Who should buy the Merrell Antora 2 GTX

Add the Antora 2 GTX to your trail shoe collection if you want a:

Who should NOT buy it

For runners who want a locked-in fit from the forefoot down to the heel section, the Merrell Nova 2 won't be a letdown. And if you want a shoe that's built like a tank, the Merrell MTL Long Sky is THE shoe. 

The Antora 2 GTX keeps water out

As the name suggests, the Merrell Antora 2 GTX is a Gore-Tex running shoe that's perfect for rainy days and winter runs. One tester even says that he took the shoe to the beach, and it remained "completely waterproof." 

In this department, it's been nothing short of amazing; many are eyeing getting a second pair! 

Stay upright and supported

The second version of the Merrell Antora GTX may be a neutral running shoe, but it doesn't cut corners on support. So much so that runners "rave about" its stable ride as it makes them more confident. 

Those with foot issues like plantar fasciitis and neuroma even laud the arch support it provides. One even goes as far as saying that in this shoe his foot has "no flare-up, yeah!"

A comfort-centric trail runner

"Super comfortable!!" is a statement that fully describes avid trail goers' take on the Antora 2 GTX. In the comfort department, it's a "game-changer," making runs on rocky and gnarly trails well-cushioned. 

Even more, more than 70% of the runners claim that it's perfect right out of the box. It has the right blend of softness and rigidity; they swear they can wear it all day. Heck, it's even among their top picks for high-mileage runs. 

Where protection is paramount

It's not a max-cushioned trail shoe, but the Merrell Antora 2 GTX has a sturdy enough sole that mutes out the jagged rocks underneath. Even better, it absorbs the shock during impact so well; one trail runner shares that it eliminated all the pressure his knees and hips once felt from other trail shoes. 

The Merrell Antora 2 GTX sticks! 

"Excellent" is a word mentioned by a lot of critics when it comes to the shoe's traction. On paved and non-paved trails, forest trails, hilly terrain, rocks and sand, it performs. The grip is awesome; it helps "catch any trip hazards" like rocks and roots. 

Fits great

Those with medium-width feet find the just perfect. And for those with "wide Hobbit feet," the toe box is roomy; it's very comfy.

Of course, it's not perfect all around. Although spacious upfront, it's not ideal for those with bunions. One of the reviewers who suffer from this foot condition finds the fit poor. And in the rear, there have been multiple reports of heel slips even when lace-locking.

Keeps weight at an absolute minimum

True to how it's billed, the Antora 2 GTX is indeed light. Commenters who touched on this matter all agree that it doesn't drag the feet down with one of them dubbing his pair "fabulous lightweight shoes."

Quality doesn't explain the price

$150 is not a cheap price to pay, most especially if the shoe is not built tough. The Merrell Antora 2 GTX may have a solid midsole and outsole, but its upper is the polar opposite. 

After only 2 weeks of 2-3 miles daily trail runs, a reviewer reports that the upper already has a "pronounced wear" right along the side of the toe box. It didn't take long until his toes started "peeking through." 

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Trail
Drop: Men 8mm
Arch support: Neutral
Base model: Merrell Antora 2
Pronation: Neutral Pronation / Supination / Underpronation
Arch type: High arch
Use: Hiking

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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.