Merrell All Out Terra Trail trainers
With winter on its way, I am back in the swing of off-road running. It’s my favoured activity for winter training. I have also been testing various pairs of off-road trainers. See these two for example on the RunUltra website.
Another pair to come my way are the Merrell All Out Terra Trail trainers.
Merrell All Out Terra Trail trainers
The blurb says: “Get 360° protection from rock and debris as you dig into rugged terrain with deep, diamond patterned lugs. A built-in sock liner stops debris from entering the shoe.”
The aim of this shoe is to offer a soft-feel cushioning but firm enough against the foot for stability and agility.
This is what Merrell state: “Merrell’s unique UniFly cushioning system, consisting of soft EVA foam that’s 20% lighter than standard EVA foams.”
Shock pods are “strategically placed in the heel and forefoot and made of a denser form of EVA that distributes impact and provides feedback from the ground”.
And: “The Terra Trail takes the idea one step further, splitting the UniFly midsole compound in two, exposing the compound in the heel and engineering the forefoot cushioning to be part of a unique removable footbed. This results in increased toe protection without compromising forefoot cushioning.”
Added to this is a small rock plate in the forefoot to protect against the toughest debris lurking underfoot.
Support comes from an external heel cradle combined with a dynamic lacing system so the shoes hug the top of the foot.
- Mesh and TPU upper
- Reflective details
- Removable footbed
- TrailProtect pad for under-foot protection
- 6mm Drop/16mm Cush/24mm stack height
- 6mm lug depth
- Weight: one women’s shoe on average: 306g.
First thoughts on Merrell All Out Terra Trail
The upper offers lots of protection with a high rubber rand around the shoe and lots more rubber at the heel and toe area.
The sock liner is something I have not seen on many other shoes and is a great idea because I do find that bits of stone, heather and other debris find their way into the top of the shoe and down inside the shoe.
On test: Merrell All Out Terra Trail trainers
The fit is roomy. I have the UK8.5. The length is about right for my UK8 feet although they are a little too wide. Most people will have wider feet than me though so the fit is fairly standard.
The heel fit is good, even with my narrow heels. The sock liner isn’t as snug around my ankle as I would hope for but, again, this is probably because I have very slim ankles.
This is a bugbear of mine. As soon as shoes get longer they also get wider and not everyone’s feet do the same. Still, I imagine my feet are in the minority of sizings so for most standard feet the shoes would fit very well.
The shoes are pretty lightweight although they look really durable. There are a lot of abrasion resisting features and I can see them standing the test of time even on rocky and stony hill runs.
The shoes are not super stabilising but that is a matter for personal choice; some people like stable shoes with lots of support, not so much flex and loads of cushioning, while others like a more flexible, bare-foot style shoe in which they can feel the ground as they run.
The Merrell All Out Terra Trail trainers are mid-way between a stable and flexible off-road trainer. I found them to offer enough cushioning so that I didn’t feel rocks and stones under my feet yet not so cushioned that I didn’t feel “in touch” with the terrain.
In my opinion, this is a good compromise.
The lugs are great for grip on terrain such as wet hills paths, grass, mud and heather. If you wear these shoes on hard-packed trails or tarmac they will quickly wear out so they should be reserved for hill runs.
I found that some mud got stuck between a few of the lugs but generally the mud dispersed as I ran. They are great up going up and going down step hills.
They are easy to run in and do what they say they will. I was pretty pleased by how much debris they kept out, too. These are a good solution if you do not want to add trainer gaiters to off-road trainers although they do not claim to be waterproofing, like some gaiters do.
I also like the look of the trainers. They come in bright colours and are quite funky and different form other trainers. I have worn Merrell footwear over the years for road running and walking and they do wear very well.