologies, it still keeps the underfoot completely cushioned and supported while offering plenty of shock absorption. In between this and the Vibram outsole is a TrailProtect
rock plate for an added layer of protection against jagged, uneven surfaces. In addition, runners are given a removable PU insole for added cushioning as well as heightened responsiveness and breathability.
Merrell uses a Jacquard
knit fabric to create the Agility Peak Flex 3’s upper, which pairs incredibly well with its mesh lining to give the runner a very breathable wear. This, in turn, allows it to be equally as comfortable during both warmer and cooler temperatures. TPU overlays wrap around from the toe area, which is also reinforced with a rubber/plastic toe cap, and hugs the heel for added structure and protection. A Hyperlock TPU heel counter is also in place for a more lockdown fit, overall. In addition, this shoe features the brand’s Omni-Fit
lacing system, which utilizes stretchy cords instep of traditional eyelets. When connected to the midsole, and paired with flattened laces, runners are guaranteed an incredibly secure fit that they can also customize. And, as an added bonus, M Select FRESH antimicrobial agents are added to reduce odor.
According to Zappos’ listings, the Agility Peak Flex 3 has an average weight of 12 oz. for men’s sizes and 10 oz. for women’s sizes. These measurements are actually quite common for trail running shoes, considering their extra protective and stabilizing features. In fact, several buyers have pointed out that this version is a full 2 ounces heavier than its predecessor. Despite this, most reviews state that it still feels very lightweight and easy to move around in both on trails and paved roads.
The overall construction of the Agility Peak Flex 3 allows it to offer a highly breathable wear, as its Jacquard knit upper pairs well with the mesh lining to permit unrestricted airflow. While the overlays do limit some of its ventilation, the fabric is exposed throughout most of the foot. As a result, areas that get overheated can be more easily targeted. The use of a PU lining, as well as the addition of M Select FRESH antimicrobial
agents, enhances this quality even further. Reviewers also appreciate that it’s able to keep them cool while still being suitable for lower temperatures.
Reviewers are extremely impressed with how comfortable
the Agility Peak Flex 3 is for a trail running shoe. Its compression-molded EVA midsole offers firm and supportive cushioning along with incredible shock absorption, while its TrailProtect rock plate safeguards against jagged surfaces. The Jacquard mesh upper wraps around and easily adapts to each of the foot’s movements, and it pairs nicely with the mesh lining to keep the runner cool and dry. Further cushioning and responsiveness is provided by the removable PU insole, and M Select FRESH antimicrobial agents actively prevent both foot odor and possible infections. And, despite its protective and stabilizing features, most still find this shoe very easy to move around in. It’s still not without its downsides, however, as several runners have claimed that it doesn’t always fit true to size. Furthermore, those with high arches state that it doesn’t quite give them the support that they need.
The Agility Peak Flex 3 features the same overall silhouette as each of its predecessors. The two biggest differences would be that its midsole looks a bit more substantial and its upper now has fewer overlays. It still includes the Omni-Fit lacing system and several other well-known features such as the FlexConnect flex grooves and Hyperlock TPU heel counter. While this model is only available in three colors
for both men’s and women’s sizes, reviewers don’t seem to mind this at all. Both size ranges are available in High Rise and Black, while men have an Olive option and women can choose Capri Breeze.
All trail running shoes are expected to be durable, considering the terrains that they’re intended to be used on, and the Agility Peak Flex 3 definitely holds up. The shoe’s Vibram Megagrip outsole is known just as well for its sturdiness as it is for its incredible traction. Its compression-molded EVA midsole is also known to be long-lasting, and the TrailProtect rock plate allows it to hold up even longer. While its engineered Jacquard knit is already a lot stronger than standard shoe fabrics, it also features overlays, a toe bumper, and a Hyperlock TPU heel counter that really help it maintain its overall shape.
As is expected of all trail running shoes, the Agility Peak Flex 3 is able to efficiently protect the runner against most trailing hazards that they might face. The tread pattern on its Vibram Megarip outsole enables a safe and secure grip that can easily grasp onto rocky and forest trails as well as paved roads. Its compression-molded EVA midsole provides plenty of shock absorption to reduce the runner’s pain and fatigue levels, and a TrailProtect rock plate is sandwiched between these units shields against uneven and jagged
surfaces. While the breathable upper protects the foot against possible infections, as do the antimicrobial agents, its overlays and TPU heel counter shield the foot from accidental impact.
