Run Oregon is Kickin’ It in the Agility Synthesis 2 Trail Shoes by Merrell

This year, I had an epic day on Mt St Helens that made me decide that I love hiking as much as I love running. After a trip up Dog Mountain a few weeks later, I solidified that desire and decided it was time to gear up.

I’ve already got a lot of the stuff I need. Trail running has been my jam for a few years now. But I could easily justify a few new things, including some new kicks for the rocky trails. And Merrell is a top name in that game, so slipping on the Agility Synthesis 2 trail runner shoes was a no brainer. These were the ones I could use to run the trails and hike them, (which, let’s face it, was something I’d be doing a lot on those steep “runs” anyway.)

First of all, looks don’t matter when it comes to functionality out on the trails, but I must say, the Agility Synthesis 2 shoes were really nice looking. I got them in the color labeled “goldfish” and loved them upon first sight. Then I tried them on and .. (drumroll inserted here) .. They felt just right. They weren’t too tight on my wide toebox but not too loose. They weren’t overly cushy but they were stable, a must for the trails.

Recently, I wore the shoes on a rainy, muddy hike at Silver Falls in November. Throughout the 4 mile trek with my boys, (who stomped along in mud in their boots,) my feet stayed dry and warm. Also, more importantly, I didn’t slip on any of the sketchy spots either climbing or descending the hills.

Some of the benefits of the Agility Synthesis 2 trail runners include the FLEXconnect feel that make you feel close with the terrain, the protective toe cap and internal bootie, the breathable mesh lining and rockplate for protection, and that tread.. that tread is the most important thing to keep this graceless girl from falling on her keister on those inclines and declines. There’s also a FloatPro foam midsole and the shoes only weigh 1 lb. If there’s anything I’ve learned out on the trail, its that light is best if you’re going to be out there at minimum all day and at maximum a week or more.


Silver Falls in November was no match for these shoes. 

I’ve found that some trail shoes have a bit more cushion than the Agility Synthesis, but what I’m discovering is that maybe it’s not always a good thing to feel like you’re running on a cloud when you’re on the trails. Really, you SHOULD feel what you’re doing out there, (call it finding yourself “one with the trails”) and having a feather-light option for hours on the trails is a better than a clunky pair of heavy shoes any day. These shoes accompanied me on a 10 miler and they were not uncomfortable or hard on my feet. More importantly, as previously mentioned, they helped me climb the hills in the slick mud and they performed as a trail shoe should. Additionally, my feet showed no sign of chafing and they weren’t sore later or during the journey. Two thumbs up from this girl!

Merrell continues to be a leader in the outdoors, and it’s easy to see why. I can’t wait for more adventures in the Agility Synthesis trail shoes.


Products & Price:

Specs (from website):

This trail runner with FLEXconnect™ flexes and protects for agility to excel from road to trail.

  • Jacquard and TPU upper
  • Traditional lace closure
  • Protective toe cap
  • Internal bootie for locked-in fit
  • External rear sling locks in the heel
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Removable EVA insole
  • FLEXconnect® dual-directional flex-grooves in the midsole for enhanced ground connection
  • Rock plate for protection
  • FloatPro® Foam midsole for a lightweight ride that lasts
  • Merrell mountain-grade Quantum Grip™ rubber outsole
  • Stack height (heel/toe): 24mm/18mm; Drop: 6mm; Lug: 4mm
  • Weight: 1lbs / 450g (full pair)

More about Merrell:

WHO WE ARE: Merrell exists to share the simple power of being outside. We believe the trail is for everyone. Our goal is to provide thoughtfully designed, rigorously tested products that over-deliver on performance, versatility, and durability.

OUR PURPOSE: At Merrell, we believe in sharing the simple power of being outside. No matter who you are, where you came from, who you love or how you move — Everyone should be welcome in the outdoors and wherever life takes us. We strive to inspire everyone because, together, we can help protect the trail we love.

Thank you to Merrell for providing us with a sample pack. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

I'm the owner of Healthy Girl Fitness and I'm a personal trainer, certified AFAA group exercise instructor, and an RRCA certified running coach in SW Portland. I am also the mother of two young boys and am on the board at my youngest son's school. I led a relatively inactive life throughout my 20's until I discovered the world of fitness and running. I ran my first marathon in 2006 and haven't looked back since.