So where do you even start to begin when you want to buy a Merrell Barefoot shoe? I think I’ve heard the question “Which Merrell Barefoot shoe do I get?” at least a hundred times in my line of work so hopefully this blog post will help you make the right decision.
The unique concept about Merrell Barefoot shoes is their soles. Adapting the Vibram rubbers they’ve created their own tread made specifically for either road or trail running. Of course, this doesn’t specifically mean its a running shoe, Merrell Barefoot created a more conventional looking shoe so that you could wear it out as a walking shoe around the city or perhaps go bushwalking. But let’s discuss it from a runner’s point of view for a moment. What would you say to a runner who was considering both shoes?
Let’s all be honest here. A traditional running shoe doesn’t exactly treat to kindly to the eye but we all secretly go out there trying to find ourselves a nice looking running shoe. Merrell Barefoot have taken this thought into consideration and created a somewhat more conventional looking shoe so that you could wear it when you’re walking around the city as well.
Now that you’ve seen the two soles, what could possibly be the difference between the two? Everything! Okay, not everything, it still is a fairly similar shoe but the key differences in these two shoes are really specifically made for the environment it’s in.
For example, the Trail Glove ties up tighter around the neck of the shoe to ensure that sticks and stones don’t fall in, similar concept of the Vibram FiveFingers KSO model, whereas the Road Glove has a looser feel to them. Not that you’ll be slipping out of your Road Gloves any time soon but the model was made that it didn’t need to be so tight around the neck because there was a less likely chance of rocks and sticks getting in compared to the Trail Glove.
The Trail Glove is noticeably tighter around the arch as well, as if there is an invisible band around the shoe, keeping your foot fairly snug as you run. This could be the game changer when it comes to choosing between the two models. If you have a narrow foot, you’ll find the snugness no problem to handle with, even someone with a normal foot will notice the snugness but not enough for you to be annoyed by it but if you have a wide an flat foot, this could be a problem. If this is the case, the Road Glove may be the one to go for.
The tread of the Trail Glove is much more prominent, imagine it to be somewhat similar to cleats but not as technical, this allows traction for when running through loose gravel and dirt in comparison to the Road Glove, which has a smoother sole which although doesn’t allow the same traction on trail, still has incredible grip on the sole to allow traction on the road. Now here’s the thing, everyone is always looking for the golden shoe. The one that allows you to do anything and everything, for example, if you’re a runner like I am, you’d want to be able for your feet to take you everywhere, whether it be running from road to dirt or road to trails, you’d want to make sure your shoe can handle it all. The good thing that I have been informed about is that I’ve had customers who run in the Trail Glove on the road and still absolutely love it; it goes for the Road Gloves too. Merrell’s ability to create a shoe that allows you to run in a variety of environments, in my books is a great shoe.
With a great fit, good looks and amazing versatility, it is hard to choose between the two models but as the name states, each model is made for it’s use and I think the best way to choose between the two models is where you’ll be running more in and to know that even if you decide to run in a different environment, you’ll be able to with no troubles.