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?
Let’s take a look at them.
Size and fit:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.