How to Choose Trail Running Shoes

03 October 2022

Which type is best for you?


Let’s face it – the old road running sneakers you’ve been using for your trail runs aren’t cutting it anymore. Too many slips and falls, not enough traction for the inclines. Now the tricky part – picking the right trail shoe for your adventures.


This can be an overwhelming task with all of the options and technologies out there. Let’s break it down so you can decide which Merrell Trail Running shoe is best for your activities & terrain.


Max Distance & Mountain Terrain


Trail Type: You’re out for the long haul & can’t count on the trail being fully groomed. You’re headed up steep mountain climbs, rocky declines and whatever else mother nature decides to throw your way. You need maximum traction with cushioning that buffers impact, but you still want to feel connected to the trail.


Our Pick: Men’s All Out Rush & Women’s All Out Charge are great for this adventure. MSelect™ GRIP will keep you on your feet & will hold up on rocky terrain. They have comfortable cushioning, and the UniFly™ midsole disperses impact and keeps you connected to the trail.

Road & Trail


Trail Type: You’re not sure where the trail will take you, so you need to be prepared for road AND trail. You’ll want something with great traction for the trail, but not too bulky for any road or paved footpaths you might find along the way.


Our Pick: Women’s Mix Master Move Glide and Men’s Mix Master Move. These are our most versatile trail runners. The specialised outsole is made for varied conditions. Enjoy a combination of cushioning and greater ground connection.



Our Pick: Women’s Bare Access Ultra and Men’s Bare Access 4. These are built for barefoot runners wanting better impact protection. They offer full foot contact and a natural stride plus responsive uniform toe to heel cushioning to buffer impacts.

More Connection


Trail Type: You’re looking for ultimate connection. (Not the type you find on RSVP.com.) Connection with the trail, the ground, the experience! You want to feel the earth beneath your feet, but still be protected from rock & terrain. Flexibility and lightweight design is a must.


Our Pick: Women’s Pace Glove 3 and Men’s Trail Glove 3. Our barefoot trail & pace gloves provide maximum flexibility & protection with our TrailProtect™ pad in the midfoot for rock protection. The flexible upper wraps around your foot like a glove.

Happy running!


Enjoyed this? Check out Treadmill VS Trail.