Merrell Mix Master General info:
The Merrell Mix Master is their first foray into the non-minimalist, protective trail shoe category designed to compete with the Saucony Peregrine and the Brooks Pure Grit.
Merrell Mix Master Overall Impression:
With a 4mm heel drop and weighing in at just under 9 oz for my size 9.5US, the Merrell Mix Master looked promising to be a favorite for many trail and ultra runners this year. After such mega success in the fashion world with the Trail Glove, Merrell seemed to skimp on the cushioning in the Mix Master and after several runs in this shoe the Merrell Float EVA foam seemed to compress a great deal. Other design flaws to an otherwise flexible shoe include a rigid heel counter and heel cup which caused abrasions both achilles tendons even after a break in period.
With such an esteemed hiking shoe heritage it seems that Merrell has created a versatile and lightweight hiking shoe due to poor resiliency of the midsole foam. A nylon upper shaved weight and kept debris out but was stifling while running in the heat. Rockplate protection is adequate but unsupported by a poorly designed outsole consisting of oval shaped lugs of all different sizes placed erratically throughout and offering little traction on rock or in wet conditions.
Merrell has already released the Mix Master 2 which is slightly heavier than the original version but looks promising with a breathable, more flexible looking mesh upper. Unfortunately it seems that Merrell kept the midsole and outsole the same. If you have any experience with the Mix Master 2 we would love to hear your review. Please leave comments below.
We thank the nice people at Merrell for sending us a pair of Mix Master to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.