The Elements ain’t got Nothing on This: A Run Oregon review of Merrell Trail Apparel

When I think “Merrell” I typically think shoes. Back in 1981, Merrell started out providing high quality hiking shoes and didn’t actually start apparel until 25 years later. But they seem to have carved themselves out quite a niche for the outdoor enthusiasts – including runners.

Trail Running Legging

I don’t often wear running tights, but the Winter and Spring of 2023 have made it a necessity. Thus, I didn’t balk at the chance to try these leggings out from Merrell.

First and foremost, the provide a pretty solid fit, with a 4-way stretch abrasion-resistant nylon blend fabric ( 75% Recycled nylon / 25% Spandex) that is pleasantly stretchy, and neither too baggy nor too tight. The tailoring and cut is great too.

The whole legging is snug and stay nicely in place. The flatlock seams that prevent chafing and irritation. The waistband is comfortable and stays in place during runs, thanks to a drawstring closure (with “Outdoors for Everyone” emblazoned on the inside. The fabric is breathable and wicks away sweat, so you don’t have to worry about feeling weighed down during longer runs.

There are two small internal back pockets to store some smaller items, but otherwise it is a smooth existence on the outside. There a few reflective qualities

Train Running Jacket

This full-zip jacket is super cool to look at. The lightning visual styling works well accompanied with low-light visibility – making it a perfect option for those runners who need some visibility in the dark. It is made with a lightweight and breathable fabric that makes it perfect for running. It has a slim fit (though not next to skin), so it won’t be flapping around in the wind while you’re running, and it has a hood that can be adjusted to fit your head perfectly. I have run in “slim fit” cuts before that are like a sausage casing – but this option is true to size and comes with a little room for layering underneath.

When it comes to construction, the Merrell Men’s Trail Running Jacket is made with high-quality materials (84% Polyester, 16% Spandex) that are meant to last. It has a water-resistant finish, which means that you’ll stay dry even if you’re running in the rain. However, while it is water-resistant, it may not be completely waterproof, so if you’re running in a downpour, you may still get a little bit wet. The jacket also has reinforced seams, which means it won’t fall apart after just a season.

If you’re running in the rain or wind, this jacket will keep you dry and warm. The fabric is super lightweight and breathable means that you won’t get too hot while you’re running, even if you’re wearing the jacket for an extended period of time.

One potential negative of the Merrell Men’s Trail Running Jacket is the price – though $125 for a season upon season jacket is not a terrible investment.

Overall, I think the Merrell Men’s Trail Running Jacket is a great choice for trail runners who want to stay protected from the elements while they’re out on the trails. The jacket is well-made and designed to last, and it has a number of features that make it perfect for runners (cue the zipped back pocket that it can be folded into when the sun eventually comes out).

Trail Running Socks

These socks are made of a 97% Recycled Nylon/3% Spandex blend, which gives them a nice stretchy feel without being too tight. The reinforced heel, toe, and sole make them more durable, which is definitely a plus if you’re someone who puts your socks through the wringer on the trails. The cushioned sole that provides a bit of extra comfort and helps absorb shock on the trail.

When it comes to comfort and function, I have to say that these socks definitely deliver. They’re designed with a snug fit that hugs your foot without feeling constrictive, and the moisture-wicking technology helps keep your feet dry even on the sweatiest of runs. They seemed to fit a little slimmer, which is nice for some of Merrell’s (and others) more streamlined trail shoe options.

I’ve taken these socks on a few runs now, and I have to say that they’ve held up well and kept my feet feeling comfortable the whole time. They come in three colors and there are different sizes (crew vs. low cut) as well.



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

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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