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Merrell Mix Master

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Merrell Mix Master barefoot / minimal shoe

A great lightweight trail runner that breathes and vents very well. Really good traction profile and comfortable when worn for long periods of time.


  • Breathability
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable


  • Upper mesh not durable

I purchased the Merrell Mix Masters back in January of this year. Since then, I have exclusively been using these shoes for all my backpacking and day-hiking trips. When purchasing these shoes, I made sure I bought it a size bigger so I have room for my toes — this is helpful on those trail descents.


When purchasing shoes to wear for the trail, I typically buy them a half size to a full size larger than usual.  I find that doing this, helps with the comfort. I found the fit of Mix Masters to be good. It was wide enough and roomy but not too constricting to point of being uncomfortable.


Being that I purchased the shoe a half size larger, I found it to be very comfortable, especially when descending down the trail. It provided ample support for the base of my feet.  However, if I purchased the mid version, I am sure it would help with the ankle support. However, I found that even the low cut version provided enough stability that the extra support for my ankle was not necessary.

Water Resistance/Temp Control:

These aren't water resistant at all but it does dry fairly fast and because of this, I find it to be very breathable...less clammy.

Ease of Use/Features:

The lacing system on this shoe was typical.  It was neither difficult or cumbersome to lace up and put on.  Some of the features of this shoe are below, based on manufacturer specs:

  • Barefoot strobel construction gives you both flexibility and comfort
  • Synthetic mesh and fabric upper
  • Bellows tongue keeps debris out
  • 2mm EVA insole provides comfort and shock absorption
  • TPU overlay gives you a secure fit
  • Reflective details offer visibility in low light conditions
  • EVA anatomical footbed is treated with AEGIS antimicrobial solution to fight odor
  • Low profile midsole with 9mm heel/5mm ball = 4mm drop
  • Merrell Float midsole provides a 10% thinner and 25% lighter feel for maximum ground control
  • Merrell air cushion in the heel provides shock absorption
  • 1mm shock absorption plate in the forefoot gives you metatarsal protection
  • 3.5mm lug outsole can take you from on road to off road
  • Merrell Mix Master sole/Sticky Rubber outsole delivers unbeatable traction
  • Weight: 1lb 4oz

Construction & Durability:

So this is where I have issues with this shoe. The upper mesh started to stress and fold...causing the mesh to break and large holes began to form. I expect this sort of wear and tear on the pair when the user has placed at least 50 or more miles but not at less than 10 miles.

From the photo below, you can view the holes on the shoe where you feet would flex when walking.



I have had this pair since January 2013, since then, I have walked around 100 cumulative miles (both day-hiking and backpacking)

Final Thoughts:

I feel that this is still a great shoe. In fact, I bought two extra pairs because I found everything else about the shoe to be perfect for my style of walking and hiking. I can live with the mesh tear issue and in my opinion, can easily be fixed. I would recommend this shoe for those looking to buy a minimalist shoe with a little bit more cushioning support than a zero-drop shoe.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $40

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Price Historic Range: $59.99-$124.99
Reviewers Paid: $40.00
Product Details from Merrell »

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