Select BITR Apparel On Sale. Shop Now
Trail Running Shoes • April 9, 2024

Merrell MTL Long Sky 2 Matryx Review: Voltron Levels Up

We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

What You Need To Know


8.3 oz. (275 g) for a US M9,

6.9 oz. (196 g) for a US W7.5

Stack Height / Drop

23.5 mm in heel, 19.5 mm in forefoot (4 mm drop)

Best For

Moderate to technical terrain

Key Features

Matryx upper, Vibram Megagrip outsole, FloatPro midsole

On The Run
Basically bulletproof upper Confidence-inducing Vibram Megagrip outsole The heel fit continues to struggle
Price / Availability

Available now for $160

Introduction to the Merrell Long Sky 2 Matryx

TAYLOR: Maybe the recent athlete signings of Coree Woltering, Team USA member Morgan Elliott, OTQ Tyler McCandless, or running superstar Alexi Pappas will finally boost the Merrell brand, but the shoes are already here.

It’s no secret. We love what Merrell has offered over the last handful of years, and they’re not slowing down. Recently, the ultralight Skyfire 2, rugged Agility Peak 5, and road-to-trail Morphlite have pushed Merrell into new categories. All toe the line with a unique flare and solid performance, but one of my all-time favorite shoes in Merrell’s lineup is the Long Sky 2. It boasts a balance of weight and aggression and has the all-around comfort to go far, fast, or both.

Merrell does a really nice job not releasing updates for the heck of it. They are darn sure their products improve with every release. That’s certainly the case here. The Merrell MTL Long Sky 2 Matryx is exactly what it sounds like. Merrell held onto the base of the Long Sky 2 and swapped the upper for a Matryx upper to squeeze out even more performance from an already-tuned package.

What we like about the Merrell MTL Long Sky 2 Matryx

TAYLOR: One of the main benefits of swapping the old mesh for the new Matryx upper is Merrell’s noticeably more secure fit. It layers a fully gusseted tongue with stretchy mesh wings over the foot first, then follows it up with a perfect contour through the mid and forefoot for a confidence-inducing fit. Granted, I needed to use the top eyelets to help match the heel security to the rest of the shoe, but that’s no different from the original Long Sky 2. At any rate, the fit had me feeling locked and loaded on any terrain.

Also, I’ve always loved the overall shape of Merrell’s shoes. They’re usually secure yet slightly accommodating in the midfoot, so adding such a precise upper only boosts my opinion. I’d also say that the Matryx version feels a touch slimmer and a bit more race-ready than the original MTL Long Sky 2.

I put a lot of speed and hard angles on this shoe so far, and it really didn’t falter. Because Matryx is an extremely durable, lightweight, woven, engineered material, it’s easy to trust the secure fit for the whole life of the shoe. It definitely won’t stretch, and it’s tough as nails to puncture or tear. It still amazes me how a material can be so durable and lightweight at the same time, but this upper material does it.

I’ve used the original Long Sky 2 for rugged mountain races, and after testing the Long Sky 2 Matryx, I would reserve it for racing because of its more race-like fit and swap the original for day-to-day use. Overall, the fit is reminiscent of the La Sportiva Prodigio, Brooks Catamount 3, and Norda 002.

Matryx isn’t the only grade-A ingredient at play in the Long Sky 2 Matryx, either. The Vibram Megagrip outsole brings another boost of confidence with its 28 sizable chevron-shaped lugs. It gripped well in wet or dry conditions, soft or hard pack, technical or not. Better yet, much like Matryx, this formulation will last a very long time. I don’t have a single worry about the 5 mm lugs wearing down before getting everything I want out of this shoe.

I’ve been a big fan of Floatpro foam ever since the Merrell Moab Flight. It’s a foam that pulls from a lot of corners — it feels lightweight, has a nice balance of protection and cushion, allows moderate ground feel, and is rather durable. A new sock liner provided a touch more comfort. I felt like the medium/firm midsole gave a consistent sensation for miles and miles, much like the Speedland SL:PDX, Brooks Catamount Agil, and Nnormal Kjerag, even with its relatively slight 23.5/19.5 mm stack. For a trail running shoe meant for more rugged terrain, the FloatPro used in the Long Sky 2 Matryx is right on the money.

