Low, sleek and lots ‘o tread. What’s not to like about the Merrell All Out Terra? Watch the company’s promotional video and you’ll think that these bad boys will turn you into a parkour professional capable of taking on anything mother nature can throw at you.
Our sample came in a black and burnt orange color scheme. Nice and understated. How would they perform? We decided to put them to an initial test on the trails of the Sunol Wilderness not too far from GearGuide HQ. Those trails provided a range of conditions to sample — from muddy single track to gravel fire roads.
The Merrell All Out Terras are built with an all synthetic upper. It’s a combination of synthetic mesh, a neoprene interior booty and an exterior wrap of TPU at the toe and heel. The Merrell employs Vibram rubber for the outsole of the All Out Terra. The heavy lugs are concave triangles and stand off the sole approximately six millimeters. The lacing system is pretty standard stuff. Reminded us a lot of the La Sportiva Crossleathers we reviewed a few years ago (although Merrell points out that their version is Vegan friendly).
Interior-wise, the All Out Terra features a removable insole. Again pretty standard stuff. However, Merrell adds what they call a Trail Protect pad at the forefoot. It’s a heavier plastic embedded into the insole to provide a strike plate for those rocky runs.
Unfortunately, we found the performance of the All Out Terra to be a little disappointing. Although the grip was decent, the shoe provides almost no stability. The low-cut neoprene booty is just that, low, and very flexible. The lack of support made out tester feel like they were often risking an ankle roll on more technical parts of the trail.
Upper: Mesh and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)
Tread: Vibram high-performance rubber
Drop: 6 mm
Weight: 21 oz
Fit is nearly true to size, just a little smaller than we expected from our size 11 sample. Make sure you try the All Out Terras on before you make a final sizing determination. The footbed feels like you’re riding right on top of the lugs — which you are — as the All Out Terra’s provide almost no cushioning between you and trail.
The Merrell All Out Terra presents a minimalists trail shoe for those that like that approach. It’s light weight, low to the ground and provides substantial tread for difficult terrain. Unfortunately, we found it just too minimalist for our taste. With almost no ankle support, we found the All Out Terra just too risky for more technical trails. If you’re less prone to rolling your foot and like the low-to-the-ground approach, these might be for you.