The All Out Rush has the perfect balance of feel and protection, therefore still taking into account the minimalist style of running yet giving you enough protection to take on the rougher and more gnarly long distance trails. Merrell have achieved this balance through the use of the Unifly system where the denser foam in the heel and forefoot helps dissipate impact, and the softer foam underneath helps soak up the ground giving you great sensory feedback.
Now enough of the geeky stuff, let’s talk about how the shoe performs in practice…
Having a shoe that you can trust to not slip as you run uphill is incredibly important, it can be very draining when you are sapped of energy and every step upwards results in you slipping. The Rush’ lugs dig deep into softer terrain meaning that there isn’t any waste of energy when running up hill, not only that but the shoe is nice and flexible and provides good feedback to your foot from the ground, therefore you can be much more effective and energy efficient with your foot placements.
Running downhill can cause some serious injuries if you’re not using the right techniques and footwear, a fall on mountainous terrain, downhill, and at speed could mean the end of your season and not just your race, therefore it is very important that you can trust the shoe to grip the terrain and support you as you descend a trail. By integrating 5mm lugs into the sole of the Rush, Merrell have solved the problem of the previous trail shoes in that they were lacking in downhill performance, the soles just didn't have enough tread to allow you to pick up any pace and trust your steps meaning that you had to carefully and slowly make your way downhill, which isn’t great when you.re against the clock! The added cushioning and unify system also means that your feet have a lot more protection and comfort when you commit to a downhill trail.
Fit is something that I have always struggled with in footwear, I have somehow ended up with flipper shaped feet, somehow suggesting that maybe I should’ve been a swimmer and not a runner! With a skinny heel, high arches yet a very wide forefoot I regularly find that a shoe is either too loose on the heel or too tight on the forefoot. The spacious toe box coupled with the omni fit lacing system of the Rush eliminates that problem for me, the omni fit system allows me to pull the heel, ankle and arch of the shoe in so that it is almost ‘custom fit’ to my foot, whilst the spacious toebox allows my foot to comfortably spread when I land and prevent any rubbing or blistering on longer training sessions or races.
I’ve been using the All Out Rush for a fair while now in and around the Brecon Beacons, I consider the terrain there to be pretty challenging when off trail and so far the shoe has performed great. I also use the Rush for everyday mountain use when I don’t require something with ankle support and waterproofing such as an approach shoe for climbing or an everyday instructor shoe in the hills and at the crags.
If you’re looking for a shoe that not only provides brilliant grip on loose terrain, but also gives support and cushioning for those longer races and training sessions. Without totally taking away the feeling of minimalism, and the ground underneath your feet. Then the All Out Rush is for you...