Trail running devotees are not your average runners. Unlike those who chose to run on tracks or streets, trail running fans require novelty. They run off road because trails offer a variety of terrain that makes every run unique. And normal running shoes just don’t cut it for the type of athlete that chooses to run up hills, hop over tree branches, and scramble through rocks and mud during their free time. That’s where the Merrell MTL line comes in. “MTL” stands for Merrell Test Lab, a stable of high-performance athletes that test and refine the company’s most experimental shoes.
Recently, the Merrell Test Lab came up with another winner: The MTL Long Sky 2, a ready-for-anything trail runner packed with performance features like a Vibram MegaGrip outsole, a FloatPro Foam midsole for a lightweight ride the lasts, and a breathable lining and quick-dry upper.
To put the MTL Long Sky 2 through the paces, Merrell recently hit up runner Gordon Clark, who took to the hills outside Los Angeles with photographers Tiffany Nguyen and Bexx Francois in tow to capture the action. With performance in mind, all wore the Long Sky 2, which you can see in a couple behind-the-scenes photos down below. Scroll through to take a look at the finished shots and to read Gordon and Tiffany’s thoughts on running and photography, then head to merrell.com to learn more about its new Long Sky 2.
Lace ‘Em Up
Gordon on the Long Sky 2:
“They weren’t heavy. They weren’t stiff or rigid feeling. I felt secure in some of the more technical terrain. I felt I could focus more thought on the path ahead as opposed to the steps I just took.”
Gordon on pushing himself:
“Committing myself to just opening up and pushing the envelope—that’s a big focus of mine as of late.”
On the Precipice
Gordon on running goals:
“Have fun! First and foremost. To hell with everything else.”
Getting the Shot
Tiffany on composition:
“With my photographs, I really try to put together the composition in a way that makes the viewer feel like they’re right there looking at the scene with their own eyes.”
Peaks and Valleys
Tiffany on shooting people in nature:
“I love utilizing different techniques like finding negative space to highlight my subject and using lines of symmetry to help illustrate the immense sense of scale of these natural landscapes.”
Tiffany on photographing runners:
“One of the most important things you need to remember when shooting athletes in motion is making sure your shutter speed is fast enough so that you can get a tack sharp image of the runner.”
Striking a Balance
Gordon on running:
“I think of running—that type of movement—as performative art.”