Sunday, April 17, 2011

More on the Merrell Trail Glove

I've been running in the Merrell Trail Glove for a couple of months now and have more to report. I like it. It allows for the what's good about barefoot running, the feel, foot strike, and other dynamics while providing protection. I've mostly worn them for technical trail runs up to eight miles. For me to go farther in them will require building up foot strength. The Merrells are great for climbing and for most surfaces. For longer runs, I still switch to a traditional running shoe, but this is more because of my weaknesses than about the shoe.

There are two issues for me. One is with minimalist footwear in general and the other is with the Merrell specifically. I have a hard time running downhill fast in minimal footwear if the conditions are such that I would normally be able to cruise. Under those circumstances I prefer some heel with cushioning. Minimal footwear is still OK for steep/technical downhill. Yesterday I did a very technical and steep run and I discovered that toward the end of the run when my legs were particularly fatigued, the protective front of the Merrell made it seem as if I were trying to run in clown shoes; they kept catching on bigger rocks or roots which cause me to stumble a lot. I like the roominess of the toe box but maybe the protective rubber toe protection on the outside could be reduced a bit. I'd rather risk a little toe stub than a fall into jagged rocks on a steep trail.

University of Colorado campus to the right side of my head from Bear Peak

Trail to summit of Bear Peak over my right shoulder