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January 17, 2013 TWEET COMMENTS 1

Merrell Mix Master Aeroblock [Women's Mix Master Gldie]

Editor's Choice: Best Hybrid

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$120/$100, 8.5 ounces, www.merrell.com

“Free of all the bells and whistles,” the Mix Master Aeroblock is simply a solid all-around shoe. It features a four-millimeter heel-to-toe drop, firm cushioning and a flexible mid-sole.

The upper features a closed-mesh lining (Aeroblock), designed to keep feet dry and comfortable in cool conditions, and is coated with a dirt- and water-resistant coating (EZ Clean) that repels moisture and makes the shoes easy to clean.

A forefoot “shock plate” disperses impact pressures and an antimicrobial footbed helps keep feet stink-free.

Traction: Small, rounded lugs are fine on smooth, groomed surfaces but are no match for slippery mud or rock-laden trails.

Best For: The shoe provided testers with adequate rock protection—except in the heel area—while maintaining a smooth, road-shoe feel on pavement. According to one tester, “It’s just the right balance of protection and race-day performance.” The water-resistant upper worked well in wet, muddy conditions but did not drain well.

The Fit: The Mixmaster runs almost a half size long and has a wide toe box. It best fits a medium- to high-volume foot.Testers lauded the easy-cinching lacing system and secure heel fit.

Drawbacks: After just three weeks of mid-range mileage (three to five miles a day), several testers noted premature tread wear.

Tester-Monial: “Merrell did a great job creating a hybrid shoe. The Mix Master is just aggressive enough that I felt sure-footed on trails while still comfortable on paved surfaces.”
Brad Williams, Boulder, CO
TWEET COMMENTS 1

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