Outdoor gear is having a moment, and Merrell is seizing it. Following the success of its Hydro Moc, the footwear brand’s 1TRL division is introducing a modified version called the Hydro Runner. Featuring a breathable mesh sock, the altered shoe offers additional support and a sneaker-like feel fit for all types of activity.
Merrell’s slip-on shoe arrives well into the mulement, a trend that’s popularized backless sneakers and foam clogs. Heatwaves and the general state of the world have people craving relaxation and ease of wear, values inherent to shoes like Crocs and Hydro Mocs — the latter of which is essentially a remix of the other.
Best of both worlds — The Hydro Runner’s built-in sock may allow for mule season to extend past the warmer months, too. Its breathable mesh keeps wearers’ toes from getting too hot while providing additional structure and protection against the elements. Nylon pull tabs on the tongue and heel still ensure easy on-and-off wear, despite the shoe’s enclosed fit.
As a riff on the Hydro Moc, the Hydro Runner boasts the same exterior. Oval-shaped perforations span across its signature EVA upper, which is decorated with a marble-like print. A gray version of the print serves as a good option for outdoors enthusiasts, while a white iteration seems best for lifestyle wear. Each is topped off with contrasting mesh socks and heel straps.
Unlike most clogs, Merrell’s iteration features grip good enough to hike in. A 100-percent recycled EVA midsole is accompanied underfoot by a sticky, no-slip traction outsole, giving the Hydro Runner the same feel as a sneaker. Paired with the upper’s breathable mesh sock, wearers get the best of both worlds.
Now up for grabs — For now, the Merrell 1TRL Hydro Runners are only available through the brand’s Australia website. Both the white and gray color schemes are up for grabs, with pairs retailing around $105 USD. You’ll have to pay more for international shipping, but the price is still a good deal considering the shoe’s clog and sneaker combo. The Hydro Runner is ready for anything, whether you’re looking to climb up a mountain or down subway stairs.