Merrell MTL Cirrus Trail Running Shoe
Merrell’s MTL Cirrus is a simply-designed yet highly effective trail running shoe. All of its carefully engineered features enable its wear to be equal parts protective and lightweight. From rocky trails and thick forests to rain and snow, runners can stay secure in all types of environments.
The Vibram Megagrip outsole provides durable and precise traction, and a compression-molded EVA midsole cushions while absorbing impact. Both features are enhanced further by the inclusion of a TrailProtect rock plate, which safeguards against jagged surfaces. While its mesh upper enables plenty of ventilation, synthetic overlays work with the Hyperlock heel counter and the lacing system to keep the foot locked into place.
-Plenty of underfoot cushioning
-Generally fits true to size
-Highly breathable wear
-Feels surprisingly lightweight
-Unusually stiff wear
-Only one color option
-Expensive price tag
Aggressive multi-directional gripping lugs are placed throughout the forefoot and heel to ensure a secure grip on many different challenging surfaces. These prove to be particularly useful in rainy weather and during uphill or downhill runs. Several flex grooves are also included to encourage easier movement.
A TrailProtect rock plate is layered between the outsole and midsole to further shield the underfoot against sharp and jagged surfaces. A polyurethane insole is also included to enhance cushioning, and it can easily be switched out for a custom insert if the runner prefers.
Greater stabilization is provided by the Hyperlock TPU heel counter, which wraps completely around the back and works with the traditional lacing system to lock the foot into place. As an added bonus, M-Select FRESH technology is included to eliminate the risk of foot odor.
Surprisingly enough, multiple reviews have stated that this shoe's wear is actually very light. This is particularly noteworthy since it does have several protective elements that the average running shoe doesn't include. This can be credited to its lightweight upper, lack of heavy overlays, and the overall careful engineering of its materials and features.
It also receives a great deal of help from the lining's seamless construction as well as the brand's M-Select FRESH anti-microbial agents, which actively work to eliminate odor-causing bacteria. All of these features together create an airy feel that keeps the foot cool and comfortable all day.
The different air mesh fabrics and seamless construction of its upper ensure a highly breathable wear that greatly reduces the risks of irritation. And greater stability is offered by the Hyperlock heel counter and traditional lacing system. All of these features combined provide incredible comfort and support as well as protection.
The only known downside is that its wear is known to be more on the stiff side, even after it's been broken in for some time. It's unclear if this is due to the midsole and outsole material, the platform's substantial height, or a combination of the two.
These contrasting colors, as well as the shoe's maximalist outsole and lack of heavy overlays, create a truly eye-catching piece of footwear that runners can't wait to use.
Unfortunately, this seems to be the only color option that buyers have to choose from. While most don't seem to mind at all, it would definitely boost sales if the brand gave buyers an actual range of selections.
While the mesh upper might not be all that durable on its own, it's been greatly reinforced by a series of printed-on overlays as well as the Hyperlock TPU heel counter. Not only do they help the shoe maintain its structure they also help the material better resist wear and tear.
Perhaps the greatest form of protection comes from the Trail Protect rock plate, sandwiched between the outsole and midsole. It's this feature that not only safeguards the midsole from potential damage but also prevents sharp and jagged objects from causing injury.
Even the upper is able to be protective in some way, as its breathable wear prevents irritation and blisters from forming. And the Hyperlock heel counter pairs well with the lacing system to stabilize the foot and prevent accidental removal.
With all of this said, however, it's unclear how it performs when it comes to energy return. Therefore, it's difficult to determine how fit this shoe is for long distance running.
The removable polyurethane insole further enhances this shoe's supportive wear. And, as stated before, more customized support can be achieved by swapping out this insole for an insert of the runner's choice.
Furthermore, its lightweight and breathable wear makes it the perfect choice for runs during warm weather. However, it's safe to assume that this shoe provides no water repellency. It's also not quite clear if it can easily transition onto paved roads, based on reviews alone, but the overall design of its outsole suggests that it might be able to.
It's also worth noting that even sites such as Amazon or eBay, which are known to have incredible deals, do not currently offer this shoe at a reduced rate.
Despite this, its many positive reviews have shown that this model is well worth every dollar that buyers spend on it. Between its durability, secure traction, protective cushioning, and surprisingly lightweight and breathable wear, buyers are sure to get more than their money's worth when they purchase this shoe.
While similarly designed outsoles have been known to become clogged easily, with either mud or small rocks, it's unclear if this particular shoe has had this same issue.
Synthetic printed-on overlays allow the upper to maintain its overall structure and integrate with the lacing system for a more secure fit. And stability is greatly enhanced by the Hyperlock TPU heel counter, which wraps completely around the back. It not only prevents in-shoe wobbling but also works with the lacing system to keep the foot from slipping out.
Of course, this definitely doesn't mean that is shoe lacks any sort of cushioning. With a heel height of 30mm and a toe height of 25mm, the runner is still given plenty of underfoot support for their runs.
-Compression-molded EVA midsole
-TrailProtect rock plate for added safety
-Breathable mesh upper with synthetic overlays
-Seamless mesh inner lining for comfort
-Stabilizing Hyperlock heel counter
-M-Select FRESH to prevent foot odor
-5mm heel-to-toe drop height
-Only available in Flame Orange
-Expensive $160 price tag
It's not completely perfect, however, as its wear can be unusually stiff and its color range is extremely limited. Yet almost all reviews show that this particular model is definitely worth every dollar that buyers spend on it.