A compression-molded EVA midsole doesn't just give the Agility Peak Flex 3 lots of firm underfoot support. It’s also put to use for its responsive
qualities, as it ensures plenty of shock absorption that keeps the runner’s pain and fatigue levels at a minimum. This quality is also enhanced by the removable PU insole, as well as the TrailProtect rock plate fixed between the midsole and outsole. While its energy return may not be strong enough for running long distances, it’s still perfectly fit to keep the runner moving smoothly and safely across several types of rugged terrains.
Reviews definitely seem to be mixed when it comes to just how supportive the Agility Peak Flex 3 is. On the one hand, most runners are happy with what its compression-molded EVA midsole has to offer. They also notice the difference that its PU insole makes, both for responsiveness and overall support. On the other hand, those who have higher arches have noticed that it doesn’t provide them with as much arch support
as they would require. Since its insole is removable, it’s assumed that this feature could be easily replaced with a custom insert if needed. However, this model’s inconsistent sizing may make that difficult for some runners.
Part of what makes the Agility Peak Flex 3 such a well-received shoe is its ability to transfer from rugged environments to surfaces that are more commonplace. The entire structure of its sole unit is perfect for runs across rocky mountainous trails or forest
paths that are covered in thick roots. And its upper’s overlays give a great deal of protection against most common hazards that they would encounter. At the same time, its gripping lugs aren’t so aggressive that they feel heavy or clumsy on paved roads
. And it Jacquard knit and mesh fabrics work well together to keep the foot cool during the summer and still relatively comfortable in lower temperatures.
The Agility Peak Flex 3 is given the same price as all of its predecessors, which is definitely on the higher end of average. Across all online retailers, from Zappos and Road Runner Sports to Merrell’s own website, it goes for $130. Lower prices can also be found on discount sites, as well as several reliable listings on Amazon
and eBay. While some buyers might be put off by its inconsistent sizing, and its lack for support for those with higher arches, others feel that its levels of comfort, incredible traction, and surprisingly versatile wear make it worth every dollar they would spend.
Not only is the Agility Peak Flex 3’s traction incredibly strong, but it also proves to be surprisingly versatile. The rectangular gripping lugs of its outsole are able to grasp onto rocky trails and root-covered forest paths with ease. Yet they aren’t so aggressive that they can’t fuction properly on paved roads and sidewalks. And given its intended usage, it’s no surprise to anyone that it ensures a grip that's equally as strong on both wet and dry surfaces.
Trail running shoes are known to be stiffer than casual running footwear, thanks entirely to their levels of stability. However, as its name suggests, the Agility Peak Flex 3 is a little bit easy to move around in. While its Vibram Megagrip outsole is typically more on the rigid side, it’s also outfitted with FLEXConnect dual-directional flex grooves to enable a slightly more natural gait cycle. The compression-molded EVA midsole and rock plate may also stiffen this shoe up to some extent. However, it’s the construction of its Jacquard knit upper, which completely bends and flexes along with the foot, that really gives this shoe an easy wear. A quick break-in period should lessen some of the overall stiffness.
While this shoe does not offer any corrective features, the Agility Peak Flex 3 does keep the runner stabilized and in control as they move across challenging terrains. The tread pattern of its Vibram Megagrip outsole resembles human foot bones, permitting a more stable and natural gait cycle. Its compression-molded EVA midsole offers plenty of shock absorption to keep their movements and smooth as possible. Its upper gives a pretty snug fit that’s also highly adaptable, and the Hyperlock TPU heel counter helps the foot stay locked into place. However, it’s Merrell’s Omni Fit lacing system that really ensures a secure wear.
With a heel height of 31mm and a toe height of 25mm, the Agility Peak Flex 3 features a low drop platform of 6mm. Trail running shoes typically have a low drop height, as this is what allows them to offer greater balance and correct the wearer's posture. Despite the substantial thickness of this shoe's platform, it's still able to give the runner a more natural and controlled stride as they move across difficult terrains. Some reviewers even claim that it makes for a more comfortable wear in everyday environments.
-Vibram Megagrip outsole
-FLEXconnect dual-directional flex grooves
-TrailProtect rock plate for protection
-Compression molded EVA midsole
-Removable PU insole
-Jacquard upper with mesh lining
-Hyperlock TPU heel counter
-M Select FRESh antimicrobial agents
Overall, Merrell's Agility Peak Flex 3 proves to be as efficient and secure as it is comfortable. Its durable outsole's unique tread pattern allows for a strong grip as well as an easier gait cycle. The midsole and rock protection plate keep the underfoot safeguarded against chronic pain and injuries caused by impact and jagged surfaces. And the upper proves to be equally as protective against infections, impact, and accidental removal. While its sizing could definitely use improvements, as could its levels of arch support, it's clear that most runners are satisfied with its wear and performance.