Merrell Unlocks the Benefits of Connection with Launch of M-Connect

Taking the knowledge of ground feel and connection learned from Merrell Barefoot and blending it with 30 years of leading outdoor performance design, Merrell innovates with M-Connect Series for Spring 2013.

Taking the knowledge of ground feel and connection learned from Merrell Barefoot and blending it with 30 years of leading outdoor performance design, Merrell innovates with M-Connect Series for Spring 2013. Through four key collections, M-Connect provides various outside athletic experiences through enhanced ground connection, a natural glove like fit and an overall fast, light and flexible design. The combination of these intuitive and tested M-Connect details take the benefits of minimal footwear to the next level through a matrix of performance solutions based on the needs of the user and the demands of the outside athletic activity – running, training, hiking or mixing it up. M-Connect perfectly reflects the Merrell mission to inspire the outside athlete in everyone through products that allow people to feel their surroundings.

Working with the University of Virginia's SPEED Performance Clinic and Motion Analysis Lab, Merrell tested the stability and traction of different designs to find the ideal blend of flexibility, stability and traction. Tests on the new multi-hike Merrell Proterra product line demonstrated that the greater surface contact the foot has with the ground while in motion, the greater the overall stability of the foot and body.

“Our experience with Barefoot taught us about connection and the benefits of a fast and responsive design,” said Craig Throne, vice president of global marketing at Merrell. “In the lab and on the trail we tested and applied these benefits across core categories unlocking this connection to our surroundings through a series of products that bring this instinctive design value across run, training, hiking and multi-sport activities. To date we have had a very positive reaction from key retail partners and are excited to bring M-Connect to the consumer.”

M-Connect Series includes four collections that are designed to enable ground connection but are built on different platforms based on activity – from Barefoot and Bare Access to Multi-Run with Mix Master and Multi-Hike with Proterra. All are built with agility in mind and range from zero to four-millimeter heel to toe drop and graded cushioning for enhanced ground response and necessary protection dependent on end-use and terrain.

Merrell Proterra is a brand new multi-hike collection that innovates with an agile approach to a traditional hiking product. The design combines Merrell's heritage performance with Merrell Barefoot learnings for fast, breathable and durable hiking shoes and boots. Proterra is built on a four millimeter drop and demonstrated to improve a person's stability through an outsole that enhances contact with the ground and a patent-pending upper that uses Stratafuseâ„¢ technology. Stratafuse injects the foot cage into the mesh upper, fusing it together for a lightweight fit, natural movement and incredible durability.

Additionally, Merrell Barefoot gets a major update with heightened ground feel and a new upper design for running and fitness. Bare Access also gets a design update with greater ground connection and upper design but maintains a minimally cushioned ride with eight millimeters of M Boundâ„¢ cushioning throughout. For multi-run activities, Mix Master sneakers are fast, flexible and light, and built on a four-millimeter drop for multi-tasking activities.

Merrell® is a brand within the Outdoor Group, a division of Wolverine World Wide, Inc. that also includes Chaco and Patagonia Footwear. Merrell believes in encouraging everyone to get outside, be active and have fun. The Brand's mission is to increase youth participation in the outside through causes like Outdoor Nation and national events like the Merrell Down and Dirty Mud Run Series. Wolverine World Wide, Inc. is headquartered in Rockford, Michigan. The company's portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Bates®, Chaco, Cushe®, Hush Puppies®, Merrell®, Sebago® and Wolverine®. The Company is also the exclusive footwear licensee of the following popular brands: CAT®, Harley-Davidson® and Patagonia®. The Company's products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in nearly 180 countries and territories. Merrell, 9341 Courtland Drive, Rockford, Mich. 49351. Phone: (800) 789-8586; Fax: (888) 746-3329. FACEBOOK TWITTER: @merrelloutside.