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Shoes

Merrell All Out Charge Trail-Running Shoe (Spring 2015)

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10 oz | 6mm drop | $120

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The Dirt: Known in the past for its minimalist offerings, Merrell is branching out with the Charge and other models in its All Out line. At first glance, our testers thought the Charge seemed bulky—some even said it looked like a light hiker—but were pleasantly surprised by its light weight and agility on the trails.

Though the thick midsole provides ample cushioning, flex points on the outsole make the Charge surprisingly flexible. The moderately aggressive tread performs well on dry trails with some technical or wet stretches, though it tends to collect mud. Testers especially liked the comfortable, secure fit that “cradles” the foot and the no-slip tongue, fully gusseted on one side.

Best For: Long runs or ultras on dry, relatively nontechnical trails; road-to-trail runs.

Fit: True to size; snug in the heel, with a roomy toebox.

>More spring 2015 trail-running shoes


Tester Rave

“They’re not at home in super-burly terrain, but if you’re looking for a fast all-around shoe that’s perfect for your everyday trails and acceptable on the once-in-a-while technical or slick trail, these are for you.”

—Jess Portmess, Boulder, CO

 

Testers on Fit

“The Charge is snug on my heel, hugs my foot and allows enough volume in the toebox for ‘Fred Flinstone’ feet like mine. The half-gusseted tongue doesn’t slip or slide. My foot sort of sits down into and feels cradled by the shoe.”

—Sheri Atkinson, Broomfield, CO

“This was one of those shoes that was ‘love at first fit.’ The heel fit felt ideal and man, was the toebox roomy but not too roomy. The first impression of their fit didn’t fade as I logged miles in them.”

—Jess Portmess, Boulder, CO

 

Testers on Tread

“The tread provides secure traction on slickrock and rims, such as in Arizona, digs into soft terrain and contains flex points, which help agility on rugged terrain.”

—Sheri Atkinson, Broomfield, CO

“They certainly weren’t the grippiest shoes in wet terrain—slick rocks and mud—but that’s a tall order for any shoe. In the iciest conditions, they didn’t add much confidence.”

—Jess Portmess, Boulder, CO

 

Testers on Downsides

“I had some real trouble with the mud-shedding capabilities of this shoe. More so than other shoes, they would turn into a persistent block of heavy mud that was hard to eliminate, even with the most enthusiastic foot-bashing.”

—Jess Portmess, Boulder, CO

“There is little foot protection—no rock plate or toe guard—so I wouldn’t recommend it for technical trails.”

—Brian Perconti, St. Petersburg, FL

>More spring 2015 trail-running shoes

 

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