Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Merrell Agility Peak 5 and Agility Peak 5 GTX Multi Tester Review: 9 Comparisons

Article by Jeff Valliere, Mike Postaski

Merrell Agility Peak 5 and Agility Peak 5 GTX ($140 / $170 Gore-Tex)


Like the Agility Peak 5 Zero GTX (RTR Review), the Agility Peak 5 GTX is a sturdy, well cushioned, waterproof winter trail running shoe, though without a built in gaiter.  It also has a superb Vibram outsole that offers amazing grip in a wide range of winter conditions and is one of the best winter shoes on the market, costing less than comparable shoes from other brands.  They are high quality, durable, warm, cushy and have an appropriate fit for thicker winter socks.  The non Gore Tex version, which we will be simultaneously reviewing as well, is identical save for the Gore lining.


Comfortable, well cushioned, accommodating fit, traction, waterproof, weight, price Jeff V., Mike P

High level of underfoot/arch support Mike P

Rolls nicely, no flat spots in stride Mike P/Jeff V

Can be a high mileage training or race shoe Mike P/Jeff V


High level of underfoot/arch support - could be a pro or con! Mike P

Roomy, high volume heel area Mike P

Narrow platform can be unstable in “rugged” terrain Mike P 


Regular version

Approx. Weight: men's 9.95 oz / 282g (US9)   

 Samples: men’s  10.75oz / 306g US10 ,  10.2 oz / 288g US 9.5

Gore-Tex version

Approximate Weight: 10.7 oz / 303 g US9

 Samples: men’s  11.6oz / 329g US10,  11.0 oz / 312g US 9.5

Stack Height: men’s 31mm heel / 25mm forefoot ( 6 drop spec) 

Platform Width: 90mm heel / 80mm midfoot / 115mm forefoot

$140 ($170 for GTX version)  

Both Available now

[Zero GTX model vs. Regular & GTX models]

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Mike P: I was aware of this model from Merrell, but hadn’t had the chance to try or test it out. After receiving several other models for test - Long Sky 2 Matryx (RTR Review), Skyfire 2 Matryx (RTR Review), Agility Peak Zero GTX (RTR Review), and being blown away by their quality and performance, we were intrigued to try out Merrell’s long distance model. Would it be as impressive as their upcoming lighter weight Matryx models?

Both Jeff V and I received regular and GTX versions for testing. I received the GTX version much earlier and put a good amount of miles in them before receiving the regular version. This review will cover both models - they are essentially the same, with only very slight differences due to the nature of materials and weight of the GTX upper.

After testing the Agility Peak Zero model (with full gaiter), I was unsure whether I needed to size up to a US 10.0. That model at times felt a bit tight in the toebox, but it’s hard to judge since the upper construction was very different, with quick laces and also the gaiter providing some additional wrapping around the foot.

I received my standard true-to-size US 9.5 for both the regular and GTX Agility Peak models. It’s the right fit, and I’m glad I didn’t size up. It’s still not a wide toebox, but there is just enough room width-wise and the right amount of space in front of the toes for long distances. I would caution those who really, really need a wider toebox, that the fit may feel on the narrow side. 

The upper is well structured and I'm able to get a solid lockdown up front, no issues there. But in the rear of the shoe, the heel area is quite roomy. I feel a touch of extra volume around my heel - a bit more than I’d like. The padding around the ankle and above the heel keeps my heel seated, but there’s still space within the heel cup. It has not caused me any problems, but I’d prefer a bit snugger fit there. This could be advantageous if you have a larger heel. 

As expected, the GTX upper feels a bit stiffer than the regular version. I have to say though, that the material itself was not really noticeable, even after receiving the regular version later on. It does add some weight though, and I’d say that would be the more noticeable factor as opposed to the actual GTX material. The GTX version is 0.8 oz (24g) heavier pushing it into the 11 oz range, which is around where weight usually starts to become noticeable for me. 

I found the GTX upper to be very breathable, perhaps one of the most comfortable GTX shoes in that regard that I’ve run in. Typically my feet feel clammy in GTX shoes when running. But in all my test runs in temperatures ranging from the 20s to the low 40s, my feet felt comfortable, and not overly warm (a good thing).

