Merrell Trail Crusher

7.8
7.8 score
[Editors rating (8.0) + Users rating (7.4)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (7.8)/10

Our RunnerClick score is based on our editors overall rating compared to the user ratings in order to generate the most accurate and unbiased score of each product we review.

If there are less than 10 user reviews for the product in total, the weight of user reviews is decreased from 50% to 25% to make sure that new products are not rated too high.
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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 3 user ratings
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Merrell Trail Crusher Review Facts

Merrell began in 1981 as a footwear company that specialized in hiking boots. However, in 1997, Merrell was sold to Wolverine World Wide, who specialized in other types of footwear. Now, Merrell is considered one of the most popular brands for trail runners. They introduced a trail running shoe called the Jungle Runner, and with this, opened the door to the comfortable and durable Trail Crusher that we are reviewing today. One website rated Merrell as the 11th most popular footwear company worldwide, with the Trail Crusher being in the top 50th percentile of trail running shoes. 

The Merrell Trail Crusher is for those with roots in both hiking and running. For these runners, following Merrell’s motto of “doing what’s natural”, depends on what kind of day it is.  Depending on your mood and desires, this lightweight, hybrid running shoe can be taken just about anywhere. 

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Vegan-friendly footwear that uses 0% animal products.
  • For those in need of freedom in motion, like me, the flexibility of the platform is a plus.
  • The 4mm drop offers an ideal balance between desired ground contact and optimal cushioning.  
  • Durable, long-lasting outsole, reducing the need to replace the shoes often.
Cons
  • Since this is a hybrid trail shoe, if you are running a longer distance trail race, you may want to choose a more traditional trail runner.
  • You may require additional sock protection to prevent the shoe from rubbing the back of your foot.
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The Merrell Trail Crusher’s outsole is considered a hybrid with non-aggressive lugs, meaning you can easily use these shoes to run on both the trail and the pavement. Merrell Select Grip, or M-Select Grip, outsole delivers durability as well as reliable traction over these various types of terrain. The M-Select technology also prevents breaking down of the outsole components allowing for extended use. In addition, the Trail Crusher features flex grooves that enhance the flexibility of the forefoot for the most efficient toe-off. And, this outsole allows for slip-resistant stability on both wet and dry surfaces!
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The Merrell Trail Crusher features an EVA removable footbed. Footbeds are generally constructed with three layers - a top cover plus two layers of foam. The bottom layer is the EVA foam or Ethyl Vinyl Acetate. EVA gives the footbed its support and integrity. It also offers contour to the heel and arch areas for best anatomical support. Having a removable footbed allows you to clean it in order to maintain fresh smelling feet. This is great for the trail runner who sweats a lot or for the one that likes to get really muddy. Handwash these footbeds with lukewarm water and mild soap. Then, allow them to air dry away from direct sunlight.

The Trail Crusher also features an M-Bound midsole for maximal cushioning and efficiency. This type of midsole provides enough protection from the ground below while still allowing for stability and agility as well as faster reaction time.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper of a shoe secures your foot to the shoe and is usually either glued or sewn to the midsole. The Merrell Trail Crusher features a mesh, TPU, and synthetic upper. TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane. Protection and is used to increase elasticity and resistance to scuffs, dirt, oil, and any other debris you may encounter on your run. In addition to its high shear strength, TPU performs well at low temperatures. Tests show that TPU is better during low temperatures than standard EVA, and can withstand cold down to about -4ºF This means you have no excuses to stay inside when it’s cold out.

The Merrell Trail Crusher also features metal eyelets for your laces, allowing for more secure lacing. These metal eyelets are more durable than traditional eyelets, which is pretty important when you are out running the trail. More than a road shoe, a trail runner really needs to be able to secure your foot firmly against the footbed. This is necessary to keep your foot in a locked position when running down or uphill or when scrambling over rocks. The Merrell Trail Crusher’s lacing can help you achieve this.
Weight
Weight

Weight

At 7.3 ounces, the Merrell Trail Crusher is considered a lighter-weight trail runner. This is awesome for those who desire speed. Many hikers, including backpackers and thru-hikers, will buy trail runners to save weight. However, the generally have to replace them often. This is not likely to be the case with the Merrell Trail Crusher. The outsole with the M-Select Grip helps to increase the life of these shoes, while at the same time, affording you the desired lighter weight.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Summertime is coming and, especially here in Las Vegas where I live, it can be extremely treacherous for the feet of runners who are not prepared. If the materials of the shoe are not breathable, heat and humidity are trapped inside. This makes your feet stinky and sweaty. The Merrell Trail Crusher may not be waterproof, but that gives it the opportunity to be that much more breathable. What it lacks in weather-resistance, this shoe makes up for in breathability. It features an open mesh upper as well as a breathable fabric lining for maximum breathability, making the Trail Crusher one of the most lightweight breathable hybrid running shoes on the market.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

As discussed above, the Merrell Trail Crusher features a mesh, TPU, and synthetic upper. TPU is foamed and forms to your foot for comfort. The semi-curved contour of the shoe adheres to the natural shape of the foot, increasing comfort as well. In addition, the Trail Crusher features an air cushion in the rear section of the platform, improving shock absorption. Cushioning level of a shoe is often referred to as “stack height”.

