Shoe Reviews

Merrell All Out Charge Trail Shoe Review

All Out ChargeThe Good

Betsy: The All Out Charge is an aesthetically delicious shoe that just happens to feel even more amazing than it looks. When I first slipped them on, my immediate reaction was, “Oh no, these are WAY too tight!” But once my feet moved past the strangeness of the semi-attached tongue and settled in for their first ride, they were gripped and hugged in all the right places. I managed one double-digit run in the All Out Charge before winter weather struck, and I basically forgot I was even wearing shoes, they felt THAT good. I like a snug heel and a wide toe box, and these provide just that. There is ample room for my ever-expanding bunion, yet I don’t see clown shoes when I glance down mid-stride. On that first run, I also noted how much my feet were both connected to the ground and protected while barreling down a rocky slope. The next time I tested the All Out Charge, there were several inches of snow blanketing the trails, but I easily finished a twenty miler with only one minor slip. I had no issues post-run, no blisters, hot spots, or sore feet.

Johnny: I’m a big, BIG fan of the Merrell All Out Charge. It’s an attractive pair of shoes that feel like they’re custom made for my feet. The HyperWrap 360° fit system hugs my foot in all of the right places and prevents the tongue of the shoe from sliding around. The lugs and tread pattern couldn’t be more conducive to spending hours on snowy, muddy trails. I feel stable, agile and connected flying down rooty, rocky hills. The shoes basically disappear from your feet. Unfortunately, I have no basis of comparison from previous Merrell models, but the All Out Charge are a hit. Did I mention how good looking they are?! We have the men’s in ‘Racer Blue’ and women’s ‘Raspberry.’

photo 2 (4)The Bad

Betsy: I am struggling to find something negative to say about this shoe. I suppose they can be a bit difficult to actually put on, especially after a night of excessive sodium consumption, but really, once my feet are in, the shoes just become an extension of my feet. I wouldn’t recommend them to die hard Hoka fans, or anyone who prefers to be elevated several inches off the ground by cushioning. The Merrell All Out Charge is quite firm in comparison.

Johnny: I’m hard-pressed to find anything negative to say, too. I have grown to REALLY like the HyperWrap upper, but I had some initial issues with the shoes causing hotspots in the midfoot. This was a simple adjustment in how the shoes were laced. I guess I don’t like that they retail for $120 either, but I’d definitely have no problem paying it after having gone through the review process.

photo 3 (2)The Conclusion

Betsy: Since I have no previous experience with Merrell, I can’t compare the Merrell All Out Charge to any other models, but as a seasoned trail runner with a few ultras under my, er, feet, I know this will be the shoe I pluck off the shelf for my upcoming 8 hour trail race. The All Out Charge is a durable and cozy trail shoe for folks who like connection AND protection. I will certainly be delving further into the world of Merrell once this pair reaches its mileage limit.

Johnny: Ditto. I definitely won’t be overlooking Merrell moving forward. These are easily my go-to for upcoming trail races. I’m pretty impressed.

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  1. What do the tread look like? Merrell shoes usually have less of a trail sole on their shoes than most other trail shoe companies, so I’m a little skeptical of their purchase in mud and snow without seeing the lugs.

    I see Betsy mention the toe box, did you (Johnny) notice the men’s shoe having a particularly wide toe box?

    Finally, what is the heel/toe drop on these shoes?


  2. I’ve also seen them has a narrow-ish shoe, particularly in the mid half back. Is this true? Also what would the fit compare too.

  3. I love Merrell’s. I love them so much I should win this contest. Seriously, out of the box fit and comfort in other pairs I’ve had (MixMaster 2’s) and great durability.

  4. I’ve recently started trail running and can’t wait for more. I’m thinking my first true trail race will be this summer – the distance is just a question of how comfortable I am by then. I would love to win a pair of All Our Charge to train with for my first trail race adventure!

  5. Big fan of this blog. i have a collection of the Puma Night Cat jackets in various colors based on you review.

    Looking forward to trying these out.

  6. I should win this contest because I’m a running shoe geek without a pair of trail shoes! Merrell’s shoes have always fascinated me and this pair looks awesome!

  7. Oh these sound PERFECT! I hope they don’t have such pronounced arch support like the all out fuse did…I loved everything about those except during long miles it felt like I was standing on a triangle. I love my Merrelll hiker’s would love to see how these run!

  8. More info on the actual amount of cushioning, drop, and type of tread would be very useful. Knowing the fit and upper are good is helpful but some comparisons would be useful.

  9. Thanks for the review, Betsy and Johnny! I was very interested to hear your impression since the first time I saw BIR post a photo of this shoe on instagram. I am a huge fan of the fit of the Merrell “bare” series, and own a pair of Mix Master 2 from Merrell; but they never had enough cushion for me to consider them for ultramarathon distance on trail. The All Out Charge, however, has a decent amount of cushion and based on your review looks like a great possibility for my upcoming 50 mile trail race later this year (my first 50 miler!).

  10. My Merrell MixMasters have seen better trail running days. I would love to win these for the spring trail running season that is quickly approaching!

  11. I want get some more trail running in (actually just start trail running!). Loved the picture of the shoe in the snow. I’m currently using Nike Structure but want to give Merrill a go!

  12. I’d love to win a pair of Merrells because I’ve never owned a pair before and would love to have the chance to try them. Thank you!

  13. Why should I win a pair of Merrells? For the obvious reason–one can never have too many pairs of Merrells! I Need some other colors to wear to work (Yes, I wear them with my dresses, been tweeting them the past couple of weeks). 🙂
    I have never done trail runs, but really want to start. My Merrells that I bought 17 years ago for a trip to Alaska NEVER gave me blisters and still are AWESOME–but they are hiking boots. My Merrell Desert hikers, while I have gone running in them, aren’t perfect for trail running. PLEASE! PICK ME, PICK ME!!!!

  14. Hoping to try these out as I’m still looking for a suitable replacement for Merrell’s Mix Master 2’s which I loved.

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