Verdict from 1 expert and 100+ user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Runners appreciated the lightweight nature of the Merrell Trail Crusher.
  • Many felt that their overall experience with this shoe was comfortable.
  • The flexibility of the platform gained good remarks from those who needed freedom of motion.
  • The color schemes of the upper unit were lauded by a tester.
  • A runner said that this running shoe didn’t have a bulky or unappealing look.
  • The testers appreciated the non-aggressive outsole design, which allowed them to use this shoe on asphalt.

4 reasons not to buy

  • A tester wrote that the back part of the shoe rubbed uncomfortably against their skin.
  • This shoe may not provide support for long-term activities, noted one runner.
  • The rubber tread of the outsole peeled off easily, according to a dissatisfied runner.
  • A consumer stated that the cushioning platform felt a bit thin; for her, it wasn’t able to cushion high levels of impact on the uneven ground.

Bottom line

The Merrell Trail Crusher gained praise for its comfortable coverage, appealing looks, and versatile outsole. It was able to deliver great service to those who tried it. Though there were some who weren’t as satisfied with its inner construction, many still found it agreeable for their activities.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Good to know

  • The Merrell Trail Crusher is a versatile neutral running shoe that can actually handle both the trails and the roads. It doesn’t look like the regular trail companions that are layered by a lot of features and add-ons. Instead, this model has a smooth upper with only two stitched reinforcements in the forefoot and heel areas.
  • The upper unit of this running shoe makes use of durable materials to let it resist abrasion and potential damage when exposed to the trail environment. Breathable mesh promotes ventilation while TPU and synthetic leather keep the upper sturdy and long-lasting. Smooth textile lining hugs the foot well and prevents skin irritation.
  • The platform of the Merrell Trail Crusher uses the MBOUND™, a foam system that balances impact cushioning and responsive performance. It handles the landing impacts well. It also launches the runner forward with energy during the toe-off phase. The Merrell air cushion in the rear section of the platform improves shock absorption.
  • The M-Select™ GRIP is an outsole technology that prevents wear and tear from affecting the integrity of the mid-sole. Durable rubber serves as the shield against the potentially harmful effects of surface friction and continued use. It can hold on to dry and wet terrains with ease. Flex grooves enhance forefoot flexibility for a more efficient toe-off.

The Merrell Trail Crusher has a standard running shoe length. It comes in sizes that use regular measurements. The available width is medium, so it is able to accommodate those with medium sized feet. The semi-curved shape of this model adheres to the natural shape of the human foot.

The outsole unit of the Merrell Trail Crusher uses the M-Select™ GRIP, a technology that is able to deliver reliable traction over dry and wet surfaces. Non-prominent gripping nodes enhance the grip of the outsole. This design is not very aggressive, making it agreeable for use on the roads.

Flex grooves allow the platform to be more adherent to the natural movements of the foot. They’re placed in the forefoot section to enable more effective toe-offs.

This outsole configuration is also present in some popular Merrel running shoes.

The MBOUND™ is a full-length foam unit that delivers a mix of underfoot cushioning and responsiveness. It is able to attenuate impact shock while adding a springiness that’ll improve the toe-off.

The Merrell air cushion in the heel is a unit that enhances the capability of the platform to absorb impact shock.

The removable EVA foot-bed has been coated with M-Select™ FRESH anti-microbial and anti-moisture treatment to keep the inner environment clean and healthy.

Breathable mesh makes up the main cover system of the Merrell Trail Crusher. It accommodates air flow in order to keep the foot cool and dry.

TPU and synthetic materials are also used to reinforce the upper unit. They’re not layered on top of the mesh, but fused with it to deliver a consistent look that’s smooth and easy on the eyes. They heighten the durability of the upper fabrics, which help in maintaining durable protection from the environment.

A protective toecap aptly shields the toes from debris or rocks that may cause discomfort or injury.

smooth inner lining keeps the foot comfortable while wearing the Merrell Trail Crusher. A bit of padding is also included to make the coverage feel more secure and agreeable to the foot.


How Merrell Trail Crusher ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 37% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Bottom 46% Merrell running shoes
All Merrell running shoes
Bottom 42% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes


The current trend of Merrell Trail Crusher.
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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.