The best part about testing out new Merino Wool Gear is that there is always a steady stream of new Merino Wool Gear. Today, a relatively new Merino wool shoe brand has gotten on our radar: Talent Jogger. So I decided to try them and see how they stand against some of our other favorite Merino wool shoes.

I’ll give you my initial thoughts fresh out of the box, wear them around for a few weeks, and then give you the good and the bad. It’s as simple as that! So, it’s time to lace up and start this Talent Joggers Merino Wool Sneaker Review!

Disclosure: Merino Wool Gear DOES NOT sponsor products to maintain our genuineness and authenticity. However, as an affiliate member, we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Talent Joggers: Specs & Features

Talent Jogger Sneakers Specs and Features

Initial Thoughts

The first thing I noticed when I ripped open the box (literally) was how lightweight these shoes felt. Talent Jogger advertises them as 8 ounces., and breaking out my trusty kitchen scale; I recorded them at 8.5 ounces. It’s probably the shoelaces or a rounding error. Still, these sneakers are about as lightweight as it gets.

Talent Jogger Sneakers on Scale

In terms of the shoe construction, it’s your basic sneaker. However, unlike other Merino wool shoes I’ve tested, there is a soft, fuzzy texture outside, giving these Talent Joggers a unique style. The outsole material is malleable near the toes yet firm under the heel. In addition, the toe box and heel cup seem more structured than other wool sneakers, so there is a cleaner, less deflated look. Hopefully, they will be able to retain their shape over time.

Inside the shoe, there is a Merino wool outsole and lining. However, the form-fitting elastic band is the most interesting feature of the Talent Jogger. The band connects from the tongue to the shoe’s base, providing a better fit. Although I sometimes like to go sockless, I hope it doesn’t become a hot point for blisters.

Talent Jogger Interior Elastic Straps

Now, it’s finally time to try them on! They are so comfortable; you can feel the softness right away. Lacing them up, I can see the necessity of the reinforced lace loop seams. It’s a simple feature, but a nice touch for sure. Walking around, they feel flexible enough to minimize rub points, so I’m excited to put them to the test.

So far, I’m satisfied with my initial findings. It looks like a solid shoe that I could add to my collection. I also have some concerns; however, it’s just conjecture for now. After I test them, I’ll have a more honest assessment.

Wear Test

Typically when we test our Merino Wool Gear, we’ll wear it for three days, wash it, and give you the results. However, I thought the Talent Joggers deserved more “real-world” testing, especially since they are relatively new to the marketplace. So instead of three days of wear, I put them in my ‘shoe rotation’ and wore them on and off for about two months.

Talent Joggers sneakers being tied on park bench

At first, I decided to use them as my gym shoes, and boy, was that the right choice. These shoes performed exceptionally well for my standard cardio and weightlifting workouts. They even did well with plyometric exercises! After a few intense gym sessions, they got a little sweaty but still looked fresh after airing out the insoles.

After two weeks in the gym, I wore them outside for the first time down a hiking trail near my house. It was sunny out, yet there’s always a threat of mud in the woods. Luckily, my Talent Joggers and I stayed dry, both inside and out (and it was almost 90 °F). When I got home, I brushed off the dry dirt, aired them out, and they looked just as good as new. The bottoms were the only part to get dirty!

After about 10-12 wears in the gym, around town, and in the woods, the Talent Joggers performed better than I expected. There were comfortable (even without socks) while staying clean and odor-free throughout the month. They were still so clean at the end of our test that we didn’t even have to throw them in the laundry!

Talent Jogger Bottoms Before and After

Merino Wool Shoe Comparison

Before I get into my likes and dislikes from the ‘Wear Test,‘ it’s important to put the Talent Joggers directly against some of our other favorite Merino wool sneakers. After all, our goal is to help you find the best Merino wool gear for your lifestyle. And what better way to do this than a little comparison shopping?

Talent Joggers Sneaker Comparison to Allbirds and Woolloomooloo Shoes

As you can see above, the Talent Joggers have slightly more structure than my worn-out Allbirds Wool Runners (which we consider a classic Merino wool sneaker). They don’t have the Talent Jogger’s structured heel cup and toe box. However, this permits the Wool Runners to slip on and off more easily. As for Talent Jogger, it’s better to unlace and retie them with each wear.

Like the Allbirds Mizzles waterproof coating, the Talent Jogger also uses a protection finish: RUCO-GUARD®. This coating protects the exterior wool fibers from losing their natural properties, especially while in the washing machine. In addition, it weatherproofs the shoes, keeping dirt, dust, and grime out of the fibers. So, I probably shouldn’t have been too worried about mud in the first place!

