Taste the Ultimate Trail Mix with the New Merrell 1TRL Collection
Merrell 1TRL is an all-new division set up to forge a futuristic design revolution for the brand founded by Randy Merrell in 1981. Like its titular forebear, the conceptual spirit of 1TRL is still firmly rooted in backcountry utility, but there’s no doubting the new-gen urban adventurer will find plenty of quirky heat in this campfire.
The 1TRL line-up reveals a mix of familiar shapes and abstract fabrications that will excite traditional sneaker aficionados, along with a few wildcards that should upset the militant brown-shoe brigade. Case in point is the Hydro Moc 1TRL. The amphibious all-in-one foam construction adds a H.R. Giger-esque vibe to a silhouette that is vaguely recognisable yet still a deeply confronting sight for conventionalists. Doused in swirly camo tones, these sci-fi slides are already popular with the white sock-set, and if mules really do become a ‘thing’, the Hydro Moc has the bones to become a dominant player in the Clogcore movement.
Jungle Slide Vent
If the Hydro Moc is the newborn progeny of the so-called Clogcore cool streak, then the Jungle Slide Vent is the OG gravel crunching, granola munching granddaddy. The 2021 update to the all-time best selling Jungle Moc from 1998 grafts breezy mesh vamp vents and surgically removes the backside to achieve full mule mode. Its dual-density ergonomic midsole should be familiar territory for fans of the ’98 OG, as the Jungle Slide Vent tackles urban expeditions between base camp and the concrete jungle.
MQM Ace Craze 1TRL and MQM Ace 1TRL
Moving into calmer waters, the MQM Ace Craze 1TRL is more of a seasoned trailblaster than an out’n’out retina-fryer. The veneers range from ice-cold marbled midsoles to recycled laces and a cracked leather that adds vintage patina to its sleek profile. The more colourful version is cut from burnt orange suede and a Safari-ish dot pattern reveals an altogether different beast, proof that this is a highly flexible canvas in deft hands. More traditional trekkers will find visual comfort in the MQM Ace 1TRL’s toned down caramel suede build.
Moab Speed GTX 1TRL
Moving in the same circles, the Moab Speed GTX 1TRL firmly plants its flag in chunky trainer territory. That whopping GORE-TEX logo is visible from outer space, but it’s the Vibram sole unit that adds comfort and co-branded bounce. It’s all upside here, with max crossover potential, so it’ll be interesting to see if and when any collaborations materialise down the line.
Catalyst Pro 1TRL
Delving deeper into the catalogue, the Catalyst Pro 1TRL mixes bouldering ergonomics with old-fashioned Merrell know-how, which is about as close as 1TRL comes to retro throwback territory. Beige and rubine, moss green and safety orange – these are the go-to colour combos that have long signified outdoors credibility. Classically-styled, the Catalyst Pro 1TRL also features recycled webbing, laces and lining, as well as Vibram’s EcoDura sole technology, which is made from 30 per cent recycled materials.
Merrell have long promised to make ‘the best hiking boots ever made’. With 1TRL as their fashion-forward laboratory, they now have some of the wildest and most futuristic boots on the block. This is the outdoors, just not as we know it, and that’s a very good place to be.
The Merrell 1TRL Spring/Summer ’21 collection is set to launch across Europe and in the UK from mid-March, with North America and Canada landing in April, directly from Merrell.