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Customer Review

166 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barefoot Shoes without the Public Ridicule., January 28, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Step 1: Read "Born to Run"

Step 2: Begin the journey to reclaim your genetic rights to a barefoot existence.

I spotted these shoes on one of the many barefoot running blogs and websites and couldn't wait to get a hold of them. I have slowly transitioned to barefoot running like so many thousands of others who were inspired by "Born to Run," and while I'm very far from becoming an shoeless Ultra Marathoner, I am a dedicated convert. Since retraining my feet and lower legs in my Vibram Five Fingers, the rest of the expensive outdoorsy cushioned shoes in my closet just feel terrible. My hope for these Merrell Pace Gloves is to have a shoe to wear when I'm not running that complements all of the benefit I have received from running in Vibram Five Fingers. Out of the box, these shoes are extremely light weight with the look and feel of a high quality Merrell product and I'm very happy with the look of the Chili Pepper color. I can definitely wear these as a casual shoe with a nicer outfit and feel great about the style. In slipping them on, the soles are very flexible and followed the point and flex of my foot and there are minimal seams on the inside. At first, they seemed long in the toes, which didn't make sense because I always wear a 7 1/2 in Merrells, but this is obviously on purpose. The width of the ball of my foot perfectly fit into the contours of the sole and the extra length allowed for spread of my toes within my stide -- this is very important and I am actually quite impressed with how well this was accomplished. I walked around the house and hopped on the treadmill for a few minutes and the shoes successfully encourange me to support my weight through the ball of my foot with a forefoot/midfoot strike. They were very comfortable while running and my toes still had room to spread without constriction. So far, these seem like an outstanding shoe!
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 29, 2011 5:42:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2011 5:19:52 AM PDT
Nice review. Do these shoes fit true to size? Right now I wear Nike Frees and I have to buy a full size up for them to fit right. Follow-up, I bought mine a half size up (7) and I like they way they fit. I bought the Pure Glove my regular size - 6.5 and my toes sometimes hit the front seams.

I'm having an issue with the seams on the sides of the shoes rubbing just under my ankle. I have to wear socks with them to keep from rubbing raw spots.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2011 9:48:55 PM PDT
I believe they do fit true to size. I just tried on my usual 6 1/2 at R.E.I. today and they fit like a glove. Just perfect and oh so comfortable. I too, have been running in my VFF's for about 6 months. I wanted something to wear to the gym, so I don't feel like a gecko.

Posted on May 17, 2011 9:44:55 AM PDT
Ms A says:
I am a walker, not a runner. At home I am always barefoot and have never found a walking shoe that I like. I walk a brisk 4 miles every morning on asphalt payment. does this type of shoe work for walking?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 20, 2011 3:09:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 20, 2011 3:10:36 PM PDT
It's Just Me says:
Michigan Mom, I think it depends how you walk. If you are a heel-striker, it will be a bit strange and may take a while to switch over. I walk 5+ miles a day, and when I got barefoot shoes, I had to start very slowly (like 1/2 a mile in these at most a day) because I was used to heel striking. When I couldn't comfortably walk with a strong heel-toe in these shoes, my body switched to the more natural gait, which put stress on my weak ankle tendons. It takes a while to strengthen weak ankle tendons. It's a better way of walking though, and my knee (which got severe osteoarthritis after all the heel-striking...surgery et al) feels a heckuva lot better when walking in barefoot shoes.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 7:11:53 AM PDT
Martushka says:
I bought them initially as a light weight walking and casual shoe. If you walk briskly and a lot at the outset in them you will probably feel it in your shins and/or calves, so I suggest easing into them even though you're not running. Walking fast is harder than running in a way. Just after purchasing them I took them to Europe and walked day after day in them, and did feel it in my lower legs. But my legs got stronger during those couple of weeks from the work.

Re: fit
I have a different take. My experience is that hiking and running shoes require one to go up a half size in most cases, so there is no toe-jamming, with thicker socks in the equation as well.
My normal shoe size is 8 1/2. I've always ended up with 9 with both hiking and running shoes.
In the Pace Glove and this one I have an 8.5 and they are good without socks, or with thin to medium socks in the case of the formerl
I find this model to be slightly roomier even though ostensibly it's the same last. I can wear them with pretty substantial socks and still not find them too snug.
I have been curious if anyone else finds them slightly roomier than their predecessor.

Posted on Mar 9, 2013 10:56:31 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Mar 9, 2013 10:56:56 PM PST]

Posted on May 1, 2013 7:08:30 PM PDT
PixieRN says:
You might also like the Vivobarefoot Breatho Trail shoe -- I have both those and the Merrell Pace Gloves, and they are very similar in appearance and fit/comfort. Loved that book! I will never be a marathoner, but I no longer worry about my Army PT test, either. :)

Posted on Jul 19, 2013 7:23:55 AM PDT
Trouble says:
Thank you! I have been loving my VFF and can only walk and run in the gym now because my foot needs more protection on our roads.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2013 8:53:16 AM PDT
Linda Benton says:
Hi I have a high arch, does this shoe provide arch support? Thanks for any answers.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2013 11:50:04 AM PDT
PixieRN says:
No, it is a barefoot-style shoe. I would recommend going to a running store and trying some various brands of shoes to see what fits you best, if you haven't done something like that already. Barefoot shoes are intended to mimic the experience of running barefoot while providing some protection for the sole of the foot.
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