Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good all around shoe that takes some getting used to, June 30, 2011
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This review is from: Merrell Men's Barefoot True Glove (Apparel)
This review is for Men's Merrell Barefoot True Glove (9 M in black/molten lava).

I exercise at a CrossFit gym, so I use these shoes for short distance runs, box jumps, jumping rope, landing from a pull-up bar, power lifting, Olympic weightlifting, kettlebell swings, squats, push-ups, rowing... everything really.

The first time I put them on, I didn't like the way they felt. They felt thin (duh! it's a minimalist shoe) and pinched a little at the top of the fabric around the heel. Two minutes later they felt totally comfortable. I'd forget I was wearing them. They have been comfortable ever since - no pinching or any other discomfort.

Minimalist Design
The shoes are snug, so it takes some wiggling to get them on. There is very little arch support; the sole is thin in the arch and slightly thicker under the heel and the ball of the foot. This is intentional design. It feels the way I imagine my bare feet would feel if extremely calloused on the heel and ball. My feet feel protected. The tread on the sole gives good grip. My feet do not slip when running on concrete or when doing Olympic lifts and footing is critical for safety. The shoelace design is ingenious. The loops to hold the laces are also sewn into the tongue of the shoe. As I pull the shoelace tight the tongue automatically tucks under the sides of the shoe. I find that pulling the shoelaces lightly tight is enough; if I snug the laces down as much as I did with a typical running shoe it can make my feet ache.

I have been using these shoes three to five times a week for several months. I enjoy them for all the exercise I do with the exception of running and box jumps. The minimalist shoe doesn't provide as much impact support, so I have had some joint pain in my knee while running and my ankles while jumping down from the box. I am working on improving my Pose running technique to keep running impact in the muscles instead of the joints, and that has helped. The only problems I have had with them are because they are minimalist shoes and provide less support; I expect any problems to go away as my ankles and legs strengthen. When you buy the shoes they come with a label that says to listen to your feet, i.e., ease into using these shoes to give your ankles time to strengthen. I am satisfied with this product, expect to keep using them, and recommend them to other athletes.

UPDATE:
Two months later I'm still using these shoes four to five times a week. Just did a 2 mile run in 14 minutes without any discomfort. Box jumps are also comfortable now. These minimalist shoes have strengthened my legs because the muscles take the impact of exercise instead of the joints.

I have gotten so used to these shoes that I wear them any chance I get. I've worn them hiking and to church (after a good washing!). They are very comfortable, and I like that I can feel what I'm stepping on. I recommend these shoes to you if you take the time to get used to them.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 9, 2012 7:24:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 9, 2012 7:25:01 PM PST
I have only worn these shoes 4-5 times, the reason i can not wear them anymore is due to the fact that my heels and ankles were bleeding and I seriously couldn't walk any further. I personally hate these shoes, but maybe other individuals have thicker skin than i do, maybe they should be worn by elephants!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2012 12:33:48 AM PST
safadez says:
I have found that if the top edge of fabric around the heal is folded over it is very uncomfortable. If I get the fold straightened out, it is very comfortable. I would guess that your situation might be that the fabric on the back is too long and is cutting into your heal even when straightened out? This shoe may not fit everyone perfectly, but it does fit me very well. Also, I always wear athletic ankle socks with these shoes... (Except when swimming. I have been cliff diving and lake swimming with these shoes, and loved it! Great water use with these shoes.)
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