Merrell Stormfront Gore-Tex XCR
The Stormfront Gore-Tex XCR has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best trail running shoes for 2023.
Stay close to the well maintained trails or roads when you are running in these shoes. They have very good cushioning like road running shoes, but minimum protection in the upper.
Outsole: aggressive lugs grips the road/maintained trail surfaces very well. Lugs are not deep enough to give you maximum confidence on rugged/moderately maintained trails. Also, the outsole is softer than what I like on trail runners. It's also less durable.
Midsole: simply great for a trail running shoe. A+++. It gives lots of comfort and cushioning. Every step is full of comfort with moulded EVA. So if cushioning is your goal this is the shoe for you.
Upper: Not suitable for moderate to rugged trails. Very minimalistic upper. There is only a tiny fabric layer between the trail elements and your foot. However, it protects you from wet condition, better say - splashes, pretty well. If you don't need protection for your upper foot and like a lightweight upper with gore-tex breathibility - this is an excellent choice.
The ankle support and protection is very efficient.
Materials: Gore-tex XCR
Use: trail running (maintained trail)/road running
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: USD 49.95
I found this shoe to be very comfortable and very good in overall performance as a shoe. I had an issue with the waterproof abilities which deteriorated very quickly. No explanations were given by Merrell as to how this could happen in a product that features Gore-Tex which purports to be waterproof as a characteristic of the material used.
I found minor seepage shortly after purchase which I felt was insignificant, but within around three months, even moderate to light water resistance was lost and my socks were wet quite quickly in even modest rain.
Typhoons and torrential rains are not uncommon in this part of the world, so this is what I bought the shoes for.
I switched to Chameleon II GTX-xcr's via warranty with no complaints from Merrell (had to pay the extra though) and no receipt (good on them).
I like the Chameleons, but I prefer the lightness and warm-weather breathability much more in the Stormfronts. I wish I had had the confidence to get another pair.
Use: all-weather around town, light hiking, moderate bicycle commuting
Break-in Period: minimal
Price Paid: 3200 NT$ (Taiwan)
Best shoes I have ever owned.
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Reviewers Paid: $49.95
Historic Range: $39.95
Historic Range: $31.96-$79.95