Out of the box I am impressed by the relatively low weight of the shoe for all of the cushioning, protection and traction they provide. 

Jeff V:  Mike describes the upper and the differences between the Gore and non Gore models well and like he says, but the main difference is the added weight and stiffer upper of the Gore version, but for a Gore shoe, I find them to be a very reasonable weight and not uncomfortably stiff or uncomfortable fitting.  They also become softer with each run as I broke them in.  

I find the fit to be true to size and while not quite as roomy as the Peak 5 Zero with built in gaiter. I have enough room to wear a mid weight wool sock with no issues. The overall width of the shoe is just right for me and has a good amount of wiggle room in the toe. 

 I find the fit of these low top versions to be more dialed in/secure and I think much of this has to do with the fact that they have regular laces, vs. the speedlace in the gaiter-ed Zero version.  I noted that in the Zero version that I found fit to not be super precise for tech terrain, which is a reasonable concession for slower running in deeper snow, adding room for thicker socks and some air circulation on colder days.  The quicklaces in the Zero do not quite snug the midfoot as well as the normal laces and I found some lace bite when I tried to snug tightly for steep technical descents.  No such issues with the low top version though, as the foothold is very good.  I also experienced some heel lift early in my first run as Mike described, but immediately stopped once I noticed this and laced up the one extra lace eyelet and that completely solved the issue for me.

Because there is no built in gaiter as in the Zero, I have often added gaiters and appreciate the gaiter ring at the front of the lacing for an easier connection eliminating the possibility of any discomfort caused by the metal gaiter hook as the toe flexes (rare, but possible when attaching the gaiter ring to the front most lace instead of the dedicated D ring).  I typically do not ever experience clamminess issues with Gore shoes, unless I am running them on a an especially warm day and I find the Agility Peak GTX  to be breathable, even on days in the 50’s or even 60 degrees.  Conversely, I have run in temps in the teens and my feet have been plenty warm.

The upper of the non Gore version is lighter in weight, feel, flexibility and so far, feels to be airy and well ventilated.  Since it is January, it is hard to judge how cool they will be in the summer, but predict them to be nice and cool.  Like the Gore version, I find fit to be true to size, very nice and secure for spirited running through technical terrain and fast downhills.

The tongue is gusseted and almost booty like, thin-ish, but very comfortable and protects well from the laces.  The heel collar is generously padded and comfortable.  As I mentioned before, threading that extra eyelet really makes a difference in heel to midfoot lockdown.

The toe bumper is beefy and integrates into a protective 360 degree rand.

The heel counter is well structured and protective, but not overly bulky.  There are also pull loop/tabs at the back (that I never find myself using) and a velcro gaiter trap (that I also do not use solely on account of the type of gaiters I use (OR and Kahtoola).

Midsole & Platform

Mike P: Both regular and non-GTX models share the same midsole, and I did not notice any difference in feel underfoot between the two. Stack is listed at 31/25mm of FloatPro foam, which numbers-wise doesn’t sound like a lot. But I think the high 5mm lugs also enhance the amount of effective “stack” between your foot and the ground. It’s definitely solidly in the max-cushion category - similar to shoes such as the Speedgoat, Mafate Speed, Xodus Ultra, etc. 

The FloatPro foam is not soft or cushy. If you’re used to running in softer, high-stack foams, you might even describe the cushioning as relatively firm in comparison. Feel-wise it reminds me of a shoe I liked - the Asics Trabuco (regular version) - leaning firm, but dense enough underfoot that you don’t feel the ground. 

Throw in the rock plate and thick, X-shaped 5mm lugs, and clearly you have a shoe built for protection underfoot. In hand, the shoe feels pretty stiff - there’s not much flex aside from up front towards the toes. Despite that level of stiffness in hand, due to the unique FLEXconnect Flex Grooves in the top of the midsole - the shoe feels adequately flexible on the run (more in that in the Ride section below).

In the diagram above, you can see the grid of “grooves” within the top of the midsole foam. It’s an interesting design similar to Altra’s Inner-Flex, and I’d say it probably does work. With the density and firmness of the foam, I would expect a more rigid feel and ride, but that FLEXconnect design seems to mitigate that.

