Chris Townsend gives his take on Merrell’s option for the trail
These shoes are bit more like a cut-down boot than lighter ones like the All Out Charge. The uppers are more substantial and the sole stiffer. They’re heavier too. If you prefer a more boot-like feel these could be the shoes to consider.
The uppers are still quite breathable but a bit more protective than shoes with more mesh as there are substantial leather sections. The firm heel has a stiff exoskeleton fused on to it for extra support and there’s an arch shank in the sole to prevent any sideways twisting. The boots do flex at the forefoot though a little effort is required.
The Vibram outsole grips well and the cushioning is quite firm. The fit is just a little tight for me at the forefoot. They are quite roomy at the ankle and combined with the sole stiffness this has meant my heels have moved in them a little. Of course this is a fit matter and on different shaped feet they could be fine. The tongue is partly sewn-in but opens up wide at the top so there’s no problem getting them on and off. Overall these are good shoes but they are bit heavier and more expensive than some rivals.