What’s on my feet: Merrell All-Out Crush Light

merrell-all-out-crush-light

 

When my box arrived from the awesome folks at Merrell, I thought they must have messed up the size or accidentally sent me sandals. The ‘light’ in their name is no joke. With a weight of just 227g, and a soft flexible sole, I was in love with them before I even put them on. I immediately took them out for a few small runs on my local trails and did a few workouts near the house, and I gotta say, they are definitely a correct tool for the job. But the question is: What kind of job?

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Let’s take a look at them.

Size and fit:

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I have a big issue finding good shoes in Taiwan. I have long, thin feet with moderate arches. Usually, I like to opt for a minimalist shoe which can conform to my odd foot shape. Lucky for me, the Merrell All-Out Crush runs a little thin, especially up near the toe box. They’re not as dramatic as Hokas, but still noticeably cozy, and I don’t feel any shifting around while I run. I also noticed some dirt being able to slip into the shoe when I was running on looser surfaces, but that can be fixed with better lacing or garters. For their size, I don’t think they run big or small, and my normal size 11 feet fit perfectly in them.

Upper:

The upper of this shoe is made of breathable, thin mesh materials with TPU synthetic overlays. Merrell boasts a protective toe cap, but I kicked a few trees and definitely felt it. The materials are cool and breathable and drain water quickly, allowing for nicely dry feet.

Midsole:

Even though they are light and responsive, the All Out Crush are made from their integrated “EVA foot bed,” which gives a little protection from rocks and a nice bouncy feel when I go fast.

Outsole:

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Here’s where the shoe falls apart for me. While the All Out Crush features the “M-Select Grip outsole,” a Merrel exclusive rubber outsole, I really wish they would just go back to the soft Vibram soles we saw with their Trail Gloves 4 years ago. This sole is dense and can grip soft ground well, but more often than not, I found myself losing grip and slipping on anything flat and hard. There’s a video floating around somewhere of me skating down a wet sloped road. What I’m saying is, if you know you’re going to be running with flat rocks or stairs, you might be better off with a less aggressive outsole.

Overall:

They’re fast. And if you have the right terrain, they can really tear it up. I can see myself using these for training or races that involve lots of soft dirt with a higher percentage of sand than clay.  If you’re looking to break speed barriers with a quick and minimalist shoe, this is a great pick.

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