Jeff V:  Mike describes the ins and out of the midsole well.  The FloatPro Foam with a 31/25 stack feels quite ample and more so than the numbers suggest, perhaps in part due to the 5mm lugs.  It definitely has a maximal shoe sort of feel.  Like the Zero version, the midsole feels very soft, well cushioned and supportive and is not prone to hardening in cold temperatures.  I appreciate this softer foam, as many winter shoes I have tested have a firm midsole (that can feel even more firm in cold temps), which is fine in the snow, but when you are running on frozen ground, ice and rocks, can feel a bit harsh.  

None of that here though with the Agility Peak 5 GTX or the non GTX version, as they feel very plush and shock absorbing.  The foam feels light and responsive, which is even more noticeable in the non Gore version given the lighter weight of that shoe.  There is also a rock plate in the mix for added protection that is very welcome.  The shoe also feels nice and flexible (but not overly so) due to the FLEXconnect dual directional flex grooves in the midsole. 


Mike P: Vibram Megagrip with 5mm lugs - really can’t go wrong here. The array of X-shaped lugs is dense enough that you don’t notice the individual lugs on the bottom of your foot. The outsole feels smoother than it would if you had wider spacing of the same 5mm lugs. 

Generous cutouts between the lugs help to shave weight here keeping the shoe at a very competitive weight within its class. It’s a good design as you get the benefits of a deeper lug, while still keeping a smoother ride and lower weight. Perhaps you lose some flexibility and bite in uneven terrain, but with this shoe, I think you’d prefer its cruisy nature over longer distances. 

Jeff V:  The Vibram MegaGrip outsole features 5mm lugs that provides exceptional performance on all surfaces.  I have mostly run on snowy, icy conditions, slush (pretty much all consistencies of frozen or semi frozen conditions), dry trails, minor scrambles, steep, loose off trail and have never felt hesitant. The lugs are large and directional, and many of them are set up for adding screws or hobnails.  I find traction to be surprisingly good in all of the above situations and on just about every terrain I have run on.  This is the same outsole as the Zero version which I have been running in a bit longer and thus far, durability has been fantastic with no visible wear. l

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Mike P: The most noticeable aspect of the shoe when stepping in - and this was also noticeable in the Zero version) - is the amount if high, under arch support. It’s reminiscent of many Topo models, but even more so than those. There’s no singular point of raised midsole towards the medial arch side - it’s more like a larger, raised and tapered area supporting the full arch.

I imagine this can be off-putting for some, but it does work well with the shoe’s overall design. The shoe is mainly stiffer around the midfoot, with flex increasing around the ball of the foot and towards the toes. The enhanced arch support lets you land solidly around the midfoot and pushes you forward into the more flexible  front part of the shoe. There’s no mushiness on landing and this also mitigates any rigidity of the midsole.

It has the feel of a more rocker-oriented ride, but without the inherent rounded underfoot rocker design. The shoe just cruises. I did a winter backyard ultra last month, and I wish I would have had these shoes then. The efficient, smooth ride would have been great over the 150 miles I covered in that event. The GTX version would have been great to swap out during the very cold night hours.

Given that impression regarding a long, slow, flat ultra event - I need to point out that on the contrary - I find the platform to be a bit narrow for more rugged mountain running. It can tend to feel a bit tall at times in uneven terrain, and I’d probably want a wider base in more uneven and technical terrain. It reminds me somewhat of the Xodus Ultra 2 - a shoe that I also found to ride a bit “tall” relative to its amount of stack underfoot. 

Ultimately both the regular and GTX versions of the Agility Peak are great distance shoes. Highly durable, they’re a great value for racking up long training miles, and keeping the feet and legs comfortable. They could easily be a racing option in the max cushion class, if you’re comfortable with the narrower platform and stiffer ride. In more moderate terrain, the smooth, easy ride will shine even more.

