Merrell Men's Bare Access 2 Minimal Running Shoe,Lemon Racer,15 M US
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- Vibram sole
- Barefoot-inspired running shoe with low heel-to-toe drop
- Reflective details
- Cushioning lining
- Aegis antimicrobial treatment
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DECENT FEATURES of the Merrell Men's Bare Access 2 Shoe Mesh and synthetic upper Molded eyelets for secure lacing Fused rubber toe bumper provides durability and protection External heel stability arm Reflective details for increased visibility in low light 0mm Drop / 8mm Cush / 14 Stack Height Non marking outsole Vibram outsole Vegan friendly footwear The SPECS of the Merrell Men's Bare Access 2 Shoe Weight: 1/2 pair: 9 oz
- Package Dimensions: 13.9 x 9.2 x 4.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
- ASIN: B00B97Q0RK
- Item model number: J42197
- Date first available at Amazon.com: March 20, 2013
- Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
- International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
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1) Very light weight - MUCH lighter than my adidas cleats (obviously). These shoes almost as light as the box they came in. I didn't think that was actually possible. These are probably just as light as the inov8 shoes I used to wear, but these are better than the inov8 shoes because...
2) Highly durable - My inov8 shoes developed holes over my pinky toes, a result of all the side-stepping I do when working as an Assistant Referee. These Merrell shoes have had no issues with holes.
EDIT: Not as durable as I thought. While the inov8 shoes lasted one season, these shoes lasted two. Still double the life of the inov8 shoes, but "highly durable" is not an accurate description.
3) HUGE toe box - Best feature of all. My toes have never been so comfortable in a pair of soccer/running shoes. I'm so spoiled by these, that I refuse to wear my adidas cleats unless a field is soaking wet, because I'd rather have comfortable toes.
4) Completely flat - I like this because it means I can put my own insole into the shoe and not have to compensate for the shape of the shoe itself. I've actually stopped using gel insoles, possibly because these shoes are so comfortable that I no longer feel the need to improve them.
Only downside: These are not waterproof AT ALL. Just like my inov8 shoes, these are not meant to be worn in the rain...or early in the morning if there is dew on the grass! Yes, even the dew on a sunny summer morning will soak your socks! Be prepared change your socks often if you insist on wearing these in wet conditions (as I do).
Despite the need to wear a waterproof sock even in the summer, these are still the best shoes I've ever worn for soccer, and I highly recommend them.
-Limited heal to toe drop - this shoe is very minimal and allows for efficient running form. I would describe it as a little bit steeper than the New Balance Minimus which I found to be slightly too aggressive, but more aggressive than a lot of the shoes masquerading as minimal these days.
-Light weight - feels super light on your feet, almost as light as a track spike, although slightly more.
-Durability - given how light and minimal it is you might think it has durability issues. However, you can solidly get 500 miles out of them. I've never had any issues with the laces, upper, heal, toe box, etc. having issues. The first thing to go is always the sole of the shoe which means the rest is quite well crafted. I've even played basketball or soccer in them (something that will typically ripe the toe box of many shoes) and had no issues.
-Colors - lots of legit color options always a plus.
-Stiff - for how light and minimal the shoe is it is still quite stiff and responsive, not quite as flexible as the New Balance Minimus for example. While you can feel large pebbles if you step on them, it is more uncomfortable than painful like it would be with Minimus.
-Laces - solid and never have issues with them staying tied.
This shoe is very comfortable. Have used it twice on treadmill and can't wait to get outside. Even if I never run in it, and I certainly plan to, I can see it as a great everyday shoe. My feet are a mess due to years of running in traditional shoes, and I'm hoping these shoes will produce a little rehabilitation.
UPDATE (10-22-2014): I have now run in this shoe for six months, including half-marathon training and races. It has been great! I'm now a convert to minimalist shoes and have order my second pair of Merrell Bare Access. As I anticipated in my initial review, the huge but comfortable toe box has done wonders for my toes and toenails.
I have only one very minor complaint. There has been very little wear on the shoe but on the sole of the left shoe a tiny "crack" emerged after about 3-4 months. You can barely see it, even when holding the shoe up to light. It gradually expanded from about 2 cm to 4 cm. The only effect is: When the running surface is damp, or I run through puddles, I feel the dampness or a little coldness seep in.