This is the first shoe I’ve ever heard manufacturers actually encourage you to bung in the washing machine. As a result of the 6mm drop, firm, minimal cushioning and Merrell opting for a TrailProtect pad rather than a stiffer rock plate, this is an exceptionally lightweight, flexible and racey shoe. The downside is that some of the nastier lumps and bumps can be felt through the shoe, and it does ride a little hard for those who prefer slightly softer cushioning. That said, this was one of the most agile, nimble and responsive shoes on test.
The shoe fits like a glove – you barely feel like you’re wearing them – and the M-Select ninja-throwing star-looking lugs provide outstanding traction for rapid changes in direction – running over singletrack was a dream: possibly the most fun I’ve had in a pair of trail shoes in ages.
Best for TRAIL RACES. If you favour speed and the feel of the ground over cushioning, these are the shoes for you.