19 best Merrell trail running shoes

Based on reviews from 33 experts and 6,067 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to Merrell trail running shoes. Updated Dec 2018.

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Based on 100, 000 shoe reviews, casual and professional runners trust Merrell shoes for their fitness activities and competitive events. The brand is well-known for their trail shoes, which are packed with brand-exclusive and trusted shoe innovations. Purchase a pair of Merrell trail shoes or read more to get convinced.

Why should runners invest in a pair of Merrell trail shoes?

  • Trail shoes provide better traction and grip than track shoes, given that they are designed to handle rugged terrains, such as muddy grounds, grassy areas, stony mountain passes and slippery rocks.
  • The best Merrell trail shoes have waterproof features. As compared to road shoes, trail shoes are likely to have more protection against mud, snow, water and sand.
  • The cushioning in trail shoes also varies, depending on its structure. There are minimalist trail shoes that allow better ground contact, while there are motion control trail shoes with premium cushioning and stability.
  • The best Merrell trail shoes are known for being versatile. A pair could be used for regular running, cross training, performance running, speed workouts, racing and casual activities, like trekking and hiking.
  • The level of protection in trail shoes is measured to be better than in track shoes. This will help trail runners reduce bruising and discomfort when handling trail irregularities and shock forces.

What features are highlighted in the best Merrell trail shoes?

  • Waterproof features. The best Merrell trail shoes are popular for their waterproof versions, usually with the Gore-Tex upper membrane (GTX). Since mud and water are the top enemies of trail runners, the brand made sure that some of their models have waterproof features to improve weather protection. If rain showers and snow storms are common in your location, you will need waterproof features to keep your feet dry and warm while running. Comfort will improve your running performance and keep you going for miles on rugged terrain. The downside of buying a waterproof version is the additional weight of the shoe.
  • Outsole. Picking an aggressive outsole material for trail running is a priority. You will need a shoe with high levels of traction and grip in order to fare well against tricky terrain, like soft mud, rugged mountain passes and slippery rocks. Furthermore, a thicker and durable outsole will improve sole protection against debris and impact forces. Determine what terrain you will be running on mostly, and choose your shoe based on the outsole material required for the trail. Merrell features the M-Select Grip Traction Outsole and Vibram technology for better traction and grip on varied surfaces.
  • Weight. Trail shoes tend to be heavier than track shoes because they have more aggressive outsole and protective platforms. However, you can choose lighter trail shoes if you wish to participate in adventure racing. The best Merrell trail shoes for competitive runs provide a balance of protection, comfort and stability in a light platform. If you just need a pair of trail shoes for regular trail running and activities like trekking and hiking, an average weight would be fine.
This shoe has recently been added to RunRepeat. There are still not enough reviews for us to assign it a CoreScore.
A score from 1 to 100 that summarizes opinions from users and experts. The average CoreScore is 78. More...