Verdict from 100+ user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • The traction capacity of the Merrell Mag-9’s outsole unit is considered efficient and precise in its purpose.
  • Some testers have expressed their appreciation for the roomy forefoot section of this running shoe which encouraged natural toe-splay.
  • Several exercise enthusiasts believe that the weight of this shoe is suitably light for all-day use.
  • The foam piece that serves as the midsole unit is lauded for cradling the foot properly.
  • The general durability of the materials is lauded by those who have tested this road running shoe.
  • According to a couple of comments, the aesthetics and color schemes are eye-catching.

4 reasons not to buy

  • A handful of testers claim that the one-piece opening of the upper unit is too small for the foot to effortlessly enter the inner chamber.
  • The midfoot section of this product is blamed by some for limiting natural movement.
  • Based on several reviews, the inner sleeve has caused some irritation on the skin of the foot.
  • The cutout that serves as the edge of the slip-on collar is deemed by some as uncomfortable.

Bottom line

The overall feedback of people towards the Merrell Mag-9 is diverse. While the positive points, like the efficient outsole traction and the spacious forefoot design, embody greatness and comfort, the negative points overshadow the potential. The highlighted flaws of this product include the too-small and irritating slip-on opening and the limiting midfoot construction.

People who appreciate neutral running shoes that can assist them through speed training sessions and gym exercises are the target market of the Merrell Mag-9.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Good to know

- Speed training sessions indoors and outdoors are the activities for which the Merrell Mag-9 are intended. The outsole design is reminiscent of the lug-patterned pads of trail shoes save for the fact that the Vibram® compound that graces this model has non-prominent traction nodes that can handle both the asphalt and groomed dirt paths.

- The upper unit of this model is made of a knitted textile that is fashioned to have a one-piece construction. Synthetic prints bolster durability while a traditional lacing system helps in the attainment of a snug and secure fit.

The Merrell Mag-9 is designed to be true to size. Runners are welcome to get a pair with their usual preferences of size in mind. Nevertheless, it is generally recommended to personally test the shoe first or get ahold of user reviews to fully acquire a comfortable in-shoe experience.

When it comes to the fit, the elements that affect the sideways hug of the shoe are the upper’s knitted material and the curved shape of the midsole. Such a design attempts to welcome the natural shape of the foot.

The Vibram® TC5+ is the material that is used for the outsole unit of the Merrell Mag-9. This layer is tasked with providing surface adhesion during the exercise. It has a naturally grippy configuration which allows it to deliver movement control and confident steps on flat ground or groomed tracks.

Gripping nodes that are not-too-prominent pockmark the external pad. These elements have flat ends and angular edges to maintain foot-to-surface steadiness and grip, respectively.

Flex grooves permit the foam platform to bend in conjunction with the foot as it goes through the gait cycle.

Underfoot cushioning is the responsibility of the ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole. This layer is tasked with receiving the impact shock generated by the foot-strike, then energizing the foot as it lifts off the ground. EVA is an industry-standard technology that is featured in many running shoe series, including the well-known Bondi line from Hoka One One.

An integrated insole sits on top of the primary cushioning unit. This add-on covers the relatively firm lasting board and gives a soft surface on which the pad of the foot can rest.

Knitted textiles make up the upper unit, offering a seamless coverage that also comes in one-piece construction. Breathability and form-fitting comfort are the target effects of this accouterment.

Synthetic prints grace the heel and the front, shielding the easily scratched sections while also helping with the attainment of a secure fit.

The eyestays are stitched onto the bridge of this running shoe. These elements have lace-holes which house the crisscrossing laces of the fit-adjustment system.


How Merrell Mag-9 ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 2% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Bottom 4% Merrell running shoes
All Merrell running shoes
Bottom 2% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes


The current trend of Merrell Mag-9.
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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.