Men's MERRELL® TRAIL GLOVE :: Get the best of both worlds when two running powerhouses combine forces for off-road adventure. Merrell® and Vibram, creators of the Five Fingers® barefoot running shoes, have teamed up to create the Trail Glove, a trailblazing new shoe. Enjoy multi-directional movement and off-road adaptability with the Trail Glove's unique comfort outsole design. Feel connected to your run with the minimal design and the Trail Glove's specific traction zones. Scramble across logs, creeks, and gullies with the greatest of ease in complete protected comfort. See, a little really can go a long way! 6.2 ounces
By Lawrence 3/6/2012 Was this review helpful? / I have been running in Merrell Trail Gloves for over a year now. I was previously running in N.B. 101's, decent shoes, but nothing like the T.G. I am a 61 year old runner who has won many master's races, and I had been looking for shoes that were like tough track flats. I was happy to find these, and I love them more with each outing. Let me count the ways: 1. Great outsole. Very tough Vibram. After one year of regular running on trails and roads, they still have many miles left. The sole has just enough thickness to protect the foot against small stones, ice, etc. The forefoot plate has no marked effect on flexibility, but gives a little extra protection against stone bruises. You can still barrel down that rocky trail. 2. Fabulous, unique lacing system that uses loops to draw the outsole up around the foot. There is a flexible section of the outsole that allows this. Some have suggested that, because they feel the instep drawn up against the foot that this show provides "support". Nonsense. There is no more support in this shoe than there is in a snug sock. I was at first mildly annoyed at the time it takes to put on and take off this shoe. Now I am happy to take the time, in the knowledge that, once on, the unique lacing allows a very snug midfoot fit, while still allowing the forefoot to have natural spread. Running on uneven surfaces is a joy, as there is absolutely no sliding around of the foot in the T.G. 3. I love the narrow midfoot part of the outsole and the rounded heel. I run on what I call in my running workshops the "dogfoot", so the heels of my shoes never touch the ground, except for the occasional rock that pokes up to meet them (so the Vibram protection is worth having). 4. The uppers are very durable, flexible, and breathable (maybe a little too breathable for those sub-zero winter days, but I can live with that). The shoes are washable, although all I have needed to do is to sponge them off occasionally. 5. The fit is fabulous, at least on my particular foot. They are made to wear barefoot, with a nice, smooth, antibacterial lining, but I pretty much always wear a thin sock with them. I can wear them tighter than I have ever worn running shoes, with almost no space between the tips of my toes and the shoes, because the foot doesn't slide around in T.G.s. That about does it. One thing I'd like to see from Merrell is some kind of barefoot winter boot. I have 2 pair of Tough Gloves that I wear at work and at home. I bought a barefoot boot from another manufacturer, but it isn't the same fit or feel. http://www.alexandertechnique-running.com
I am very excited about this shoe! I had been running in the New Balance MT101, which is a great shoe, but it has an 8mm heel, which, in an uncushioned shoe, tends to make the heel hit the ground too quickly after forefoot strike. At least that is my experience. The Trail Glove, on the other hand, and no heel lift, and feels easier on my feet when running on sidewalks (it is winter where I live, and I have little choice at times).
The fit is great - one can lace this shoe snugly, and it really wraps the foot. I like the way the the heel really pulls around the rear foot, giving a nice firm fit. The shoe snug around the foot, but leaves plenty of space for the forefoot and toes to spread out. And I especially like the rounded heel, that allows for much better movement on uneven surfaces -- the shoe isn't torqued when running across and incline.
First impression was that the forefoot insole was too cushioned (not a real insole, just a foot bed, actually), but this impression goes away quickly upon running. Forefoot protection is good, in spite of the fact that there is no protection plate, like in the 101. Merrell has managed to protect the foot with a hard but flexible Vibram sole (or maybe there is a plate in there, but it is quite flexible, unlike that in the 101 -- which isn't a problem, either, but some might notice it).
Obviously, anyone used to wearing shoes -- running or otherwise -- must begin by taking short runs with a shoe like this. It will really make your calves work differently, at a longer length, etc. It is so much fun to run in these shoes that it is easy to get carried away.
