Since the advent of minimalist shoes one of my go to trail shoes has been the Merrell Mix Master. The shoe has held up very well considering San Diego’s arid and rocky terrain. As with many other San Diego trail runners who went “minimalist” I have come to respect the jagged rocks of San Diego’s Laguna Mountains. So I was stoked when the Rep from Merrell, Jon, a fellow ultra trail runner gifted me a pair of the new Merrell Mix Master Tuff. I laced them up this morning and took them for a test run through one of my neighborhood canyon runs. Tecolote Canyon has 3 separate canyons that wind through Clairemont. I left my house and hit the pavement for the first ¾ mile until I entered Canyon #2. The Mix Master Tuff immediately granted my feet superior cushioning from the rocky terrain while still keeping me close to the ground with a 4mm heel to toe drop. I kicked it up a notch and “froggered” across Balboa Ave. so that I could hit the loop in Canyon #3. I wound my way across semi-dry stream beds with slick rocks testing the Mix Master’s Sticky Rubber Tuff Sole. I didn’t fall so the grip and stick must have worked. I normally wear an 11.5 and although the Mix master fit it ran a little big so I would recommend ordering a half size down…..if you normally order a ½ -full size up. A quick heel-lock lacing technique eliminated any heel slip so the size difference was not a factor in my case. A slightly thicker sock would also solve the issue.
If you want a great shoe that will take a beating give this one a shot. If you want a great place to run right in the heart of San Diego give Tecolote Canyon a try….you will not be disappointed. http://goo.gl/maps/wVfvn