Merrell shoes outsole design for off road performance

Published: 27th July 2010
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Merrell shoes provide exceptional comfort and support for all off road adventures; however the secret of their incredible success lies in their outsoles, designed to give maximum traction across a full range of terrain, whilst helping to increase speed of movement and prevent the muscles from getting tired.



Merrell use Vibram rubber for their outsoles due to the extraordinary performance which it offers. Vibram are world leaders in rubber technology, developing composites which give stickiness for exceptional grip, whilst being hard wearing to cope with tough and unyielding terrain. Merrell provided Vibram with the specifications and worked together to develop the right composite for exceptional cross-surface grip. Having got the balance right, Merrell Vibram outsole grip is superb, whilst resisting abrasions for the longest possible lifespan. The lugs are individually placed to give maximum traction on all gradients and surfaces, helping to release mud and provide excellent stability, whilst retaining a natural flex to reduce fatigue with a thin profile to keep the weight down to a minimum.



Merrell use a Vibram TC5 compound the majority of their shoes for the durability, flexibility and traction it offers. Innovative tread patterns have been designed to maximise grip over the terrain each shoe is likely to encounter. To get the maximum speed for trail running and moving over mixed ground, mud, and gravel the Merrell Intercept uses a Vibram® Axis Sole with 4.5mm lugs. The tread pattern ensures maximum speed on hard surfaces, with tenacious grip on wet grass and mud. The tread pattern is designed to grip to the trail, but not clog up keeping the shoes light and never adding to the load you have to carry. Similarly designed to maximise speed, the Merrell Chameleon hiking shoe uses a design catering to more abrasive and punishing terrain, for maximum grip on mud and in boggy areas, whilst still letting you keep up the pace.



Not all Merrell shoes are used primarily for off road walking, with many models adopted for casual wear due to the high level of cushioning and supportive fit provided. They make urban walking less tiring, and offer maximum shock absorption on hard surfaces. The Merrell Chameleon Wrap Slam, whilst an excellent approach shoe, is perfect for urban walking. To give exceptional grip for off-road trails and hard urban surfaces, Merrell use the Vibram® Chameleon Sport™ sole design. Constructed from the same sticky rubber compound as the Intercept, the 4mm lugs are highly stable on hard ground, and give real bite off-road.



Innovative tread patterns combined with the perfect balance of stickiness and durability ensure that no matter what terrain you plan to cover, Merrell shoes will give you the right level of traction to maximise your speed, whilst ensuring a good long lifespan for the shoes.


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