Merrell Trail gloves have it the store shelves and I was able to get a pair yesterday. I had a bit of a long run planned yesterday so I decided to try them out on a shorter run today.
I think Merrell is going to take over the "barefoot" market with this shoe. I think the most important feature of this shoe is it's toe box form. I normally need a EE in any running shoe and they still never feel right. The shoe feels as if someone from Merrell made a cast of my foot and then designed the shoe.
The Trail Glove has about the same feel as the Vibram FiveFingers but with a bit thicker sole, enough so that I won't feel that I have to pay attention to every foot placement on a rocky trail. (One year to the day that I wore the FiveFingers for the first time) I also wore these shoes all day at work before I went for my 4.1 mile maiden run and they were comfortable the entire time; I can not tolerate regular running shoes on my feet if I'm not running.
I do a fair amount of my running in the barefoot style even though I wear my old Asics most of the time but I find that with the Asics I can let go with heel striking on some of the smoother downhills that I encounter. The Merrell keeps me honest about barefoot form and I know I will have sore calves tomorrow because of it.
For my run this afternoon there wasn't much of a variety of conditions to test out traction. I was mostly on compacted dirt, but they seem to hold traction in some mud and packed grasses. I did run in some areas with rocks but never felt one under foot.
I am very happy with them. My son should be happy with the the three other pairs of shoes I bought before these since the fall and was never able to run in. I should have known it would be Merrell that finally pleased me in running footwear; I've worn Merrell casual open-back shoes for several years now. Too bad I only had the money to buy the shoes and not some stock in the company.
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