Mike P’s Score:  9.38 / 10

Ride: 9 - Not dynamic, but efficient, cruisy, cushioned for long distances

Fit: 9 - Slight bit of extra space around the heel is the only con

Value: 10 - Should be highly durable and long-lasting

Style: 9.5 - Lots of color options

Traction: 10 - Great traction without sacrificing ride smoothness

Rock Protection: 10 - Outsole/midsole/rock plate is highly protective

Smiles 😊😊😊😊

Jeff V:  I find the ride to be smooth, efficient and reasonably quick for a maximal shoe, with a slightly rockered design and more rockered feel.  The cushioning is soft and compliant, but responsive and appropriate for long or short distances.  I did not notice a high under arch feel as Mike describes at all, which is likely just indicative in the difference between our feet.  I like that there are two flavors here, a GTX version and a non GTX.  The GTX version is great for those cold, wet and snowy winter days (or if you run in a lot of fresh deeper snow, then you have the option for the Zero version with built in gaiter), or just add your own gaiter.  

Having the non Gore version though will really make the Agility Peak 5 a top performer for racking up long miles during the warmer months, daily training and even as a great long distance racer.  They are light enough, quick and reasonably agile with superb traction, though as Mike mentions, they can feel a bit tall in technical terrain.  I can usually blast through technical terrain reasonably well without issue, but every now and then I have the occasional not so careful step and am reminded that they feel a bit tall.  Merrell has really been upping their game as of late and they have two more top contenders here.

Jeff V’s Score:  9.5 / 10

Ride: 9.5 - Smooth, fun and efficient with great cushioning

Fit: 9 - They fit my foot very well, but had to rely on that last lace eyelet

Value: 9.5 - Quality feels excellent, as is performance and predicted durability

Style: 9 - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I think they look good and there are a surprising amount of color options.

Traction: 10 - Traction is among the best out there.

Rock Protection: 10 - Bombproof!

Smiles 😊😊😊😊😊

9 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE Roadtrailrun 

Merrell Agility Peak Zero GTX vs. Merrell Agility Peak 5  (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): Between the 3 shoes (Regular, GTX, and Zero GTX), I think the combo of having the Regular + Zero GTX would be the best setup. The Regular version rides similarly to the GTX version, but the lighter weight makes them feel quicker and easier to maneuver. I’d go with those unless you have very cold feet and you really need the GTX version. The Zero GTX version is just a great all around winter shoe - hiking, deep snow running, snow shoeing, casual snowy walks, Christmas tree hunting, etc.

Jeff V (10.0):  Compared throughout.  Agreewith Mike entirely and the low GTX version feels a bit of an odd duck given the Zero version with built in gaiter.  That said, it is nice to have options though.

Brooks Catamount 3 vs. Merrell Agility Peak 5  (RTR Review soon)

Mike P (10.0): In test right now, I’m finding it similarly great as the previous V2. The Catamount’s foam feels similarly firm to Merrell’s FloatPro, but the shoe has a wider base and feels much lower to the ground and more stable. It also has a longer flex profile, extending further back towards the midfoot. It feels like a much quicker shoe, and I prefer it for racing across all distances. If you like the firmness of both shoes, but you’re a heavier runner, you may like the additional foam underfoot that the Merrells provide. The Agility Peak would be a better pick for just racking up straight training miles and keeping the legs fresher.

Jeff V: (10.0): Agreed with Mike, mostly, but I find the Merrell foam to be much softer and more compliant that the Catamount, as I find the Catamount to feel a bit more firm underfoot and could definitely not put in the distances in the Catamount as I could run in the Agility Peak 5.  Additionally, I find the midsole of the Catamount is more susceptible to cold temperatures and firms up even more, whereas the Agility is much less sensitive to this, if affected at all.  So, Agility for longer distances and the generally expected slower speeds, where the Catamount is superior for much faster speeds over shorter distances with a low to the ground, planted stable feel.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 vs. Merrell Agility Peak 5 (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): Both shoes have a similar upper fit, with the SG being snugger, and better fitting in the heel. But I find the SG squeezes my front of foot too much, and I prefer the upper of the Agility Peak at the forefoot. The SG has a softer ride, and wider platform - making it a better pick in more technical terrain. I want to like the SG, but the upper just doesn’t work for my foot.

Jeff V: (10.0): The Speedgoat was my first thought for a comparison/competitor.  Similar in stats, price and overall vibe, you really couldn’t go wrong with either.  The Agility has a more roomy and accommodating upper, whereas the Speedgoat is a bit more narrowly tapered and dialed in.  While the SG is intended as a max, long distance shoe, much of that depends on your foot shape. Overall  I think the Agility is perhaps a better pick for ultras because of that, where the SG is more precise, stable and agile for technical terrain.

