Racing on technical terrain can be extremely daunting. Without the right trail shoe, this terrain can affect you mentally just as much as physically. During multiple 150+ mile efforts this year, I used the MTL Long Sky 2 as my shoe of choice. Despite not being a shoe optimized towards longer ultras (100 miles or more), the Long Sky has become my go to trail shoe. Here is my Merrell MTL Long Sky 2 product review to explain why.
I’m going to break this review down into four categories: style, functionality, durability, and last words.
Merrell MTL Long Sky 2 Product Review
The two styles for this shoe are distinctly different. For some, the Merrell logo placement may be a little too showy. In this case, it fits the style quite well, especially the black-white variant of the shoe. Personally, both styles are simple and effective, using two colors for the base of the shoe. Ultimately, I think the tangerine is my favorite of the two. Something about the tangerine style grabs you immediately. That being said, the black-white style has definitely grown on me and I’ve come to like both. Merrell tries not to get too complex with the styling approach and it works great here. Finally, the materials are vegan friendly and made with recycled materials.
These shoes are easy and fuss free when it comes to the laces. There’s a small ring on the front of the shoe made for gaiters that works effectively to create the needed tension. At the bottom of the shoe, you’ll find Vibram Megagrip outsoles, which are made to handle slippery terrain. At the Moab 240, I raced across brutal slickrock and terrain soaked by melted frost. Not once did I think I was going to slip or turn an ankle. The sole inside the shoe, known as the midsole, provided extra cushion on my flat feet. According to the description, the intent was a lighter shoe and the lightweight midsole definitely adds to making the shoe lightest I’ve ever worn. In conclusion, this shoe has all the essential components of its competitors but manages to stay light.
At this point, some of you may be wondering how much that lightness comes at the cost of durability. I’ve done two events over 150 miles on three pairs of Long Sky 2 shoes. One event was 174 miles and had 110,000 feet of elevation change over 120 hours. I used only one pair of Long Sky 2s (with 500 training miles already on them) and the shoes lasted until the very end. The other event was the aforementioned Moab 240, where I used two brand new pairs against terrain featuring rocks, slickrock, gravel, sand, mud, and frost. Each pair did an average of 80 miles on the course against extreme weather conditions and looks as good as new. To clarify, the pair with 500 miles on the shoe did eventually tear shortly after the event at the front. I bring this up because a shoe not made for long distance running lasting that many consecutive miles and time on feet is incredibly impressive. It’s not hard to imagine that a longer-distance iteration of the Long Sky 2 will have more durability all around.
In conclusion, even though these aren’t shoes made for longer distances, they are incredibly effective. With a proper foot care regime and the right socks, these shoes are the real deal. Give the Merrell MTL Long Sky 2 a shot and you won’t be disappointed. As someone with flat feet, it took me ages to find the right shoe. Rest assured that these shoes are lightweight, durable, and get the job done against the toughest of terrain. And that’s my product review of the Merrell MTL Long Sky 2.