This new trail running shoe from Merrell is actual GARBAGE

That's not our review; it just happens to mostly be made out of recycled material

Limited Edition Merrell Bare Access XTR Sweeper
(Image credit: Merrell)

The premise of the Limited Edition Merrell Bare Access XTR Sweeper trail running shoes is just great. Made out of recycled plastic and algae, this shoe has a small carbon footprint whilst offering a great trail running experience too.

The Sweeper Edition of the Bare Access XTR is a thank you from Merrell to all the hard-working volunteers who help keep trail running routes clean before and after the event, called sweepers. These are the people who remove debris from the path before and pick up all the rubbish after the races, making sure nature is returned its original state.

Algae and plastic living in perfect harmony

(Image credit: Merrell)

Why do we like the Merrell Bare Access XTR Sweeper trail running shoes?

The Merrell Bare Access XTR Sweeper is built on the Bare Access XTR and its main concern is finding the balance between comfort and connection with the ground. Merrell has been manufacturing hiking footwear for over 30 years so knows a thing or two about what makes shoes good for trails.

The FLEXconnect technology supports the natural flexing of a foot
in motion to enhance agility on any terrain. Anatomically-inspired, bidirectional
flex grooves allow the foot to move naturally on uneven ground, providing
improved ground connection and stability.

On top of this, the Sweeper is really a running shoe we can call green. The material breakdown is as follows:

  • 40% recycled mesh lining
  • 100% recycled laces
  • 30% recycled Vibram Ecodura outsole
  • 100% recycled TPU overlays
  • 40% recycled front mesh
  • 10% algae BLOOM foam midsole
  • 100% recycled rear mesh
  • 100% recycled Hyperlock TPU film heel counter

The only plastic you should be proud to wear

(Image credit: Merrell)

Like it wasn't enough that the Sweeper is already using mostly recycled materials for most of its construction, the  BLOOM foam midsole is made from 10% algae biomass which cleans and restores the environment when harvested for a more eco-friendly alternative to standard foams.

An extremely direct yet comfortable running shoe for all the eco-friendly trail runners (so basically all them). Priced at a moderate £90, given all the benefits of the Sweeper, it really is a no-brainer to get one.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt looks after T3's Active vertical, which incorporates all things fitness, outdoors and transportation – anything that gets you moving and out of the door will go through his hands. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar (opens in new tab) and Fit&Well (opens in new tab), and more. Matt collaborated with other content creators, like Garage Gym Reviews (opens in new tab), and judged many awards, such as European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards in 2022. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment, as he's a keen content creator.