Gear Review – Merrell Mix Master Move

A review of the Merrell Mix Master Move


There was some hiking in “dem dar foothills!”

Shoes are a piece of outdoor gear we ask a lot of. We put down miles while schlepping our gear. Our shoes need to carry us and our gear up the mountain, on the trail, through water, mud, rocks, rain, snow, sleet, and hail (and perhaps the occasional plague of locusts as well?).

A lot to ask for from our shoes. And, for the most part, they seem to do it well.

But you need a shoe that works for you, first.

They key is to find a shoe that breathes well, gives enough support, is not too bulky and will be reasonably durable.

Over the past two months, I’ve been putting one model of shoe through the paces and have been pleased: Merrell Mix Master Moves.

A near-minimalist shoe that is mainly mesh, they are aimed at folks who wish to transition from a traditional trail running shoe to a true minimalist runner.

So what does this avid hiker think of these Merrell shoes?

I like ’em. Quite a bit actually.

There have been hikes on trail, on dirt roads, some rocky and rooty and patches and even a couple of snowy days on the trail.

They have been surprisingly supportive for such a light (8 oz) shoe. The mesh construction breathes superbly. And the grip from the sole was good (if not great). Not too much wear and tear either after two months.

The mesh construction could have been a problem on a snowy day of hiking, but wearing a medium weight merino wool sock ensured my feet were warm while moving.

The shoes did not do well on really rocky terrain They slipped a bit and did not quite have the support I would normally prefer for hiking in this type of environment. I’d be hesitant to use them for some off-trail jaunts that were not on tundra (e.g. a scree field).

Having said that, for more established trails,  these shoes rocked. I think a person who has a light pack (sub-10 lb base pack weight) and sticks to something like the Pacific Crest or The Colorado trail may enjoy these shoes quite a bit.  If you pack heavier and/or tend to hike on rougher terrain, you may want to use a different shoe. I should also add that my feet are fairly wide. A person who enjoys a more narrow cut shoe may want to use a different model.

Overall summary: I truly enjoyed these shoes for on trail use. At the end of the day, I did not feel the need to take them off right away. 🙂  I would take a different shoe for off-trail terrain, but otherwise, these will be my “go to” shoe for other three-season hikes on maintained trails.

Disclosure: The shoes were provided by Blacks via JD Sports Fashion plc for my review.  

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