Merrell releases new pinnacle trail-running shoes to help elite athletes perform in unpredictable environmental conditions.
Merrell, the world’s leading outdoor footwear brand, released the next evolution of outdoor performance offerings designed through its Merrell Test Lab (MTL), a product incubator where the brand’s most technical and category disruptive innovations are conceived.
Merrell’s newest elite trail running shoe collection, debuting with the MTL Long Sky 2 and MTL MQM, was purposely engineered for athletes who embrace the unpredictability of the trail. Lab verified and athlete validated, Merrell’s MTL collection was rigorously examined to guarantee agility, versatility and trail specific protection, even in the roughest off-road conditions.
For more than 40 years, Merrell has been at the forefront of studying the unpredictable nature of the trail from uneven surfaces, to varying terrain, to changing weather conditions. This is what is at the core of the Merrell Test Lab, which continues to set the tone for breakthroughs in the outdoor industry.
“Our Merrell Test Lab is the epicenter of all our product innovations as we utilize the latest scientific technology, equipment, and elite trail running athletes to prototype, rigorously test, refine and create products that continue to push the boundaries in the outdoor space,” said Shaun Bohnsack, vice president of product management at Merrell. “This collection is just one of many innovations that have come out of our MTL as we continue to outpace the offerings of our competition.”
To celebrate this initial wave of category innovation and visually show a look at the future of trail performance, Merrell has launched an integrated marketing campaign – “Same is Boring,” a rallying cry celebrating the ever-changing nature of the trail and a call to get elite runners to choose Merrell for their trail running.
“We did global research with competitive runners and found that the vibrancy of nature is a key motivator for them. Running roads and treadmills was functional and monotonous – but the road and trail are different, so we set out to provide a solution to give runners confidence in new terrain,” said Nathan Buelow, senior brand marketing manager at Merrell. “This integrated marketing campaign is so much bigger than just multimedia. We hope ‘Same is Boring’ inspires the next generation of runners to think about the trail as the next level of their competitive pursuits and educates them about how our product innovations can propel their performance.”
The 2022 MTL collection features two elite designs – MTL Long Sky 2 and MTL MQM:
- The lightweight Merrell MTL Long Sky 2 features a first-of-its-kind multi-dimensional system that expels 30% more water than the next best competitive shoe in quick dry testing. The result? A product that allows athletes to quickly get back to optimal performance conditions, giving them an edge above their competition. Underfoot, Merrell’s FloatPro Foam midsole helps reduce fatigue, while the Vibram® Megagrip outsole with 5mm lugs delivers world class traction and durability.
- Merrell MTL MQM, standing for Moving Quickly over Mountains, was built with abrasive durability to handle the demands of the toughest of terrains. This ultimate scrambling shoe was inspired by an unmet need from Merrell’s most adaptable athletes looking for a hybrid shoe that could do it all – hiking, scrambling and running. Providing best-in-class traction are two unique Vibram® rubber compounds – IdroGrip under toes and forefoot which is inspired by climbing rubber, and MegaGrip® under the heel for the best traction on wet and dry surfaces.
“As an elite trail runner, I am constantly faced with changing weather and terrain conditions and I need a shoe that can keep up,” said Rachel Tomajczyk, Merrell Trail Athlete and 2021 USA Half Marathon Trail Champion. “What the MTL products offer me is the confidence I need to hit the trail and outperform my competition while pushing myself to perform my best.”