And, unlike Woolloomoolloo Belmont Shoes with a 3D-knitted pattern, the Talent Joggers have more of an unbrushed wool texture inside and out. This plush lining leads to top-level comfort. Although, all the shoes discussed are on that same level of comfort. And that’s probably why they all hover around the $120-$160, depending on season or sale. So no matter which shoe works for you, they are all in the same league regarding quality, comfort, and price.

What I Liked

After a month of testing the Talent Joggers Low-Tops on and off, I’m ready to give my not-so-expert opinion on these shoes. There are several aspects of their style, comfort, and design that I’ve come to like and value. Let’s take some time to dig deeper into each.

Unique Style

Three different styles and colors with Talent Jogger Merino Wool Sneakers

I’d be lying if I said I was immediately fond of the fuzzy texture of these shoes. It’s not that they looked weird, but they weren’t my style. However, the look grew on me as I wore them throughout the month. It does look well with almost any athletic outfit but still goes well with casual streetwear.

Moreover, the ones I tested were a light Sky Blue, but there are plenty of other colors to choose from. They have classic all-white and all-black options and your standard dark gray. Moreover, if you like a touch more flair, you can even try out the lavender pair.

360° Comfort & Performance

One of the biggest selling points of Merino wool shoes, in general, is their comfort. However, the Talent Joggers truly take this comfort beyond the competition. The plush Merino wool lining, soft Orthopedic insole, cushioned sole, and elastic tongue provide 360° comfort around my foot. It’s like a cloud of Merino wool hugging my feet all day!

Hand in hand (or should it be foot in foot) with comfort comes performance. With or without socks, the tight fit reduces rub points where blisters can develop. So, whether traveling abroad, running errands, or hitting the gym, you can do so in comfort and style.

Outsole Design

I thought something unique about this shoe that should get more shine is the specialized Hive-Impact™ outsole. The rubberized EVA material is lightweight and cushioning, while the bottoms have a functional grip. Yet the real magic of these outsoles lies where the eyes can’t see.

Talent Joggers Hive Impact Outsole Design

As you can see from the image, the toe area is more flexible, offering more room for movement. And the waffle-like structure toward the midsole and heel is more rigid and lightweight. These high-impact areas are more cushioned, offering even more comfort. It’s truly an ingenious outsole design!

Areas to Improve

Still, despite punching up its weight in the top tier of Merino wool shoes, there’s always room for improvement. So, we’ve come up with three ‘downsides‘ to these shoes, as you should always understand the full story. These are not necessarily negative things, just aspects I observed during testing.

Hard To ‘Slip On’ While Laced

Talent Joggers Laced Up

I like to keep my shoes tied loosely and slip them on for easy access out the door. And if I need to tighten them, so be it. However, the tighter fit of the Talent Jogger doesn’t offer that ‘slide-on-slide-off‘ ability. To do so, you must tie them loose and not thread the laces through the top hole.

This qualm may sound petty, but it’s still worth noting. The good news is that the lace structure, especially with reinforced seams, does a great job of keeping everything tight. Still, it’s best to keep them unlaced so they maintain their clean look.

Longevity Concerns

Initially, I raised concerns about the long-term durability of these Talent Jogger Merino wool sneakers. I couldn’t put my finger on it then and still can’t. Yet these shoes passed all the tests, and I saw no issues with their durability.

But even with all the evidence in favor, I still have concerns (although less concerned) with this sneaker’s longevity. The real reason I have apprehension is personal, as I tend to beat up my sneakers, and I’m afraid I’ll beat these up too. Still, I’ll get 2-3 good years out of them with proper care. You’ll have to check back then to see!

Price Point

Are these Talent Joggers on the expensive side? Yes. But all Merino wool shoes are costly; you’ll be paying $100+ for any good pair. It’s one of the main downsides, in general, of Merino wool gear. However, are these shoes worth the price? Yes, they are. They are high-quality, comfortable, versatile, and stylish. So, I would love to see Talent Jogger drop the price tag (we all would), but I’d be lying that they aren’t worth every penny.

Final Note About Talent Jogger Sneakers

Talent Joggers Sneakers with Shoe Brush and Wool Wash

After dozens of wears, we can give the Talent Joggers our seal of approval. They are a new player Merino wool shoe game and deserve a place with the best of them. They are soft, comfortable, and high-performing and have a unique style that sets them apart. I’m glad we got to test them out, and I hope to see more from Talent Joggers in the future.

If you enjoyed this review, there are plenty of others to check out. We are here to help you find the best Merino wool gear. So, from long-form reviews to product round-ups and brand spotlights to the latest news, we want to clothe the world in Merino! For the latest discounts, deals, and sales on all your favorite gear, follow us on the social channels below. Or, if you prefer email, join our newsletter! We are always looking for new members to join the flock!

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