Comments: I found the Trail Glove to have a narrow forefoot even though the toe box is wide. The narrow forefoot does not allow the forefoot to spread on contact. Because of this and the poor tread design that puts a ridge of brick hard rubber directly under my squashed forefoot they are not any good for running on anything except soft surfaces. I actually went up a half size to get a wider forefoot. Perhaps I should have waited for the wider EE versions to be made. They are not good to use without socks because the place where the tongue attaches rubs the top of my foot bare. I have more minimal shoes that are much more comfortable. I have run about 80 miles in them.
From: James, Plano, Texas, USA
Comments: I use only Merrell Trail glove or Vibram five fingers for just about every occassion. My wife draws the line at formal occassions like the ballet or an opera.... I run lots of long trails and adventure races. I own and operate a Primal /Crossfit / body weight training centre and find trail gloves are great for getting the bare foot thing happening. They never faultered and I've had my original pair for several years and lost count of the miles ive done in them. I've almost completely worn through the sole I have worn them that much but they are super comfortbale and hard to let go. They rock!
From: Jason, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia
Comments: These shoes are under rated. I think I have 300+ trail miles on them and maybe 100 road miles. I have done a half (Tuscon) and followed that up with another 13 of rocky trail in Scottsdale two days later. No issues.
Running style is different than traditional shoes and your feet do have to get stronger to deal with sharp rocks, but once you are there, the precision and traction you get from these shoes just rocks!
I have new balance minimus and also VFFs. I run in the VFFs on road but really dont like the tall (relative) heal in the minimus. If I were to pick one shoe, these would be them. oh, one more thing. You will be slower on the downhills. The lack of cushion and also deep treads prevents really bombing downhills.
From: Nick, Franklin, Tn, USA.
Comments: These would work well on trails that are not terribly technical. The tread is not very aggressive and therefore, I would not wear them on rocky, muddy or sandy trails. I like the wider toe box to allow for toe splay. They fit well overall and don't have any tight or binding areas. I wear them with socks at all times (personal preference). If you have considered VFF but don't like the toe look, go with these Merrell Trail Gloves. You won't be disappointed.
From: Shelly, Mechanicsburg, PA, USA
Comments: These shoes are nice for non-technical trails without too many jutting rocks or too much mud/sand. They do not adequately protect from stone bruising on fast, technical up-or-downhills, such as racing through scree (one of my favorite trails is high in limestone cliffs). On the flip side, they do not have significant enough lugs for extremely muddy or sandy trails. I'm a high mileage runner (80+ miles per week), and I also find that high road miles wore down the rubber lugs at an alarming rate for the cost of the shoe. I believe that, unfortunately, these shoes are somewhat overrated. They are a jack of all trades but a master of none for the forefoot/midfoot striker.
From: Ryan, Bellefontaine, OH, USA
Comments: I started running in Nike Frees and got injured, which led me to believe the whole minimalist thing might just be a fad. I then switched to cushioned stability shoes, but I still ran forefoot/midfoot. The conventional footwear only made my knees hurt more. I tried the Trail Gloves out half a year ago, and my first run in them was my funnest run ever! No pain, more speed, great ground feel. Now I only run in zero-drop shoes, and the Merrell Barefoot line models (Trail Glove, Road Glove, Sonic Glove, etc.) make up half of my collection. Thanks for not only saving my running, but making it better than ever as well!
From: Chas, Cornelius, NC USA
Comments: These are my first zero-drop shoes and have inspired me to shave some heel tread off my other shoes. As someone else mentioned however, these shoes seem to put a lot of stress across the top of the foot when running 10+ miles causing me a couple bouts of severe top of foot pain making even walking difficult. A close look at the lacing system shows how the combination of laces and tongue straps can lock down on the foot like compound pulleys. My solution seems to be not only tying laces looser, but also bypassing the first two set of tongue straps, instead using the strap holes for laces with a high-instep lacing pattern. I recommend the shoes, just be careful with lace tightness or you'll be taking 3 weeks off running with a sore foot like I did!