Hoka Mafate Speed 4 vs. Merrell Agility Peak 5 (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): Smilar in fit to the Agility Peak, with a better fitting heel. Mafate Speed 4 has one of the best uppers out there, although a bit on the snug side in my true-to-size 9.5. I suspect sizing up would work well for me, but I haven’t tried (yet). The MS4 is much, much softer and much, much more flexible underfoot. It also has huge Vibram Megagrip lugs, and thus is perhaps better designed for grip in more technical terrain. The shoe generally flexes more, which I like, but also feels sluggish in flatter, easier terrain. Moderate+/techncial go MS4, Easy/Moderate go Agility Peak.

Jeff V: (10.0): The MS4 for some reason really didn’t land for me and while I think it is a great cruiser, I really struggled with it in technical terrain and found it to be a step down from MS3, which feels much better to me in every way (cushion, upper, flex, stability).  I find the Agility to be superior, with a lighter, more responsive feel, better agility and more competence in technical terrain (keeping in mind neither are technical shredders).

Hoka Tecton X 2 vs. Merrell Agility Peak 5 (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): One of the top, if not the top long distance ultra races on the market right now. The Merrell can’t touch the Tecton X 2 in most regards. The X 2 fixed the slight upper issues of X 1, making it practically the perfect ultra shoe for me. In flat terrain, the 4mm drop can make its ride feel a bit “flat” when moving slower, but at speed it’s still faster. The Agility Peak may cruise easier, and in a long, slower event (like a Back Yard Ultra ), the underfoot support may be advantageous over long hours.

Jeff V: (10.0): Agreed with Mike and will also note that the Agility would be a better pick for more technical terrain or all day slower runs/mountain hikes, especially given the superior grippy outsole and GTX option.

Salomon S/LAB Genesis vs. Merrell Agility Peak 5 (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): Genesis and Tecton X 2 are 1A/1B as far as my top picks for long ultras. The S/LAB Genesis is softer underfoot, and more flexible throughout. It’s a great mix of softer cushion with its flexibility providing good feedback in technical terrain. The upper is super secure - and the toebox has a slightly wider and less tapered shape than the Merrell. Pretty wild to say that about a Salomon shoe. I’d reserve the Genesis for racing and very technical long runs, and go with the AP for more regular training in more moderate terrain.

Jeff V: (10.0): What Mike said.

Saucony Xodus Ultra 2 vs. Merrell Agility Peak 5 (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): This is likely the closest comp - both shoes feel similar in terms of stack height and also both ride on a somewhat narrower platform. I felt more unstable in the Ultra 2 because the cushioning felt too soft for the narrow platform. The Merrell feels a little firmer and therefore more stable for me. Saucony also tapered the toebox from V1 to V2 - making it a bit too much of a tight squeeze for me. Two very close shoes, but those factors make the Merrell a better pick for me. I could see others preferring the softer, more cushy feel of the Ultra 2 though.

Topo MTN Racer 3 vs. Merrell Agility Peak 5  (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): The Topo is officially listed at a higher 33/28mm stack, but the two companies must not be measuring in the same way. The Topo rides closer to the ground, feels much softer, and is way more flexible and adaptable to terrain underfoot. The Topo of course has a much wider and comfort-oriented toe box. But over the long haul, the more supportive underfoot of the Merrell could be less fatiguing on the feet. These are quite different shoes - I really love the versatility of the MTN Racer 3, but also appreciate the long distance ride of the Merrell.

Jeff V: (10.0): Nothing to add here, other than both shoes also have class leading traction.  Of course Merrell offers the GTX flavor that will be advantageous to some.

VJ Ultra 2 (vs. Merrell Agility Peak 5 (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): The VJ is listed at a quite close 33/27mm stack, but again this is misleading, as the Merrell feels much higher. The VJ is way more adept in technical terrain, with traction and grip to match. Its rockplate makes the shoe very capable in rocky terrain as well. I still wouldn’t take them for an Ultra though, as the comfort level underfoot as well as in the upper is not quite there. The toebox is overly tapered and would be an issue over very long durations. The Merrell can’t handle the terrain the Ultra 2 can, but wins out when going long in easier terrain.

