Sergiy Barchuk for TIME
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Merrell’s MTL Long Sky 2 is a case study in doing more with less. Created by the incubator-­like Merrell Test Lab and released in July, the design of this performance trail-­running shoe was inspired by Dutch trail-­running champion Ragna Debats. Merrell is great at making heavy, tough “rhinoceros shoes,” Debats told the team—but she wanted cheetah shoes. “How do we take things out of the shoe while maintaining durability?” thought Merrell product-­line manager Jon Sanregret. The Long Sky 2 offers efficient water drainage and strong traction, while reducing weight by about 10% with a revamped protective rock plate and lightweight foam material. It’s the lightest shoe that can easily handle highly technical terrain.

Buy Now: MTL Long Sky 2

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