With the Merrell Trail Crusher, we were able to obtain the measurements for both the 8mm of cushion and the 18mm stack height. Stack height is basically the amount of material between your foot and the ground and is responsible for your perceived cushioning. Lower stack heights allow more ground feel, while higher stack heights allow for a more cushioned feel. The scale is generally like this: Barefoot, Minimal, Low, Medium, High, and Maximal. At 18mm, the Trail Crusher fits into the Low category, meaning you get some feel for the ground.
Style
Style

Style

The Merrell Trail Crusher is a stylish hybrid trail running shoe. It comes in fun colors such as Wild Dove, Green Sheen, Sagebrush, and Surf the Web. But, also the more basic Dark Slate, Gray, Pink/Black, and Granite/Black. Merrell utilizes traditional measurements when it comes to their shoes. The Trail Crusher comes in standard running shoe lengths and accommodates a medium-sized foot width. Women’s sizes range from 5-11, while men’s range from 7-15. The style of the upper allows for the second lacing eyelet at the top. This additional eyelet is necessary to be able to lace up your shoes in a way that provides optimal ankle stability, without over-tightening across the top of the foot.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The metal eyelets for your laces increase the durability of the upper. Metal eyelets are considered better during trail running than plastic ones for extra reinforcement. Plus, they prevent fraying. The Merrell Select Grip, or M-Select Grip outsole is highly durable. This M-Select technology also prevents breaking down of the outsole components allowing for extended use.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The Merrell Trail Crusher features the Merrell air cushion in the heel that absorbs shock and adds stability. This shoe also features slip-resistant stability over the wet and dry terrain. In addition, the extra eyelet at the top of the shoe allows for lacing that improves ankle stability without over-tightening across the top of the foot.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Most all-trail running shoes offer some sort of protection. The Merrell Trail Crusher features a protective toe cap to keep your feet safe when coming into contact with rocks, logs, and other debris. This shoe also features reflective details for increased visibility in less-than-optimal lighting, such as when running at dusk or dawn.
Price
Price

Price

This excellent trail running shoe is surprising well-priced. With all the features you get with this shoe, one might expect to pay over $100 for it. However, you can have the Merrell Trail Crusher less than that. In fact, it is one of Merrell’s lowest priced trail running shoes. With the low price, combined with the long-lasting durability of this shoe, I’d say you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

At Merrell, they realize trail running takes many forms. They kind of trail, your experience, and your comfortability on the trail, should all be determining factors in the type of shoe you choose. The Merrell Trail Crusher is considered a hybrid trail runner. This means you can take it from the trail to the pavement without difficulty. Many runners appreciate the non-aggressive outsole design, making the transition from trail to pavement easy. The Trail Crusher also offers some stability, making the runner feel a little safer and secure while running the trail.
Drop
Drop

Drop

This shoe offers a 4mm drop with 8mm cushion and an 18mm stack height. A 4mm drop shoe is on the high end of a minimalist shoe, but on the low end of a trail shoe, So, really, you are getting the best of both worlds. You get the lightweight natural feel the minimalist for speed but the protection of a more traditional runner. If you are a mid-foot striker, you may enjoy the 4mm drop since the pressure on the heel and forefoot is more balanced during your run.

However, if you are a heel-striker, I’d encourage you to choose something with more cushioning in the rear. The Merrell Trail Crusher does have an air cushion feature in the rear section of the platform, that may be enough you. When trying them on in the store, jump from your heels a few times. You might feel silly, but it will save you from purchasing shoes that aren’t right for you, and therefore saving you time and money in the long run.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• M-bound midsole for maximal cushioning
• Reliable traction with the M-Select Grip rubber outsole
• EVA removable footbed
• Improved shock absorption with the Merrell air cushion in the rear section of the platform.
• Low 4mm drop, for forefoot and heel balance.
• Protective toe cap, warding off sore toes from rocks and other debris.

Reflective details
making running during low light a little safer.
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Merrell Trail Crusher is perfect for a neutral runner with a medium width. This is a lightweight shoe that can be taken easily from the pavement to the trail. This is great for runners who enjoy both road and trail running, but don’t want to fork out the extra dough for 2 different running shoes. It is also perfect for races that incorporate both types of terrain. With the M-Select Grip rubber outsole and the metal eyelets for lacing, this shoe is known to have long-lasting durability.

Despite having a low drop, the Trail Crusher offers comfort with the air cushion found in the rear platform. And, not only is the Trail Crusher stylish, but it offers stability and protection as well. When considering a trail runner, the Merrell Trail Crusher is certainly worth taking a look!