Merrell unveil their toughest trail running shoes to date

The trail running brand Merrell is focusing on innovation in summer 2024 and is launching the most powerful running shoes on the market with the new “MATRYX®” innovative technology in the MTL Skyfire II and MTL Long Sky II models.

The new models benefit from the technologies and experience Merrell has gained through the athletes of the Merrell Test Lab (MTL) and the long-standing partnership with the SkyRunner® World Series.

Spring is just around the corner and with it the new running season. Some people have already trained hard over the winter, but for the majority of runners, winter means a longer break from running and so it’s time to get back to training. The American outdoor and running shoe manufacturer Merrell is already in the starting blocks and is looking forward to an eventful summer of running in 2024.

With its many years of expertise as a footwear specialist, Merrell is also becoming increasingly popular in running and trail running. Thanks to its know-how from the Outdoor sector, Merrell manages the balancing act between speed and lightness and highly technical products that keep runners safe even on the most demanding terrain and in any weather.

And what is the most effective way to do this? By working with the best of the best: A new material partner for the fastest and lightest running shoes in the world; world-class athletes in the Merrell Trail Team, who not only stand on the starting line of the most important trail races, but also support with research & development; – last but not least – with a strong partnership with probably the most spectacular event series in the world: the Merrell SkyRunner® World Series.

True durability for high-end trail running shoes thanks to MATRYX®  

Exactly four years ago, in 2020, Merrell presented the two high-end trail running models MTL SKYFIRE and MTL LONG SKY for elite athletes and ambitious amateur runners for the first time. Since then, both models have undergone constant further development and won multiple awards. For the upcoming 2024 season, Merrell has equipped both popular trail runners with the innovative MATRYX® technology under the motto “development instead of reinvention”.

MATRYX® is a new, high-performance upper material for the shoe, consisting of multiple, individually coated polyamides and Kevlar® yarn. This composition makes it possible to create a material layer that is light, breathable, comfortable, and particularly abrasion resistant. The technology reduces the number of components for the upper material by around 50%. This not only minimizes cutting waste in production, but also water consumption! Because the yarn is dyed rather than the material itself, the dyeing process requires around 50% less water than before. Another advantage that particularly appeals to elite runners: the unique material composition of the MATRYX® upper makes MTL SKYFIRE II and MTL LONG SKY II up to 15% lighter and more breathable (up to 200g/m) than before.

“We opted for the MATRYX® material because it enabled us to reduce the cut parts in the upper material by around half. This makes us lighter than ever before! Thanks to MATRYX®, we have even stronger, more abrasion-resistant, more durable, more sustainable, and cooler-looking products in our Merrell trail running collection,” says Jon San regret (Product Development Team Merrell).

The highlights from the MTL MATRYX® Pack 

“Same is Boring” is the motto and the ultimate expression of why Merrell prefers the trail to the road! Trail runners love the variety and the connection with nature. Forests, meadows, mountains, hills, in rain, sun and even snow – the more varied the trail, the better. Because this is exactly where trail runners are at home. The equipment is crucial. To be prepared for every surprise on the trail, runners need the right shoe that they can rely on 100%. Not only do they need to be light and comfortable, but they also need maximum grip on any surface. Merrell has reworked the tried and tested models for all trail runners this season:

The MTL (Merrell Test Lab) is all about radical innovations that enable athletes from the Merrell Trail Team to run even faster and longer.

The MTL LONG SKY II MATRYX® (RRP: £155) is the perfect companion for enduring and demanding mountain runs. The upper material consists of a single-layer MATRYX® fabric reinforced with Kevlar, making the shoe even more breathable, durable, and extremely light. Thanks to the EVA insole and a Float Pro Foam midsole, the shoe promises a lighter feel and great durability, making it the perfect companion for enduring and demanding mountain runs. The MTL LONG SKY II MATRYX® was honoured with the ISPO Award in June 2023.

The MTL SKYFIRE II MATRYX® (RRP: £170) is the lightest and fastest elite trail running shoe Merrell has ever brought to market. Thanks to the new upper material made of a single-layer, Kevlar-reinforced MATRYX® fabric and integrated flex plate, the shoe is even more breathable, durable, and extremely light, making it perfect for fast runs in rough terrain.

More than brand ambassadors – MTL & the Merrell Trail Team  

MTL stands for the Merrell Test Lab. This is a project at Merrell in which the American outdoor footwear brand’s development team works very closely with athletes. The athletes are the first to test prototypes of the new models and provide feedback on the intended use, suitable terrain or a specific activity. They make decisions and are significantly involved in the development of new shoes. MTL LONG SKY II MATRYX® and SKYFIRE II MATRYX® were also developed in the MTL.

Merrell is looking forward to welcoming new and familiar faces to the MTL and the global Merrell Trail Team in the 2024 season. Among those representing Merrell on the starting line of the world’s most famous trail running races will be Welshmen Harry Jones, America’s Coree Woltering, France’s Louison Coiffet and Austria’s Sebastian Falkensteiner.

Merrell becomes title sponsor of the 2024 SkyRunner World Series 

Because an elite trail running focus for Merrell also includes a first-class partnership, the American outdoor and running shoe manufacturer has decided to expand its long-standing partnership with the SkyRunner® World Series in 2024 and take over the title sponsorship. The two partners are confident that the “Merrell SkyRunner® World Series 2024” will be a real highlight of the running season – for fans and athletes alike.

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