Best Women’s Merrell Running Shoes

The 7 Best Women’s Merrell Running Shoes for 2019

The name Merrell became synonymous with quality hiking footwear almost as soon as its first hiking boot appeared on the market in 1983. Their boots were comfortable, durable, and of the highest quality materials, earning a following among lovers of the outdoors for over thirty years. In the late 90’s the brand expanded to apply their same high quality commitment to the “lighter weight” world of running shoes. This enabled them to create footwear that was modeled for women’s feet. Merrell also responded to the increasing desire for environmentally friendly footwear, so all of these designs are 100% vegan, made without any animal products. For a brand that started over thirty years ago as a hiking boot, it’s evolved into an impressive array of trail and road running shoes for the environmentally conscious outdoorswoman. This evolution allows us to bring you our list of the 7 Best Women’s Merrell Running Shoes for 2019. As the brand says, these shoes are ready for a “wide variety of adventures.” You just have to choose yours.

Number 7

Merrell All Out Crush

Merrell All Out Crush

The Crush 2’s versatility is what earns it a spot on our list, for it’s a trail runner that can handle any terrain in any weather and feel as comfy as a pair of slippers and as light as a pair of flip flops. Part of this versatility comes from the shoe’s upper, which are where the biggest changes from the original model lie. It has a Gore-Tex liner that essentially makes it waterproof, while multiple layers of synthetic mesh allow air to flow but do a great job of screening out debris. Light printed overlays still provide support without the bulk and weight of the old stitched versions, while a Lycra heel counter provides stretch in putting on the shoe and light guidance for your stride. The outsole is made of the brand’s M-Select GRIP technology with Vibram rubber, created for the utmost in durability while the brand’s tri-pointed lugs provide excellent traction on not only wet and dry terrain, but also slippery surfaces, making the Crush 2 one of Merrell’s best shoes for running in icy conditions. The midsole is made of a traditional EVA foam but has Merrell’s patented TrailProtect pad between the mid and outsole to provide additional protection against rocks, roots, and anything else in your path. Last, but not least, is the fact that the Crush 2 looks nothing like a monochromatic bulky trail shoe and is light and bright while remaining well cushioned. Between its looks, its lightness, and its ability to perform almost anywhere, the Crush 2 is not only a great choice for trail running, but can be considered Merrell’s best walking shoe for women, on any terrain nature provides.

Find it on shoekicker


or get it on Amazon

Number 6

Merrell Bare Access Flex

Merrell Bare Access Flex

The Bare Access Flex 2 lives up to its name by being one of Merrell’s contributions to the world of minimalist running shoes, in this case trail running. Like other minimalist options that seek to emphasize the foot’s natural contours and gait as opposed to wrapping it in foam, this shoe has a 0mm heel toe drop and just enough EVA foam in the midsole to provide protection and comfort. This foam is Merrell’s patented EVA FlexConnect, featuring an indentation in the heel they call a Hyperlock to provide heel stability on descents and sharp turns and flex grooves in the forefoot to guide the foot forward as you rack up miles. The Flex 2’s upper is devoid of any overlays, leaving the brand’s Barefoot 2 synthetic mesh and glove-like fit to provide the lightest in structure and support. As a result, the multidirectional grooves allow for movement and adaptability as well as traction without utilizing heavy lugs for grip. The minimalist shoe movement has finally reached trail runners and the very features that make the Flex 2 unique are what also make it a great crossover to road running.

Find it on shoekicker


or get it on Amazon

Number 5

Merrell Agility Peak Flex

Merrell Agility Peak Flex

In direct opposition to the Bare Access Flex 2, these big girls are meant for some rugged runs over the roughest terrain. The Agility Peak Flex 3 is a shoe jacked up with the utmost in protective features for the trail, making it a favorite as the best Merrell hiking shoe for women in addition to trail running. The midsole has the FlexConnect foam with the heel Hyperlock for downhills and turns and Merrell listened to detractors of the Flex 2 and added a TrailProtect plate to this latest edition for additional protection from whatever the terrain may hold in store. But all this protection and cushioning doesn’t take away from the agile nature of the shoe and the reason for its name. The Vibram rubber outsole has Merrell’s M Select GRIP design, following the anatomy of the human foot to provide traction with flexibility where you need it most. Meanwhile, the grooves in the FlexConnect foam provide the shoe with a nimble responsiveness that is admirable for a trail runner and hiking shoe. Additional improvements are also present in the upper, such as a finer synthetic mesh, lighter TPU overlays that still provide structure, and the use of M Select Fresh antimicrobial agents to cut down on odor. Who wouldn’t appreciate that?