Jeff V: (10.0): Agreed with Mike again, despite the name “Ultra”, the VJ Ultra 2 is not at all built for long distances and is instead a very fast, relatively light, agile all mountain speedster, where the Agility is more protective, cushioned and supportive for longer distances.

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Tester Profiles

Mike Postaski currently focuses on long mountainous ultras - anywhere from 50K up to his favorite - 100M. 5'10", 138 lbs, midfoot/forefoot striker - he typically averages 70 mpw (mostly on trails), ramping up to 100+ mpw during race buildups. A recent 2:39 road marathoner, his easy running pace ranges from 7:30 - 9:00/mi. From 2022-23 Mike has won the Standhope 100M, IMTUF 100M, and Scout Mountain 100M trail ultras. He also set a CR of 123.74M at the Pulse Endurance Runs 24H and completed the Boise Trails Challenge on foot in 3 days 13 hours, besting the previous record by 7 hours. Mike's shoe preferences lean towards firmer, dense cushioning, and shoes with narrower profiles. He prefers extra forefoot space, especially for long ultras, and he strongly dislikes pointy toe boxes.

Jeff Valliere loves to run and explore the mountains of Colorado, the steeper and more technical the better. He has summited all of the 14ers in the state and can be found on mountain trails daily, no matter the weather, season, conditions or whether there is daylight or not.  On the side he loves to ski (all forms) bike and hike, often with his family, as he introduces his 12 year old daughters to the outdoors. Jeff was born and raised in New Hampshire, but has called Colorado home for over 25 years. He is 5’9” and 145 lbs.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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Anonymous said...

I ran a 50k with the AP5 essentially out of the box and I much preferred it to the SG5 on technical descents. My issue with the SG5 was the upper being too stretchy and loose so you need to retighten every so often to run with confidence. The AP5 solved that, giving flavors of the SG4 lockdown with a roomier (and less hot) toebox. I also feel it's almost mandatory to use the AP5 with socks with some cushion in the heel to make up for that heel space.

Anonymous said...

Thank you both for including the sizing advice, it is very useful. To be blunt, it seems my foot has exactly the same size as that of Mike. I am also often wondering if I should pick 9.5 or 10.

Mike P said...

Anon - Yes, its good to have different socks with varying levels of cushion. I also have socks with thicker heel padding that I just just for this scenario. I've had good success using runner's lacing with the AP5. But it's usually not my preference as I get too much pressure at the top of my foot.

Sizing wise, it's a bit of a tough call for me. I'd say I'm good in a 9.5 for a good amount of hours. But if I wanted to do something like 100K to 100M, it feels like I'd want more space up front. But the roomy heel of the AP5 would give me some pause going up 1/2 size. Honestly I'm not sure what I would do. I'd probably see if I could find free returns and try the 1/2 size up with some different sock options.

Anonymous said...

These shoes had the potential to be a real killer (great outsole!), unfortunately I found 3 issues with them. 1. I agree, despite quite a wide platform IMO - especially in the heel area, they feel surprisingly tall, which is no-good for technical trails. 2. Loose foothold, no matter what I tried, they feel ok at best, but again, not secure enough for more technical stuff. 3. The upper (the reg. version) is too thin to support pretty substantial mid and outsole. I can see the durability issues starting with the upper. In the end, the AP5 belongs to no-man's land, it's not really a technical terrain shoe for the reasons mentioned above, and it's not a good cruiser due to aggressive outsole, which itself is regretfully a missed opportunity in the overall design.

Mike P said...

The platform on the ground is on the narrow side - even under the heel. If you line them up on their side next to the Tecton X for example, you'll see a big difference in width. For me, that difference is something I noticed on the run, especially in more uneven terrain.

I disagree about the upper in regards to durability. It seems pretty well built to me, and I wouldn't call it "thin" at all. I don't foresee any durability issues there.

Your overall assessment makes sense - kind of similar to what I thought. I'd just add that there could be scenarios where the terrain is not really technical, but where traction is needed - in that case the rugged outsole and smooth ride could be a good pick.