“They’re a good looking pair of trail running shoes,” said a fellow club runner eyeing up my footwear whilst we congregated for our Monday evening run. “What are they?”
I told him that they’re the Merrell All Out Rush.
“Are they any good?” he asks. “I’m desperate for a new pair of trail running shoes that are both grippy and comfortable for long distance trails.”
“If that’s what you’re looking for”, I tell him as we set off, “then you should definitely give these a go.”
Over the course of my career as an adventure sports journalist, I’ve had the good fortune to test and review dozens of trail running shoes – much to the envy of my friends and the irritation of my partner, who’s constantly tidying them away. But of course, how comfortable a running shoe is, or how well it performs is entirely subjective.
Thankfully, I think I can safely say that Merrell have done a great job with these shoes. For starters, because we’re a fickle bunch and first impressions count for a lot these days, there’s a wide range of colors to suit anyone’s palate – whether you’re a boy or girl.
And when it comes to grip, I’ve not found it lacking in the slightest. I used these shoes during the GODZone adventure race – almost straight out of the box. We had plenty of moments when we were scrambling up mountains covered in scree, boulder hopping or wading through rivers, and they performed brilliantly.
There’s plenty of toe protection and enough cushioning in both the heel and forefoot. Indeed, being a forefoot runner and of a neutral gait, running in these is a treat that I actually look forward to. I recently ran a 5 hour training run along a particularly gnarly and hilly trail, and I didn’t get one blister, nor did my feet hurt, less for the usual aches and pains you might expect after a marathon plus distance.
And if you’re slightly obsessed about heel to toe drop stats, these are 6mm – which I would argue is the perfect balance between minimalism and comfort. And when you consider they only weigh around 9.3oz – they’re seriously light for a trail shoe.
Just like I told my friend at the running club, if you’re looking for an attractive trail shoe with decent grip and enough cushioning for long distance trails – then I recommend giving the All Out Rush a try.