Merrell MQM Flex 2 trainers review

Changes made by Merrell make the MQM shoes even better

Merrell MQM Flex 2 trainers review

We’ve been wearing the original MQM shoes for the past two years and we’re excited to say that the new MQM Flex 2.0 GTX takes an already good shoe and makes it even better. 

A reminder then that the MQM stands for Moving Quickly in the Mountains and that these are available as a trainer and a mid hiking boot.

I was sent the black and white ones to review, not a colour I’d pick for outdoor activity as that white outsole soon dulls over time, but it addresses the fashion demand and doubles-up for anyone wanting to wear them around the city or more casually. There are seven colours, so there’s a good selection.

Merrell MQM Flex 2 review

Straight out of the box on a trip to hike up Suilven (lurking in the background)

The biggie for me with these new ones is the increase in comfort and cushioning compared to the previous version. You’ll really notice a thicker tongue and the pattern of the integrated lacing pulls the shoe around the top of the foot really nicely. This is a much-welcomed improvement as I did find that at the end of a long day of wearing the version 1.0’s, my feet would be feeling a little tired.

Merrell MQM Flex 2 review

Superb lacing pattern and the tongue has a bellows design to keep debris out

The FLEXConnect midsole returns along with an air cushion in the heel and this certainly helps to make these feel more comfortable than the previous pair. These have stayed remarkably light though, just 0.708kg per shoe. It works out that each shoe is 60g heavier than the previous model, but you really don’t notice the weight, instead the focus really is on the comfort.

Merrell MQM Flex 2 review

Bonded fabrics and a TPU toe cap all seamlessly fit together

One of the things I really like is the fabric used around the toe area; it’s a single patch of bonded fabric that looks absolutely awesome. Merrell calls it Invisiblfit and I certainly can’t see how the joins have been made. More importantly, it’s very waterproof and I’ve been wearing these in some very wet summer weather up in Scotland and my feet have remained dry. Interestingly, the originals had patches of Gore-Tex material together, but the 2.0 version has a single piece of material throughout. There is a protective TPU toe cap too.

An air cushion in the heel absorbs shocks and the shape gives stability

The grip pattern on the outsole is particularly interesting to look at and works great as the lugs are nice and chunky (5mm in size compared to 3.5mm previously). The outsole is made from Merrell’s Quantum Grip rubber, and I found that while it was great in the dry, it wasn’t as good over wet rocks.

Deep lugs and a good pattern, but not as impressive on wet terrain as we were expecting

It’s worth a mention that these are 100% vegan friendly, reflecting the growing consumer demand for ethical products. Available in seven colours and priced at £120. 

"The MQM Flex 2.0 GTX is a now much better performing product. They're more comfortable, waterproof and versatile enough to wear to do a number of outdoor activities. In short they're a good all-rounder, and ideal if you don't want to spend out for lots of different shoes. These might not cut it for more epic days out (i.e. I personally wouldn't wear these to run an ultra or fell race), but they're great for everyday wearing and soft adventures."