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.’
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.
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.