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Merrell Rubato

  • Men's
  • Women's
3.7 
Based on 46 user reviews
The Merrell Rubato is a lightweight minimalist shoe that comes with extra cushioning to protect your feet from tough terrains and trails. It's made for trail runners who want to feel a ground connection but need good grip and traction.

Most suitable for:

Trail running, casual wear

Minimal Meter:

Ok minimalist standards, but it can be better

What does it mean?

Manufacture Short Description

Buying Options

Merrell UK logo From 141$ See deals
Amazon logo From 114$ See deals
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SportShoes.com logo From 133$ See deals
  • Men's
  • Women's
Merrell UK logo From 141$ See deals
Amazon logo From 114$ See deals
Zappos logo From 139$ See deals
SportShoes.com logo From 133$ See deals
Merrell UK logo From 141$ See deals
Amazon logo From 135$ See deals
Zappos logo From 139$ See deals
SportShoes.com logo From 133$ See deals
  • Review
  • Description

Review Summary

The Merrell Rubato is a zero-drop trail running shoe made for long distances, following the principles of minimalist running. It is lightweight and offers extra cushioning to protect your feet on tough trails and intense runs, also coming with FLEXconnect flex-groove midsoles to improve ground connection. Granted, the shoes don’t give users the most barefoot feel, but you get a good balance between protection and durability with minimalist running. 

  • PROS
  • Merrell Rubato shoes are very responsive, with soft cushioning. 
  • The shoes are comfortable as their uppers wrap around the feet smoothly with a soft underfoot.
  • It has a wide toe box, which allows the toes to splay naturally 
  • The soles have a good grip when on wet, muddy, or rocky surfaces
  • CONS
  • The toebox may be too spacious if you have narrow feet
  • Its stack height is high with thicker cushioning, so it isn’t the best for minimalist or barefoot runners

Detailed Review

Merrell Rubato shoes are suitable for new minimalist long-distance runners or those who need extra cushioning on the road or trails. The company brought the shoes’ stack height up and provided a more cushioned feel with its generously padded lining. One can see that the main focus of the shoes is cushioning, compared to other minimalist running shoes with less stack height and a plush feel. 

Materials

These shoes are made with Jacquard mesh and TPU uppers. The Jacquard material helps in the Rubato’s lightweight breathability and foot protection when on rocky trails. Its uppers are also made with closely woven fabrics, rubberized overlays, and a gusset tongue. This helps lessen friction as you run, along with enhancing foot protection and overall durability. 

The Merrell Rubatos are also built with Vibram MegaGrip outsoles, adding to their durability and traction. These outsoles improve the grip on slippery surfaces, such as wet soil, rocks, or mud.

Zero-Drop

These are zero-drop shoes with a 31.5mm stack height. While the stack height adds to the shoe’s cushioning, it becomes an issue when running on technical terrain because of its lack of stability. Users may be intimidated by the height, maybe even disregarding Merrel Rubatos as a minimalist shoe because of it. That said, the stack height does assist in protecting the feet from small and sharp objects.

The cushioning is very responsive with a slight bounce, which runners may enjoy when on country paths and less technical terrains, no matter the distance. Reviewers mentioned that when they slip on the Merrel Rubatos, there is a bouncy feeling from the shoe’s lightweight midsole made of Merrel’s FloatPro foam.

However, the Merrell Rubato also features FLEXconnect dual-directional flex grooves in the midsole, which improves ground feel and flexibility. 

Design and Style

The Merrell Rubato may appear chunky, but the shoes are lighter than they look. Reviewers left positive comments on the athletic look of the shoes, which come in different colors, such as black and orange, blue, and gray. The shoe’s design is versatile, and you can use it for running or when out running errands. 

Fit and Sizing

The Merrell Rubato is true to size and has a wide toe box, suitable for those with wide feet. However, some Rubato reviews have mentioned that the shoes feel a bit loose, especially if you have narrow feet. The paddings might not enclose the feet well, which may result in heel slippage. However, after the shoe’s break-in period, the paddings will start to fit snugly around your feet, which can then prevent heel slippage.

Comfort Level

Reviews mentioned that the shoes’ uppers would wrap their feet smoothly and that the underfoot is soft as they walk or run. 

Because the Merrell Rubato offers a lot of cushioning, they will feel very comfortable. But its cushioning also means that you have less feel of the ground underneath. Rubato users were happier with the soft feel, though there were fewer comments on its minimalist features.

Performance

Merrell Rubato reviews mention the impressive traction the shoes have against wet, rocky, or muddy areas. The cushioning offers versatility in runs, whether you’re aiming to go for high speed or long distance. 

The responsive foam will also provide a springy feeling and energy return, though the stack height becomes an issue on technical terrain. Reviews mentioned that the stack height lacked stability and wasn’t very supportive on technical terrain. 

