By Jenn K.
Then manufacturer provided these shoes for the purpose of this review.
I received the Merrell Agility Peak Flex Shoes in the color black size 8.5, which is my regular size. I was happy first of all that they fit perfectly (as shoes that do not fit are a no-no) and how comfortable they were. I love the neutral tones; nothing flashy, so the black was perfect for me. These shoes are available in both men’s and women’s models. In the women’s model they are available in sizes 5-11 including half sizes.
The Merrell Agility Peak trail runner is designed with extensive research and testing to produce an optimal trail running shoe. They are designed to cushion, flex and provide protection for agility and to excel on long runs and rugged terrain.
The Merrell Agility Peak shoes are constructed of fabric, mesh, and a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) upper last. They also have some reflective detailing to provide increased visibility in low light. They have what is called the Merrell Omni-Fit lacing system that is designed to provide a glove-like fit. The heel is constructed to provide heel stability and security with what is called Hyperlock (a molded TPU heel counter. The shoes are constructed of antimicrobial agents to reduce odor. The footbed is removable, which is perfect, as I will be wearing my custom orthotics with these shoes. What is really awesome about these shoes is they are designed with dual-directional flex grooves in the midsole to provide agility and stability on uneven terrain. They also have skeleton-like lugs for traction on wet or dry trails. These lugs mimic the bones of the feet.
So far I have worn the Agility Flex Peak Shoes on two light hikes totaling four miles. I even had the opportunity to try them on wet and slimy rocks at the tide pools. I slid minimally, but I am extremely happy that I did not fall in the tide pools like some of the other visitors. I also scrambled some rocks to get down to the tide pools and the shoes held the traction well. My orthotics fit well in these shoes and there was no discomfort. I can’t wait to wear them more.
Update May 4, 2017
During the past month I wore the Merrell Agility Peak Flex Shoes on two 4-mile hikes at Torrey Pines State Park, on the local trails close to home, Borrego Springs for wild flower viewing, fast walking with some jogging on the coast trail in La Jolla (mixed pavement and dirt), scrambling the rocks on the La Jolla coast, and on a 3-mile hike in Cabrillo National Monument. I am currently building up my distance as I had a recent surgery. Actually I am just happy to be out there. The traction of these shoes is great; they handle pavement, packed dirt, slimy rocks, and sand very well.
So far these shoes are comfortable and I have not encountered any fit issues. I am even able to wear my custom orthotics without them taking up too much of the shoe volume. Typically I wore a lightweight wool crew sock and there were no encounters of blisters or chafing from wear. There is enough room in the toe box to accommodate any swelling in my feet from walking/hiking/jogging. There is also enough room to accommodate a thicker sock without the feeling of my feet being squished. The lacing system holds my feet in place inside the shoes. There has been no sliding up of my heel or side-to-side movement of my feet.
Even in warm temperatures above 85 degrees my feet were not overly sweating in the shoes. The shoes have also become wet and they dry quickly due to the breathability of the mesh fabric on the uppers.
Final Update June 11, 2017
Over the past month I wore the Merrell Agility Peak Flex Shoes hikes in California, Utah, and Arizona. The longest hike was seven miles in dry sand that made the anticipated hike more of a challenge. While in Utah I visited Zion and Bryce National Parks. When I go to the desert it rains. Not only did it rain, but also there was a small amount of snow. The hike is Zion National Park was five miles and as the day went on the rain became heavier. The last two miles of the trail was thick mud that people were loosing traction and falling down. The trail quickly turned dangerous to be hiking on (some of the trails even closed for the day). What is so awesome about these shoes is they shed mud. Their ability to shed mud is what saved me from hurting myself and let me enjoy the hike even though the conditions turned nasty. I did not fall down, slide, or lose my shoes in mud while walking. Honestly, I could not believe how well the traction is with these shoes. I had to be careful on the wet pavement because the shoes did lose traction especially where there was paint on the pavement for line markings.
After Zion we were off to Bryce Canyon Utah to enjoy some day hiking. Well there was snow and some of the trails were closed. So we ended up completing a 3-mile loop that was wet red (mud) dirt with a light dusting of snow. Again the shoes held traction and I was surprised how warm my feet were. I only wore a lightweight wool hiking sock, nothing particularly for cold weather.
After Bryce it was time to hit Calf Creek Falls in near Tropic, Utah. We hiked six miles mostly in sand and another mile of scrambling and bushwhacking to see some petroglyphs on a cliff. The Agility Peak shoes were very comfortable on the trail except for all the sand that entered the shoes via the uppers and the mesh. I did not stop and dump the sand out while hiking, but I will say I was surprised with the amount I dumped out at the end of the hike.
The next journey with these shoes took me to the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon in Arizona. I honestly love these shoes. They handle traction on slick rock and while climbing and descending ladders and are lightweight. I was also surprised how my feet were not hurting me from multiple days of hiking. The shoes flex so well in the forefoot due to the sole design and the orientation of the traction.
My last use of the shoes during the past month was a three-mile hike in Rose Canyon near my house. The trails in this area are mostly fire roads and are hard packed. I jogged a little on these trails, but nothing strenuous as I am recovering from a back injury.
The Agility Peak shoes wash up well and dry overnight. The mesh uppers have been holding up well with no snags from bushwhacking and from stabbing them accidently with my hiking poles. They still fit well with no signs of stretching and my custom orthotics still fit comfortably inside the shoes.
Honestly I love these shoes. I cannot think of anything negative to say about these shoes. These shoes are a keeper for sure!
The retail price for the Merrell Agility Peak (Women’s) Flex Shoes is $130.00. For more information please visit www.merrell.com. The Agility Peak Shoes are available in black, ski patrol (pink), liberty (blue), and navy (blue and orange). Available in sized 5-11 including half sizes.