The shoulder season is upon us and for me that means a resurgence of trail running. While I’ve had an opportunity to flog several pair of Merrell shoes, these are the first trail runners I’ve tested from them.  The ST Stature 2 is a new shoe for 2009 that’s built for trail dominance for those who need extra support.

Its definitely a different shoe than other trail runners I’ve worn, but for those who need that extra support, these are a great option. Lets dig into the details.

Merrell ST Stature 2 Trail Running Shoes Review

About the Merrell ST Stature 2 Trail Running Shoes

Built to be a premium stability trail runner, the Merrell ST STature 2 trail running shoes have more stability features than any trail shoe I’ve worn to date. Built with triple-density instep materials and a flat outsole, flat-footers and over-pronators will feel at home in these shoes.

More features of the ST Stature 2 Shoes:

  • M-Fit™ Semi-Straight Gender-Specific anatomical last
  • Supportive Synthetic Overlay Structure Design
  • Reflective Materials for high visibility
  • eco-Smart™ Recycled Upper Mesh
  • DWR Water-Resistant Upper
  • Gaiter Collar Construction keeps out debris
  • NatureTex™ recycled Strobel Board
  • Outlast® Heat Management Sock Liner
  • Ortholite® Comfort Foam Footbed
  • Asymmetrical Heel Strike reduces impact rates
  • iR3™ rubber for durability and traction
  • Gait Phase (gPHASE™) midsole cushioning
  • Anti-Roll Piece for lateral/medial stabilization
  • g2PHASE™ for pronation control and stabilization
  • Increased Medial Profile for added support
  • Forefoot Protection provides metatarsal support on unstable and aggressive surfaces
  • iR1™ carbon rubber provides superior lateral traction
  • Multiple Forefoot Flex Grooves
  • g3PHASE™ for responsive forefoot cushioning
  • Men’s Weight: 13.2 ozs. / 275 gm (1/2 Pair Weight)
  • Colors: Black/Lime or Charcoal (tested)
  • MSRP: $124.95

Merrell ST Stature 2 Trail Running Shoes Review

Merrell ST Stature 2 Review

These are a unique trail shoe indeed. While I’m a flat-footer, I typically opt for medium support and depend on my Superfeet or SOLE footbeds to make up for the lack of support. Nine times out of ten, that’s right on the money and my joints are happy. But the ST Stature 2 takes supportive trail shoes to another level.

Lacing them on, I immediately appreciated the bootie construction. Not only does it have huge benefits on the trail in terms of scree protection, but it also wraps the foot for a more comfortable fit. Volume on the Merrell ST Stature is a bit higher than most trail shoes, but a slightly thicker sock (Bridgedale X-Hale Speed Demon) and I was good to go on fit. The only drawback with the thicker sock in combination with the thicker uppers and external supportive materials is heat… my feet got a tad toasty on hot days.

Once on the trail, it’s easy to feel the support these shoes provide. The full contact patch of the outsole sticks to pavement like a suction cup and traction on the dirt and trails remains superb. The only drawback of the full-length outsole comes into play on rocky, technical trails where the foot can roll much easier should you step directly onto a rock. With most shoes, the arch area is carved out, but with these you’ve got to be a little more careful where you’re stepping.

If you intend to run in the Winter or during inclement weather, the ST Stature 2’s DWR finish repels water better than any shoes I’ve seen. I even dipped my foot into a stream for 15 seconds and nothing penetrated the shoe–impressive.

I found the overall cushioning to be excellent with a good trail feel. Forefoot protection is stellar as long runs in these shoes kept the tootsies comfortable in spite of rocky terrain.

Good ST Stature 2

  • Solid traction up and down
  • Stability on smooth trails
  • Integrated bootie keeps out debris
  • DWR fabric treatment keeps ’em dry
  • Excellent support for overpronators
  • Solid forefoot protection

Bad ST Stature 2

  • Warm on summer days
  • Built for large-volume feet (bad for me, good for big footers)
  • Full-length outsole can be an ankle-twister in rocky terrain
  • Exterior support materials are a bit Spiderman-ish

The Bottom Line: Merrell ST Stature 2

These shoes are a tad bulky and do have a bit of a Spiderman-esque look to them, but if you are keen on supportive running shoes and prefer to run on the dirt, the ST Stature 2’s are a great choice.

Buy Now: Find Merrell Shoes at REI

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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