Final Call: Is This a Good Minimalist Running Shoe?

Merrell Rubatos are lightweight and give off a soft and bouncy feel when running on the roads and tracks. The shoe’s thick stack height poses a bit of a stability problem on trails, though it still offers adequate traction on various surfaces. 

Even with the FlexCONNECT enhancing the ground connection, the Merrell Rubato isn’t the most minimalist shoe out there. It is suitable if you’re beginning your barefoot running journey and still need more cushioning and protection.

Expert Reviews

  by 

Expert reviews

User reviews:

FAQ

Are the shoes durable?

Yes, the Merrell Rubato shoes are known to be durable based on reviews, thanks to their strong outsoles that protect your feet and the shoes themselves. They also have durable uppers built with closely woven fabric, along with rubberized overlays. Furthermore, the shoes have Vibram MegaGrip outsoles, which help the shoes last even longer.

Is it easy to use the Merrell Rubato shoes?

Yes, it is. It’s easy to put the shoes on and take them off. Using Merrell Rubato is just like any other trail running shoe, and as long as you care for it well, it can last long.

What materials were used for the shoes?

The Merrell Rubato is vegan-friendly, made of Jacquard and TPU uppers, mesh linings, and EVA insoles with a completely recycled top sheet. It is also made with a Vibram MegaGrip rubber outsole, adding to the shoe’s good grip.

Is the cushioning responsive on rocky grounds?

Yes, these shoes offer soft and responsive cushioning, with Rubato reviews commenting that the shoes are bouncy.

Are these shoes okay to use if I have narrow feet?

Merrell Rubato shoes have a wide toe box, which might be too spacious for those with narrow feet. It’s possible to wear thick or double socks for the shoes to fit.

How is the fit and sizing of these shoes?

These shoes are optimal for those who have medium to wide feet. The fit and sizing are true to size, with the cushioned inners factoring into its secure fit. Those with narrow feet may find the shoes a bit loose, though.

Specs

Brand Merrell
Model Rubato
Product Type Shoes
Activity Type Casual, Daily Use, Running, Strolling, Walking
Terrain Off Road, Road
Eco Friendly BLOOM foam, Recycled, Vegan
Design ,Casual, Sneaker,Sneaker
Materials EVA, Mesh, TPU
Season All Year
Sole Attributes Vibram
Water Protection Breathable
Weight 31.5/31.5mm
Heel Toe Drop 0

Manufacture Short Description

Manufacture Full Description

For those looking for a zero-drop max-cushion trail running shoe, this speedster with comfy and light FloatPro Foam’ will last for miles and miles — even on the most rugged runs.

FEATURES

– Jacquard and TPU upper

– Traditional lace closure

– Internal bootie for locked-in fit

– External rear strap locks in the heel

– Breathable mesh lining

– EVA foam insole with 100% recycled top sheet

– Removable EVA insole

– FLEXconnect® dual-directional flex-grooves in the midsole for enhanced ground connection

– FloatPro Foam’ midsole for a lightweight ride that lasts

– Vibram® MegaGrip® for the best combination of traction and durability on wet or dry surfaces

– Vegan-friendly

– Stack height (heel/toe): 31.5/31.5mm; Drop: 0mm; Lug: 4mm

– Weight: 1lb 5oz / 590g (full pair)

  • Description
  • Review

Manufacture Full Description

For those looking for a zero-drop max-cushion trail running shoe, this speedster with comfy and light FloatPro Foam’ will last for miles and miles — even on the most rugged runs.

FEATURES

– Jacquard and TPU upper

– Traditional lace closure

– Internal bootie for locked-in fit

– External rear strap locks in the heel

– Breathable mesh lining

– EVA foam insole with 100% recycled top sheet

– Removable EVA insole

– FLEXconnect® dual-directional flex-grooves in the midsole for enhanced ground connection

– FloatPro Foam’ midsole for a lightweight ride that lasts

– Vibram® MegaGrip® for the best combination of traction and durability on wet or dry surfaces

– Vegan-friendly

– Stack height (heel/toe): 31.5/31.5mm; Drop: 0mm; Lug: 4mm

– Weight: 1lb 5oz / 590g (full pair)

Expert reviews

User reviews:

Specs

Brand Merrell
Model Rubato
Product Type Shoes
Activity Type Casual, Daily Use, Running, Strolling, Walking
Terrain Off Road, Road
Eco Friendly BLOOM foam, Recycled, Vegan
Design ,Casual, Sneaker,Sneaker
Materials EVA, Mesh, TPU
Season All Year
Sole Attributes Vibram
Water Protection Breathable
Weight 31.5/31.5mm
Heel Toe Drop 0
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