From: Gil, Derry, NH, USA
Comments: I am a 39 year old Air Force Officer serving overseas. I injured my knee in November 2010. Torn meniscus, MCL and cartilage. I tried to run a few times with standard running shoes after the injury, only to experience 5 days of excruciating pain after every run. I figured I was done running until I could get my knee repaired (Feb 2012, maybe??) I decided to try the Merrell Trail Glove on a whim and have been running completely pain free for over a month now. I am amazed at how quickly I have been able to add both mileage and speed back into my runs. To top it all off, even my healthy knee feels loads better than it ever felt after a good jog. The post-run aches and pains that I thought were just a sign of being 39 are gone now!! I'm sure this type shoe isn't for everyone, but there is no doubt they will lessen the impact your knees take on every run.
From: Brian, Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Comments: i really wanted to like this shoe, but i have had a lot of problems with foot and knee problems with this shoe. yes it might be me and not the shoe. i have had luck with new balance mt101 and inov-8 minimal shoes. the area on top of my left foot gave me disabling foot pain. i am transitioned to mid foot landing, so it is not a matter of transitioning. i run on road, prefer trail though. average weekly around 40-50 miles plus. again shoe is made well, probably good for a lot of runners, but for some reason did not fit me well. ps. you can wear this shoe sockless.
From: Tony, Salem, MA, USA
Comments: These shoes aren't any gigantic technological break through at all. They are very close in design to Asics and Adidas spikeless gum rubber sole track shoes out of the 1960's. Big deal. The old shoes where made of canvas, but had a similar fit and were for forefoot strikers.
From: Terry, New Mexico, USA
Comments: The Merrell Trail Gloves are everything my Five Fingers aren't and more! I always felt the FF constricted the splaying of the toes. The toe box in the barefoot shoe is huge, so the toes can spread out as they wish without fighting the shoe. The sole seems a bit thicker, which for me is a good thing. You don't have less feel for the ground, but the treads on the Barefoot give it a more comfortable ride. The interior is a little more comfortable for sockless wear, but the FF is pretty good in this respect too. The lacing system is innovative and allows you to snug the shoes up nicely. I LOVE the Trail Gloves.
From: Ryan, IN, USA
Comments: I've had these for a week and am close to concluding they are the best I've ever had. Snug fit in the heel and midfoot with an ample toe box allowing for splay. Zero heel or other build up to get in the way of your feet and lower legs working. They've performed flawlessly through snow, mud, on road and non-technical (though somewhat rocky) trail. Unlike Five Fingers, the sole allows you to focus less on foot placement in rocks; though not sure yet how they will perform on more craggy terrain. I wear a 12 in all other shoes but found that an 11 fit best. In all, I've been very impressed.
From: Jason, Casper, WY, USA
Comments: These shoes are really underrated. I run about 30 (at least) miles, and these deal with everything, from workouts to long runs. The 0mm heel drop is fantastic, and yet, there is enough (high quality) rubber to protect your feet. I have tried Vibram's shoes, but they are an awkward fit for me. These shoes might be the best shoes I have ever bought. Really. I think I will go to the RunAmoc in my trek into barefoot running.
From: Ben, USA
Comments: I just got these shoes about a week ago and have gone on a few runs, the longest 4 miles. Prior, I was running 30-40mi/wk in the vibram ksos, and in the New England weather, I must say the trail gloves are a great alternative to sloshing through all the snow and puddles and mud. They definitely feel a little more padding than the KSOs, but they still have the barefoot feeling and you feel close to the ground, like the ksos. Easier to run downhill with these shoes, they feel very secure, tight around the top of the foot from the lacing, but really lets you conform the shoe to your foot shape. Got them for testing, and will definitely be keeping them and maybe replacing my ksos for real. The only down side is that I get no more looks at my feet as a chug along!
From: Peter, Providence, RI, USA
Comments: A great running shoe, likely the best I've ever had. I have used this for trails, roads, and drills at the track. Training pace has ranged from fast hills, to 6:30 mile pace on gravel trails, to 8 minute easy runs on roads. Merrell has hit a home run with this shoe. The zero heel drop and spacious toe box are wonderful, but the rock guard under the forefoot is brilliant. These shoes feel like track spikes for roads and trails. This shoe will punish a heel striker, but will reward a mid/fore foot striker with just enough protection to reduce "vibration" and rock bruises on most all running surfaces. Like the VFF, the thin sole transmits cold quickly which can be an issue when the ground is white. Only room for improvement is to make a 4oz version jsut for road races.
From: Ken, Bellingham, WA, USA