630g (m), 530g (w)
At a glance
Plusses: Lightweight, grip, easy-care, agile.
Minuses: Better suited to narrow feet.
Features: An exceptionally light trail shoe that still packs hi-tech features like a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex lining, lightweight midsole foam, padded collar and protective toe cap. An underfoot ‘rock plate’ offers support and protection and the Vibram outsole is super grippy and exceptional at self-clearing. On top of this are eco-features such as 100 per cent recycled laces and mesh lining, and partially-recycled insole and outsole materials.
Fit: With a low-volume design and super thin upper – almost showing the contour of the toes – there’s little wiggle room and my heel was securely gripped to ensure blister-free use. The UK8.5 (US9) is true to size but the shoe only just accommodated my wide foot with the tongue just able to provide cover.
Comfort: Merrell’s FloatPro Foam provides good cushioning without being too soft and wear-prone. After two months of daily use, it’s doing well, but because the shoe’s construction is so minimal it lacks the immediate comfort found on better padded shoes with greater cushioning.
In use: The shoe has a low profile and because it weighs so little and fits so closely, it feels more like an extension of your feet rather than separate footwear. Because of this, I found these shoes to be agile and responsive, allowing quick footwork and fast walking over varied terrain. In that regard, they’re fun.
The outsole is excellent. It’s a sharp-edged, firm rubber that bites into the ground with each step and provides reliable braking and grip on steep and slippery bush trails. The lug pattern ensured it never became clogged with mud.
The uppers were easy to clean – a soft brush and wipe with a damp cloth had them looking like new after each use.
My high instep meant the bridge of my foot was almost bursting through the tongue. The shoe is better suited to flat-soled, low-volume feet.
The toe cap is fairly lightweight and seems more for show than for its ability to offer any real protection.
Value: The cost seems about right; slightly dearer than many other heavier (more durable) shoes, but worth it for those who consider weight above all else.
Verdict: A lightweight shoe that offers exceptional grip and nimble footwork on all terrain types.