Comments: I'm very happy with these shoes. I followed Running Warehouse's instructions and purchased these 1/2 size lower from what I normally wear. They fit great. I ultimately decided to get these because I wanted a shoe to help me transition to the minimal shoe style. They are lightweight, but still offer enough support for longer runs. I recently wore them for a Tough Mudder event. They held up very well and the lugs on the sole provided enough traction to prevent any slipping on the mud. I did have the occasional dirt and pebble get into the shoe, but I think that happened to everyone, regardless of their shoe. After the event, I hosed them off, dropped them in the washing machine, and they came out good as new.
From: Scott, Las Vegas, NV
Comments: This review is long overdue, as this shoe has been out for a while. However, I have to say that since I first tried this shoe back in August 2012, I have tried many other shoes, and have ultimately come back to this one again and again. Perhaps my feet are just deformed, or I need to toughen up, but every other protective trail shoe I've tried inevitably hurts my toes after enough miles, especially on technical ascents. While I wouldn't mind a bit more cushioning in the forefoot, and would be curious to see what a zero-drop version felt like (I started running "seriously" in Trail Gloves, before switching to this in the pursuit of better protection), the balance of fit, flexibility, and protection (as a result of both the awesome forefoot rock plate and the substantial toe bumper) in this shoe can't be beat. Moreover, I love the simple mesh upper, which is comfortable, breathable, drainable, and has structure only where it's really needed: to reinforce the points where the laces tug on the shoe, and to lock the heel in so as to keep the toes from jamming into the wonderfully spacious toe-box on steep downhills. The traction is also quite good, and I once spent a week running up and down mountain trails that were virtually turning into creeks in the deluge without any slipping. The soft rubber does wear down a bit faster than Vibram or some other soles, but I suppose that's the price you pay for stickiness and high flexibility.
From: Adam, Los Angeles
Comments: First off, I love the fit of this shoe and it fits my foot way better than any other shoe I have tried. It has a very secure heel fit which is lacking in so many shoes and also a nice wide toebox. IMO, there should always be a secure fit from heel to midfoot then open up for toe splay. Where the shoe fails is where it was designed for road and trail use. What I mean by that is that it is hard to have a shoe do both. The shoe performs well in most conditions, but when you throw roots, rocks, and especially wet conditons then it fails. With the soft rubbery tread, I slip on roots. The tread has not held up to the runs on rocky terrain and is quickly wearing. A sharp little rock poked a hole in the soft part of the sole which I didn't feel but could potentially be a problem. Overall, the shoe does what it was designed to do but not what I want it to do. I'd like to see better tread with better grip but I wouldn't go so far as the Peregrine. That tread does not give enough on rocky terrain and is very unstable. People run on such varied terrain that it makes sense for some folks to love the tread and some not, it just depends on where you run.
From: Houston, Arden, NC, USA
Comments: I've used the Merrell Mixmaster 2 for many of my trail runs during the last 5 months. My impression? This is a GREAT shoe for the trails, especially if you are a midfoot striker (and used to 4-6 mm drop running shoes). PROS: Very lightweight (but tough), very flexible midsole, great/grippy tread and lugs for the trails, great fit (wide toebox), strong laces, great lateral support across the upper, and extremely well ventilated (great warm weather shoe). The Merrell Mixmaster is a fast, secure, and agile shoe on the trail. This minimalist shoe (thin midsole) gives great "feel" of the trail while running. That is an awesome feeling. I especially love the Mixmaster 2 for trail tempo runs and trail 10Ks and 20Ks. Though this would be a great shoe for more casual trail runners also!
CONS: (1) Since this shoe is designed with ventilation in mind, this is probably not the trail shoe for wet weather running or for splashing through streams. Buy the black "waterproof" version of the Mixmaster 2 for that purpose. (2) I would not use these shoes on the roads too much (especially if you are a heel-striker). The cushioning is minimal for road use and the short black rubber lugs look like they would wear out very quickly. (3) The lacing system seems kind of old style.
I also love the lightweight/agile Saucony Peregrine 2 for the trail (also wide toebox, 4mm drop, and great tread). In comparison: the Peregrine 2 provides slightly more cushioning, is slightly heavier (still only 10.2 oz), and is more waterproof. I use the Peregrine for longer runs (especially if any pavement is encountered) and wet weather use.
From: Jon, Napa Valley, CA
Comments: Best new trail shoe period. I'm not a barefoot runner but more of a minimalist. I was looking for a trail shoe to rotate with my New Balance MT101s and my Minimus MT10s. I wanted a shoe that would be comfortable for longer runs and for days my feet just needed a break. At the same time I didn't want to give up the flexibility and feel for the ground I've become so accustomed to. The Merrell Mix Master 2 exceeded my expectations. The design of the shoe is spot on in so many areas. The ride is so soft but not mushy for a shoe of this low profile. The rounded toe box is roomy but not sloppy, especially for my pinkie toe that rubs in many other shoes. The lugs are aggressive enough for technical terrain, loose gravel or muddy conditions yet are still comfortable for hard packed dirt. The overall fit is snug enough to lock in your foot on uneven surfaces yet not restrictive. I would be comfortable using this shoe for any distance on the most rugged trails I can find. I've already been using them on my favorite local trails but can't wait to get them on the single track Ice Age Trails nearby. Only one modification I would like to see though in future models is that the last be a tad wider at the arch since it really is a great built shoe in every other way for serious distance. Great job Merrell.
From: Ed, Racine, WI, USA
Comments: Love this shoe. I use it for grass/dirt trail runs, but it works great on roads as well. Minimalist and low to the ground, with enough protection to ward off the rocks and roots. The shoe runs wide and big, which is perfect for me (I wear an 11.5 2E in the Saucony Kinvara 3 and the Merrell Mix Master 2 in size 11.5 works great). Another great thing about these is the 4mm drop...exactly the same as my Kinvara 3 trainers, and New Balance 730 racing shoes!
From: Steve, Lincoln, NE, USA