Verdict from 4 experts and 29 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Most people welcomed the appealing color scheme of the Merrell MTL Cirrus, stating that the hues made the shoe pop.
  • Some consumers claimed that this product had a relatively lightweight structure that’s not known of trail running shoes.
  • The cushioned platform was lauded for protecting the foot from sharp rocks and unpredictable surfaces.
  • Traction on wet surfaces was dependable, based on a handful of reviews.
  • Several testers claimed that the in-shoe fit acclimated to their needs.
  • The breathability of the upper unit was welcomed by those who have tried this off-road shoe.

1 reasons not to buy

  • A couple of reviewers felt that the underfoot platform was too stiff and heavy for extended use.

Bottom line

The feedback for the Merrell MTL Cirrus was overwhelmingly positive. People were particularly fond of the bright colorway of the façade, as well as the efficient outsole construction. Traction and underfoot comfort were aspects that worked well for a lot of trail running enthusiasts. On the other hand, a few testers weren’t happy with the stiffness of the underfoot platform.

The Merrell MTL Cirrus caters to neutral pronators who enjoy taking to the trails.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Good to know

- Outdoor adventures are the specialty of the Merrell MTL Cirrus. This trail running shoe features an uncluttered design to allow runners to streak through the paths swiftly and confidently. The outsole unit has the versatile Vibram® Megagrip layer with aggressive gripping lugs while the platform has a compression molded ethylene vinyl acetate (CMEVA) and the TrailProtect™ shielding technology.

- The upper unit of this Merrell running shoe uses a lightweight mesh. The thinness of the material and the presence of breathing pores aim to make the whole package lightweight and breathable. Synthetic prints reinforce the mesh, protecting it from sagging or tearing apart quickly. A wraparound heel counter made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) keeps the foot inside the interior chamber.

The Merrell MTL Cirrus was constructed to be true to size. Even the product page on the Merrell website has affirmed the description. Still, it would be beneficial for consumers to try on a pair first to achieve the desired in-shoe wrap.

When it comes to width, the available options are D – Medium for men and B – Medium for women. Those with narrow and medium foot dimensions are the ones who are likely to enjoy the fit profile of this shoe.

The outsole unit of the Merrell MTL Cirrus is made of the Vibram® Megagrip, a compound that is touted to be highly resistant to abrasion. The job of this feature is to protect the midsole from the sharp surfaces and trail debris. It also makes sure to provide traction on both dry and wet surfaces. Megagrip is a popular technology; it’s even used in revered shoes like the Hoka One One Speedgoat 3.

Aggressive and opposite-facing gripping lugs pockmark the surface of the external pad. These protrusions are meant to heighten grip over the ground, giving precise steadiness and movement control throughout the running session. The various shapes and positions of these lugs help with traversal on slanting topography.

The midsole unit of the Merrell MTL Cirrus uses compression molded ethylene vinyl acetate (CMEVA). This piece runs the entire length of the shoe, providing support to the entire underside of the foot. This industry-standard foam has been touted to be lightweight, reactive to movements, and able to resist sagging.

The TrailProtect™ is a rock plate that is placed between the midsole and the outsole. This sheet acts as a shield against jagged rocks, irregular surfaces and other potentially harmful debris on the ground.

An insole made of polyurethane is placed right above the primary cushioning system. This add-on offers a bit more oomph to the underfoot experience. It can be removed or replaced with a custom insert.

The outer part of the Merrell MTL Cirrus’ upper unit is made up of a breathable mesh. This sheet offers lightweight and flexible coverage for the foot. Breathing holes adorn the front and sides, allowing environmental air to enter the inner compartment to maintain a cool and dry ride.

Synthetic prints are used for the overlay system of the upper. These additions have grid-like structures that reinforce the façade and keep it from tearing apart or losing integrity.

The Hyperlock™ is a thermoplastic polyurethane heel counter that holds the heel in place and prevents it from wobbling or getting out of the foot-chamber unexpectedly. It has the word ‘MERRELL’ emblazoned on it to help with brand recognition.

A breathable mesh is used for the inner sleeve. The seamless construction of this shoe-part allows the wearer to enjoy an irritant-free run while the open-weave design further encourages ventilation.

The M Select™ FRESH is a technology that uses antimicrobial agents to prevent odor-causing germs from proliferating inside the shoe.

The traditional lacing system helps the wearer when it comes to adjusting the tightness or looseness of the fit.


How Merrell MTL Cirrus ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 25% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Bottom 37% Merrell running shoes
All Merrell running shoes
Bottom 4% maximalist running shoes
All maximalist running shoes


The current trend of Merrell MTL Cirrus.
Compare to another shoe:
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.