Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mix Master Move: The shoe-iest shoe in the minimal Merrell M-Connect line

The Merrell Mix Master Move rests at the top of the spectrum in terms of minimalism for the 2013 Merrell M-Connect shoe line. It is the most traditional of all the running shoes in the line. Unless you are a total shoe geek such as myself, you would mistake it for a normal people's running shoe.

For those who crave the ground feel, but like the idea of a little extra cushioning for longer miles or easing the transition to barefoot, here’s your minimalist running shoe. Built for the road with reflectivity and a lightweight breathable mesh upper, our Mix Master Move features a low profile 4mm heel to toe drop, getting you closer to the ground to experience the benefits of a barefoot stride. Mix Move sticky rubber sole grips hard surfaces.
• Strobel construction
• Textile and Synthetic leather upper
• Low cut upper
• Molded eyelets for secure lacing
• Protective toe cap
• Reflective details for increased visibility in low light
• Breathable mesh lining treated with Aegis®
• EVA removable footbed treated with Aegis® antimicrobial solution

• 4mm Drop / 9mm Cush / 19mm Stack Height
• Merrell Float midsole is 10% thinner and 25% lighter to provide more feel and ground control
• Merrell Air Cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability
• Molded nylon arch shank
• EVA removable footbed
• Vegan Friendly Footwear
• Merrell Mix Move Sole / Sticky Rubber

Men’s Weight: 8oz (1/2 pair)

Mix Master Move makes a pretty darn good trail shoe for just about anything I can throw at them around here. Rail trail and single track are no problem for this shoe. If I'm spending my days on mud or sharp rocks, I'd opt for my Mix Master 2s (Review here) with the more aggressive tread and rock plate. Otherwise, I'll shave a little weight and grab the Moves or my Trail Glove 2.0 (stay tuned for this review!)

Mix Master Moves are a bit too much for me on the road. I appreciate the extra cushion on the long miles but there is something that feels off when I start to get deep into the miles. Almost all of my road miles in the last year have been on either the Road Glove (Review here) or the Road Glove 2.0 (Review here) so I'm used to a shoe that "disappears." My biased barefoot shoe blog reading mind wants to point to the 4mm heel but I can't be sure that this is the issue for me. I have hundreds of trail miles on my Mix Master 2 trail shoes (Review here) and they work great for me on trails. The weight, while light compared to a standard trainer, is also a bit more than I'm accustomed to on roads. I think all of these things are adding up for me and pushing me back to the Road Glove or the Vapor Glove (review coming soon!).
Much of the Merrell M-Connect Line:  (L-R) Vapor Glove, Road Glove 2, Bare Access 2 (not pictured), and Mix Master Move. 

Fashion wise, I love my Crimson colored pair. They really stand out and say look at me. If you know me, you know I'm an attention whore so my love of this colorway should be no surprise. For this reason, I'll probably wear these as much for casual bumming around as I will for trail or road use.

Bottom Line: If you are looking at transitioning from a traditional 12mm heel training towards a lower heel, the Mix Master Move is a good place to start your journey. If you are looking to add a different heel height to your shoe stable to mix up your gait during training, check these out.

Note: These shoes were provided by the manufacturer. Thank you, Merrell!


  1. Great review! Do you notice the 4mm? or not so much?

  2. The 4mm is not all that apparent but I can't be sure that it is not messing with me in some lower level way.

  3. How many km's do you do on the road with the road gloves? I run with the Merrell pace glove - 5km's for now, but was wondering if I should attempt longer distances. some friends have said that 10km seems to be the limit of their comfortlevel with the minimalist shoes?

    1. Hi Charin,
      First off... Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
      Personally, all my road miles are basically in the Road Glove 2.0 at this point. I'm training for the Boston Marathon and I will run it in the Road Gloves. My longest road run at this point is 15mi (24Km) in the Road Gloves. I have, however, run a 50Km on the trail in Merrell Trail Gloves and I can tell you I probably would have been more comfy with more cushion. I've also run a 1/2 marathon barefoot so my experience may or may not be applicable to you. I've been in running barefoot or in minimal shoes since July 2010 so my feet and gait are well adapted.

      My best advice for you is to take it slow and listen to your body. If you are running with a nice easy midfoot stride, I don't see why you couldn't run big miles in the Pace Gloves as long as your feet and body are ready for it. Experiment a little and listen to your body. Don't forget to have fun.

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to fire away. You can always contact me @durtyfeets through twitter too.