Merrell Trail Glove First Impression

Published by RunningPoint on Friday, 18 Feb 2011 16:12 EST

Merrell Trail gloveI was quite excited to find out that my local outdoor equipment store was planning to carry the Merrell Barefoot line and even more excited to hear that they would have them mid-February. As soon as I started reading the initial impressions from the lucky few who got a pair of these shoes early to test, I knew that I had to add these to my list of shoes I must own.

So now the big question is: After trying them on and walking around the store do I still have to own them?

Answer: I'm not sure.

Here's why, I had no idea what to expect other than a pretty good sense that I would like their appearance and that they would be quality shoes. I have owned multiple pair of Merrell shoes and have loved them them all. The thing that really threw me with the Trail Glove was the feel on the foot. For "minimal" shoes, they sure felt pretty substantial when I tried them on. I shouldMerrell Trail Glove Sole  probably mention at this point that I wear a pair of home-made huaraches for the entirety of the 40 hours a week that I stand at work and that when I am at home I don't wear shoes unless it is a necessity. I wore my huaraches to the shoe store today and took a pair of socks with me to ensure that the Trail Gloves felt equally as good with socks as they would barefoot. I refuse to stick my bare foot in a shoe in a store and have become quite adept at judging how the shoe will feel without socks while wearing socks. 

Immediately my foot felt a bit constricted which is to be expected after going from complete freedom to a product called "Trail Glove". I'm assuming they are designed to be snug and they are exactly that. From my heel to my midfoot the Merrells were comfortably form fitting and surprisingly supportive. After a few minutes to adjust, I found myself very comfortable. The toe box was nice and wide and felt like there would be plenty of room for the ever important toe splay. I have a wide foot and was comfortable but would not describe it as overly roomy.

The biggest shock was just how substantial the sole is. I didn't get to wear the shoe outside of the store or really thouroughly run around or jump in them, but I had the feeling that I was wearing a shoe with a really nice flexible sole. My first thought was "Wow, these feel like my Brooks Mach 11 XC flats but way more flexible!!" I was expecting something a bit less but the longer I stood in them, the more sense it made that a shoe designed to run on trails certainly would offer a bit more protection for the feet.

Here's the bottom line, I left them at the store today and I don't regret it. I want to try some of the other barefoot-like shoes out before I drop a substantial (for me at least) amount of money on a minimal shoe. I can't afford to have multiple pairs and want to be sure that I don't rush the decision.

The Trail Glove did set the bar very, very high and it will take me falling in love with a different shoe to dissuade me from going back and buying them. I wanted to take off from the store and run in them and I don't often feel that way. I believe these shoes really are something special and certainly live up to the hype.

Who's online

There are currently 0 users online.

Who's new

  • BoulderRunner
  • RonaldMoo
  • Ronnie B
  • cabarchitect
  • RunningPoint


Subscribe to Syndicate