Merrell’s latest shoe was designed with the Tough Mudder and other obstacle races in mind. Our correspondent put the shoe to a test during a Mudder in Arizona last month for this review.
A shoe that can excel at an event like the Tough Mudder is one to consider as an all-around outdoors footwear choice. The All Out Crush ($100) is Merrell’s shoe made with the Tough Mudder in mind.
For the uninitiated, Tough Mudders range from 10-12 miles and have about 20 obstacles. There’s plenty of water, mud, climbing, and jumping throughout.
Obstacles include the “Rain Man,” where you start in water with a cage above you, using the cage to propel yourself through a pit while water rains down. It wracks the nerves, to say the least.
Review: Merrell All Out Crush
I put these shoes to a test at the Arizona Tough Mudder on April 30th. The high-traction shoe is built to be lightweight, durable, and to drain water as you run.
Put these on and you’ll note a lot of “ground feel” — rocks and edges underfoot are noticeable through the moderately soft, thin sole. You’ll feel the ground underfoot while big, 5mm lugs dig into mud and sand.
Coming out of the obstacles the deep lugs held onto the slippery mud. The lugs work on soft soil, and the shoes shed muck quickly — important when plowing out of water and mud pits.
Shoe For Tough Mudder
My race day was cooler than expected for Arizona, hovering in the mid 60s. Intermittent rain and wind gusts up to 40 mph made it uncomfortable.
The shoes performed as promised. They drained water, and the upper allowed even fine silt to filter out of the mesh instead of getting caught in the fabric. The familiar slosh sound of shoes on the course was minimized with this design.
The All Out Crush is durable and cleans up well from a dirty race, so you won’t have to donate these at the end.
Overall, these are specialized shoes, however, and on hard surfaces I was less happy. The big lugs became noticeable running on packed trails, with the shoes gripping but the tall lugs shifting a smidge under weight.
In my run up Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, where the trail was hard and rocky, I felt play underfoot in these shoes. These are not made for pavement, and if you run hard or on rocky trails, look at a different model.
But if you’re in need of a shoe for off-trail terrain, Tough Mudder events, or trail runs where mud and soft soil dominate, the All Out Crush is a contender.
The shoe runs fairly true to size, but it has a wider toe box. Runners who have narrow feet should try these on before buying.
The All Out Crush is a good trail runner with durability and traction on gravel and mud. In the crowded trail-running shoe market, it’s one to test out if your preferred surfaces skew toward soft and squishy. And if you’re plowing through the deep mud and water of a Tough Mudder, it’s a winner, hands down.