Who should buy the Merrell Nova 2 GTX

The Merrell Nova 2 GTX is a pretty versatile shoe and will be a great match for anyone looking for:

  • a shoe that can tackle a variety of surfaces (dirt, snow and ice, rocky terrain)
  • a hybrid of a trail running and hiking shoe that can do daily runs, hikes, and casual walks
  • a shoe with top-tier waterproofing for cold and wet weather

Merrell Nova 2 GTX best for

Who should NOT buy it

If you don't necessarily need a waterproofing feature, have a look at the breathable version of the Merrel Nova 2. And if you are concerned about the shoe's potential durability issues, consider Salomon Speedcross 5 GTX or Hoka Speedgoat 4 GTX instead.

Will get you through wet conditions

After testing the shoe in wet conditions and snow, many runners claim that their feet were kept warm and dry in the Nova 2 GTX. Some also note how effectively the Gore-Tex keeps moisture out without suffocating the foot.

Merrell Nova 2 GTX waterproof

One wearer also reported: "got soaked last night in a downpour and my feet were the only dry bit."

Merrell Nova 2 GTX keeps your feet protected

With a rock plate embedded into the platform, this trail shoe from Merrell guards your feet from any unfortunate stepping on sharp stones, roots, and other debris.

Merrell Nova 2 GTX protection

Just the right fit

It fits like a glove — neither too tight nor loose. It is also said to have ample room in the toebox.

Merrell Nova 2 GTX toebox

No adjustment period needed 

There's no break-in period required. The shoe's cushion is extremely comfortable right out of the box. Some testers even wore the shoe straight on a hike and reported getting no hot spots or blisters.

Nova 2 GTX digs into any surface

Testers have tried the shoe on rocky, snowy, muddy, and wet surfaces. All of them agree that the shoe really digs into the ground. Some hikers even mentioned being windblown by the traction.

Merrell Nova 2 GTX traction

Very light on the foot

Unlike other trail shoes, the Merrell Nova 2 GTX is not bulky on foot. More than a few reviewers were surprised because they expected the shoe to feel heavier.

The Merrell Nova 2 GTX won't last long

After one or two uses, the shoe's tread already ripped apart and the lace loops detached.

Insoles that slip

"They won't stay put." Trail runners had to replace or glue them. Otherwise, they slide back and leave a gap at the toes.

Merrell Nova 2 GTX insole

Outsole causes discomfort

It's very inflexible and narrow, creating pressure that ends up in the ankles.

It's got the looks!

A great number of reviewers are happy with the clean and sleek style of this trail shoe. It is protective yet doesn't look bulky at all. One lady mentioned that it doesn't look out of place even at a restaurant.

Merrell Nova 2 GTX style

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Trail
Weight: Men 9.9oz
Drop: Men 8mm
Arch support: Neutral
Base model: Merrell Nova 2
Pronation: Neutral Pronation / Supination / Underpronation
Arch type: High arch

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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.