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Customer Review

70 of 84 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Argh, the arches, January 31, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First off: I am a huge fan of the Trail Gloves. I loved my first pair so much I bought another. Not because they wore out or anything, but just because I wanted a pair to get muddy and another pair to keep clean(ish). I've convinced five or six of my friends to purchase pairs of their own. I love love love me some Trail Glove.

So, naturally I was ecstatic to find out about the Road Gloves. A version of the Trail Glove that I love, optimized for the road? Yes sir, sign me up, sight unseen, immediately.

They arrived today -- I tried them on and immediately got very confused. There appeared to be some kind of hard lump situated underneath my arch. I took the shoes off and put them back on again. The lump was still there. I went and got my (week-old) pair of Trail Gloves to compare. I even put one Road Glove on one foot and one Trail Glove on the other foot, and then did the same with the opposite feet. The difference is honestly ASTOUNDING. The Trail Glove feels like a crazy ninja ballet slipper. The Road Glove feels like . . . a heavier slipper with a stiff awkward lump in the middle.

Merrell dudes and ladies, if you're reading this, seriously please try the following:

A.) Take a brand new pair of Trail Gloves and bend them in half. I.e. make the top of the toe touch the back of the heel. (This is what I show off to my friends while shopping when I am trying to get them to buy a pair of your shoes. Awesome selling trick.)

B.) Now try the same with a brand new pair of Road Gloves.

The Trail Gloves roll right up like a burrito. The Road Gloves, well, don't.

Now to be fair -- if I hadn't spent the past few years running in various minimalist footwear, the Road Gloves would probably be blowing my mind right now. They'd probably still be great. Maybe they're intended to be a 'transition' shoe, like the Saucony Kinvara or Nike Free or something. I don't know. What I DO know, however, is that I'm going to be returning these (after less than an hour owning them), and that I'm going to be buying more Trail Gloves.

To sum up: if you like the Trail Gloves, don't get these shoes. If you wished the Trail Gloves were stiffer, heavier, and had arch support, get these shoes.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 31, 2012 10:30:48 PM PST
Ryan says:
Grouchy much? Roads tend to be stiffer, heavier, and have to support more weight than your typical trail surface. Thus, it sounds like Merrell has perfectly emulated the characteristics which makes a road so functionally great and infused them into a shoe. The Merrell Road Glove.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2012 11:09:58 PM PST
jhmoore says:
Oh man I really don't want to get into an internet argument about how a shoe feels to the foot of the beholder here, but this is a minimalist running shoe. It is from a line of footwear called 'Barefoot.' Merrell's own official product page for the things has the following exact description:

"Its supportive fabric and mesh upper breathes and secures the foot Zero-drop cushioning lands your feet pancake-flat, aligning your body and strengthening muscles."

My feet are not 'pancake-flat' in these shoes -- owing to the huge stiff lump of arch support sitting in the middle of them.

Yes, you may be correct, traditional road running shoes may have more support and stiffness, but that's not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a flexible lightweight shoe with zero arch support and zero drop. That's what Merrell is advertising and promoting (and producing quite successfully in another shoe -- have I mentioned how utterly in love I am with the Trail Gloves?). The reality of this shoe was so jarringly different compared to what I was expecting that I actually gave my first ever Amazon review because I'd like to see them make it better in future iterations.

I was honestly hoping for something like the Vibram KSOs or Bikilas (if you consider their KSO Treks to be analogous to the Trail Gloves) -- i.e. the same shoe, but with a less knobbly tread and a lighter-weight upper. Instead I got something much different, and I'm attempting to warn fellow minimalist footwear enthusiasts of such.

Anyway! Not grouchy. Still love Merrell; don't like these shoes.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2012 1:20:12 AM PST
Ryan says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Feb 26, 2012 7:11:51 AM PST
The arches are not supportive nor noticeable if you have a normal arch - I have no idea why someone with flat feet would even try and run in a minimalist shoe. The shoe is made for a normal arch, neutral, forefoot runner.
I find them as flexible as the Trail Glove, which I have run in extensively on roads and trails for over a year now.

Posted on Apr 7, 2012 9:50:14 AM PDT
fermata says:
I'm new to minimalist running. My first pair was the Trail Glove, and I love them, though I took it too fast and have some aches I'm needing to let rest. But that was my fault, not the shoes. I am however going to purchase a pair of the Road Gloves, hoping that eases/smooths out my transition. And I have a pair of the NB Minimus Road on the way, just to have a comparison to the Merrell brand.

By the way, I have a normal arch but am a significant pronator, i.e., not neutral, and there is tons of info available saying that that should not be a concern when considering minimalist shoes. I've always been a forefoot/midfoot striker and so that part hasn't been difficult for me to acclimate to.

Finally, I think jhmoore wrote an intelligent and honest review. Just because some may disagree with it is no reason to come here and call him grouchy, and worse, to go to another review and comment on it that jhmoore is lying, to quote "A man who speaks the truth! Unlike some people--Jhmoore". That's lame.

Posted on Apr 7, 2012 6:56:04 PM PDT
Ryan says:
J Moore's just giving his opinion--you don't need to attack him, people! Sheesh.

Posted on Apr 7, 2012 9:14:49 PM PDT
fermata says:
Well R. Crawford, you're the one who accused jhmoore of lying in your reply to Pudd'nHead's post.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 12:27:34 PM PDT
Ryan says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Apr 29, 2012 11:23:21 AM PDT
tabhastal says:
I agree completely with the arch support making these shoes very uncomfortable to walk in. But when you run in them; they feel great! I have no reason to support Merrell but I do think you need to remember what these shoes are for. They are for running; not walking. Try running in them and see if your opinion changes.

Posted on Sep 26, 2012 12:17:40 PM PDT
D. Morcos says:
jhmoore, Same happened to me today, got this shoe and the Vivobarefoot Men's Neo Running Shoe. The Vivo was flat, flexible with no support, and the first thing that I felt was that arch lump that was so so annoying. Even though I got the road gloves at less than $70 I will not wear them. It will be like running with a pebble in my shoe.
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