TRAIL running is growing as an alternative athletic pursuit, especially in presenting a worthy challenge as well as a timely break from the urban scenery surrounding the typical runs and foot races. But with the different setting comes a unique for separate, specialized gear to maximize the experience, starting with the right pair of shoes.
Merrell’s All Out Crush Tough Mudder fits the bill as a few chosen media participants tried out in the 6K race in the Compressport Forest Run 2016 at the La Mesa Nature Reserve on Sunday. The latest in Merrell’s trail running line, this shoe was created to commemorate their partnership with Tough Mudder—the popular global series of hardcore obstacle races designed by British Special Forces to challenge ‘the toughest of the tough.’
The well-maintained trail, thanks to the efforts of environmental groups like Bantay Kalikasan, was wide enough for trail runners to enjoy the race. And the All Out Crush Tough Mudder made the run ever more comfortable, even for newbie trail runners like this writer.
We were fortunate to have cool and dry weather during the run. The experience of allowing your lungs too take a break from all the smog and smoke was a welcome one. There also some portions of the trail close to the watershed that affords serene and peaceful scenery.
Based on personal experience, the shoe was easy on the feet thanks to its flexible outsole coupled to a breathable upper courtesy of a reinforced mesh material. The presence of multi-directional lugs means you can tackle steep, rocky, and muddy trails with confidence.
The Unifly cushioning provided adequate shock absorption on both gravel and compact soil. Merrell included features that help mud-shedding, drainage and debris protection. The shoes are candidates for easy cleanup since they are machine washable.
With the down and dirty conditions presented by obstacle races that are expected to arrive in the Philippines next year—like the Legion Run and Spartan Run—there will be a need for running footwear like Merrell’s All Out Crush Tough Mudder designed to take a beating and then some.