Find it on shoekicker


or get it on Amazon

Number 4

Merrell Vapor Glove

Merrell Vapor Glove

Make no mistake, Merrell’s Vapor line is the epitome of minimalist design and is the brand’s only road running shoe on the list. Be forewarned though roadrunners: the Vapor Glove 4 is only for those who have experience in barefoot running or running with minimal cushioning. As the name suggests, the Vapor Glove 4 is as close to wearing nothing on your feet as you can get. There is no midsole cushioning, but a Trail Protect plate is present just above the Vibram rubber outsole, where there is not a lug to be found. The outsole gets some traction from the Vibram rubber but, for the most part, traction is minimal to allow for the small muscles of your ankles, feet, and legs to provide the balance they were meant to provide. The Vapor 4 has a wider toe box than previous models to allow for greater toe splay, also providing natural stability and traction for experienced minimalist runners. Support is also provided through the upper’s thin mesh, which really does feel like a glove and hugs your foot with as much support as you can possibly get from such a minimalist shoe. Is this the running shoe for everyone? N.O. But it is the road running shoe for those ladies who are devotees of the minimalist movement.

Find it on shoekicker


or get it on Amazon

Number 3

Merrell Trail Glove Shield

Merrell Trail Glove Shield

The Trail Glove Shield line dials it back a bit from the more intensely minimalist Vapor Glove designs to instead offer the same natural running experience with a little more support and traction for trail running. Like the Bare Access Flex 2, the upper is constructed with Merrell’s Barefoot 2 design to provide a thinner, more glove-like fit that still maintains breathability and offers protection against the elements thanks to the waterproofing feature of the M Select SHIELD synthetic mesh. It’s also still a zero drop shoe to be as close to your natural gait as possible and maintain responsiveness with the terrain. But this Vibram rubber outsole has shallow lugs that add heft and provide grip and the TrailProtect plate is there for extra protection on the trail, along with a thin layer of FlecConnect foam for the barest of midsole cushioning. The Trail Glove Shield 4 is a great option for someone who would like to dip their toe into the pool of minimalist running; it still offers some cushioning and protection while giving you a good feel for the difference between the more typical cushioned options.

Find it on shoekicker


or get it on Amazon

Number 2

Merrell Mix Master

Merrell Mix Master

The runner up on our list of Merrells goes to a hybrid that stays true to its name for its ability to mix it up as a running, walking or hiking shoe on any terrain from dirt trails to roads. This versatility easily makes it a top choice as the best Merrell women’s shoe for road running, trail running, walking, hiking, and hang gliding (ok, definitely not hang gliding but I think you get the idea for how adaptable this shoe can be). Merrell puts a lot of standard features into this 3rd edition but applies them with their trademark attention to quality and the needs of a variety of outdoor lovers. The Mix Master 3’s upper is made of the brand’s synthetic mesh with TPU overlays for light support. This design also has a TPU external heel counter for the light guidance that most runners, walkers, and hikers appreciate. TPU is a magical blend of materials that has the benefits of plastic and rubber but is so much lighter, keeping these shoes from being too weighed down by supportive features. The M Select GRIP outsole has shallow lugs that easily transition to roads but provide traction on trails and the standard EVA foam midsole provides all the cushioning you need without feeling out of touch with the terrain. If you’re a versatile outdoorswoman who wants a shoe that can do anything anywhere, the Mix Master 3 will consistently deliver.

Find it on shoekicker


or get it on Amazon

Number 1

Merrell Trail Glove

Merrell Trail Glove

As proof that the minimalist shoe movement is here to stay amongst trail runners, our top spot for the Best Women’s Merrell Running Shoes goes to the Trail Glove 5. This shoe has all the features of a top quality minimalist shoe with just enough supports to make it a viable option for everyone. Now, there are certainly a lot of similarities to the Trail Glove Shield here, but the main difference between the two is in the upper. Instead of the M Select Shield technology, the Trail Glove 5 uses the multiple layers of synthetic mesh that the Crush 2 uses to maintain breathability and keep out debris. The minimal TPU overlays provide some gentle support but the Barefoot 2 fit is there to provide the supportive glove-like feel that still keeps this a minimal shoe. Merrell put some more science into this design by conducting multiple studies of the foot in motion and created a shape with a fuller forefoot than other Glove models to accommodate that natural foot movement upon landings. While it’s still a zero drop shoe, it has the thinnest layer of EVA foam for a midsole and the TrailProtect plate while the Vibram outsole is thin, with grooves instead of lugs to allow for as much of that barefoot feeling as possible and transition you to road running with ease. Choosing your own adventure is easy when you have a shoe that can take you anywhere and that’s exactly what Merrell wants women to keep on doing.

Find it on shoekicker


or get it on Amazon