The neutral ride and low-to-the-ground stack also allowed for a natural feeling of stability and control on the trail.

One more positive is that the shoe drops a considerable amount of weight, given the fact that it was already a decently light trail shoe. My US M10.5 came in at a full ounce lighter than the non-Matryx version. For my size, the weight of 9.5 oz puts the Long Sky 2 Matryx right there with most of the other race day options.

It’s easy to pick up on the idea that the Merrell Long Sky 2 Matryx is quite the shoe. It has all the ingredients and the fit to make me want to go faster and faster uphill and downhill. There are very few shoes that can make me feel so bold on the trails.

Shop The Shoe - Men

What we don’t like about the Merrell Long Sky 2 Matryx

TAYLOR: We all know where this is going… Merrell’s consistent Achilles heel is, well, the heel. The Agility Peak 5, Morphlite, Long Sky 2, and Skyfire 2 all had weird heel construction that, for the most part, could be mitigated. All are stellar shoes and worth the pursuit.

Often, a lack of appropriate structure or shape has led to heel lift. Like the Skyfire 2, the lower end of the heel collar construction contains minimal padding — slightly more than the Skyfire 2, though. The aim is to pinch and hold the heel down. Also, like the Skyfire 2, the Long Sky 2 Matryx is slightly wider around the Achilles and allows for a little bit of heel insecurity. As mentioned before, some lacing techniques allowed for good lockdown. The main issue came when that little bit of movement was combined with a firm, minimally cushioned heel counter. Talk about a friction fire! It’s been a long time since I have come away from a first run with such blisters.

There is good news, though. I’m glad I persisted. Run two was better. Run three, even better, and the trend continued. Smartwool socks and Body Glide were my answer to being able to go for a couple of hours without issue. How many are willing to try that many runs, though? I’m not sure.

Shop The Shoe - Men

Final thoughts on the Merrell Long Sky 2 Matryx

TAYLOR: The Merrell Long Sky 2 Matyx is a spectacular shoe for anything from daily trail runs to high-speed, break-neck trail racing. From a componentry standpoint alone, having Vibram, Matryx, and FloatPro in one package is a dream. Thankfully, quality ingredients equal performance in this case. It remains right up there on my list of favorite trail shoes because of the overall feel and security the Long Sky 2 Matryx gave me on all terrain. At the $160 price point, it should be one of the leading trail racers out there.

You can pick up the Merrell Long Sky 2 Matryx for $160 at Merrell using the buttons below.

Shop The Shoe - Men

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Scott says:

    I had the original Long Sky and the Long Sky 2. Loved both except that the uppers on both blew out prematurely. I figured I wouldn’t be buying any more Merrells, except that this new upper probably takes care of that problem.
    I guess I’ll put this shoe on my ‘want’ list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Ryan Haines
Assistant Editor
  • Instagram
  • Strava

Ryan is kind of like Robbe’s Igor behind the scenes. He helps to compile and clean up everyone’s reviews, and finds time to get in a few miles of his own. When he’s not running or editing, Ryan writes and reviews for Android Authority, spending time with the latest tech and complaining when things don’t work quite right. If he’s not doing any of that, maybe you’ll find him nose-deep in a crossword puzzle or trying to catch up on an endless backlog of shows to stream.

More from Ryan
Shoe Size


Fav. Distance


  • 3:54

  • 1:28

    Half Marathon
  • 39:09

  • 19:02

Previous Post
Next Post
Previous Post
Read Article
Road Running Shoes • April 9, 2024

Salomon Index 03 Review: Green Doesn’t Always Mean Go

Next Post
Read Article
Trail Running Shoes • April 9, 2024

Best Asics Running Shoes Right Now