The MerrellMix Master II is a cushioned lightweight trail shoe that is built for people who want more than a simple shoe. It is perfect for those who are changing from a conventional trail runner to more minimal shoes. At the same time, it provides the added traction and protection that most runners are looking for.
The Mix Master II has many unique features in its upper lining which includes air mesh and synthetic leather. It has strobe construction that offers comfort and flexibility with a two-millimeter EVA insole for shock absorption and comfort. The Mix Master II has a bellow tongue that keeps debris out and reflective elements on the forefoot and heel for added visibility.
The low profile midsole has a five-millimeter ball and a nine-millimeter heel. The midsole is 25 percent lighter and 10 percent thinner to provide more ground control and feel. A Merrell Air Cushion is added in the heel to add stability and absorb shock. At the same time, the forefoot shock absorption pad provides metatarsal protection.
A lot of runners will agree with us that the Merrell Mix Master II feels like the shoe was made specifically for their foot shape. The midfoot and heel fits comfortably without being too constricting. One big improvement in this shoe is the ankle collar. It is cushioned and does not dig deep into the skin over the Achilles tendon. Additionally, people notice that the upper part of the shoes stays dry when running over water.
The only thing that would improve these shoes is the Omni-Fit Lacing system. This fit lacing system is found in Merrell’s Trail Glove Shoes. This allows an even more customizable fit. Besides that, we believe that this shoe is very good for its intended purpose.
After running with this shoe, we say that it fits very well, and the traction provided is excellent. The wear is normal even though these shoes are made with a very soft compound. They feel like a much thicker cushioned shoe than a five-millimeter forefoot. Even though it is very thick, it remains flexible and very lightweight with only have a mere 262 gram total weight for a 10.5 size shoe. One negative point about this shoe though is that the slight point puts some pressure on our big toes. This can become very distracting and may cause a little pain.
This shoe provides good traction on both loose gravel and rock and performs well in deep mud conditions. At the same time, they provide additional protection. This is especially true at night when it becomes very hard for runners to see rocks. The rock plate and sole are thick enough to lessen the impact of the sharpest stones. The soles are also trimmed but well cushioned, however the shoe’s cleats easily grab mud and will hold onto it. This makes the shoe much heavier after running for a while.
Another note is about the quality of material used to manufacture the shoes. The upper mesh could easily tear after a few simple run. At the same time, we also noticed that the shoe has a frayed area found on the upper part of the big toe joint. This is due to the fact that the shoe’s interior contains a plastic mesh that has holes all over it. These holes over the joint may be designed to allow the mesh to rub and crease when the foot flexes, thus causing the mesh to fray.
- Good traction and performance on loose gravel, mud and rock.
- Sufficient cushioning at the sole that lessens impacts against sharp rocks.
- Slight points put pressure and pain on toes.
- Mud gets stuck on cleats making the shoe heavier while running.
- Upper mesh tears and frays easily.
This shoe is one of the few footwear options that expand the standard of the original barefoot range. They are a top-class blend of natural performance and good running shoe design. They also have features that help make these shoes an effective tool for runners. This shoe is one of the best footwear options for trail and road running.