Bravo, Merrell, for taking the leap to a minimalist shoe. I am a 60 year old guy, and I have been waiting for shoes like this for a long time!
Greatest shoe ever?
I need to do a lot more running in these, but I think these might be my new favorite shoes. I've been wearing nike free 3.0 for about five years, so I'm used to a minimal shoe, but these are different and, I think, better. It takes some time to get feet, ankles, calves, and all in shape so I've been walking and jogging around for a couple weeks and now I think I'm ready for a long run. We'll see what happens, but I'm very optimistic. There's a good review from Barefoot U on line that is very helpful about how to train in these and get the most out of them.
Everything it claims to be
This is really what a minimalist shoe is all about. It's like a second skin with vibram protection and grip. The lacing system allows proper wrap around your foot and enhances the performance. The first shoe I ever had that fits the shape of the foot. Heel and midfoot perfectly wrap around your foot and the toebox widens exactly like my foot shape allowing natural movement as if you were not wearing shoes. This shoe is a Grand Slam. Good job, Merrell.
Definitely a BUY!!
These are great shoes!!! The lacing system allows anyone to lace that great fit. I had to downsize by a half but besides that, that is the only negative. Note these are ultra minimalist. I have worn them to class, on rocky/gravel trails and they hold up great!
Good shoe right out of the box.
The shoe was a great fit. It had some growing pains for the first two weeks. I run in them sockless and I have to keep putting vaseline on certain areas on my foot to keep the skin healthy. I had some pretty bad sores on my achilles tendon, top of my toes, and interior arch at first. Its not a big deal to put vaseline on before I go out. Its a good trade-off because the shoes feel sort of weird in normal socks.
Also, you may read on the internet that the arch support is really high/molded strange and it bothers people. If you find the right size, it should go right in to place with your arch and you wont even notice it. I bought the shoe a 1/2 size bigger and I felt the arch being more forward, so I returned it and dropped down to my normal shoe size (10.5) and it was right where it should be. If you ask me now, I wouldn't even know it was there.
Im 71 miles in and over 1 month of wearing them, so I felt it was appropriate to write a review up.
Great Minimalist Shoe
I run about 3 to 4 times a week (15-20 miles). I am relatively new to the sport (July 2010) but have quickly become a convert. I wanted to try barefoot running and my brother-in-law recommended this shoe. So far I am only using this shoe to run once a week at relatively short mileage. I am also using to walk in. I tried this shoe on and the first thing I notice is the extra room in the toe box. This takes a little getting used to. The second thing I noticed was the high arch support. I have flat feet, so this was a welcomed benefit. Lastly, I tried running with and without socks, and I definitely don't want socks. It creates unnecessary tightness and the shoe I feel, operates better without socks. Overall I like this shoe a lot. If you've never run barefoot, I would definitely recommend introducing these to your workouts gradually.
Bucks County, PA
I love these shoes!
I've always been a midfoot striker and people have teased me throughout the years about me walking on my imaginary high heels. Now with all the research out about barefoot running, I'm realizing that I have been doing it right the whole time. It has always been difficult finding shoes that fit me well because of it and these fit amazing. I feel like I'm running barefoot with very soft socks. They are a bit slick on wet terrain, but I don't expect to be wearing these in that type of terrain since they are more "summer" shoes. I wish road runner carried different colors because I want another pair!
Will the rugby player
Good shoe, but not for rocky trails
This is a very good shoe, and I would love it EXCEPT I bought it for the sole purpose of running on rocky trails. The forefoot plate does a decent job of blunting impacts, but the rest of the shoe doesn't offer much protection. I realize that there's only so much that they can do with such a minimalist shoe, and this shoe did offer more protection than at least one other minimalist trail shoe that I've tried. I guess the bottom line is that if I want to run rocky trails, I need a less minimalist shoe. If you want to run on dirt trails or trails with rocks that are far enough apart to easily avoid, then this shoe would probably be a great choice.
Great Training Shoe
Great starter barefoot shoe. All the advantages of 5 Fingers without the funky look and feel.
I like 'em
Love the look and feel. I wear them around town and don't think I would run in them. I'm just not a 'run on the toes' kind of guy and these hurt a bit when you run a normal stride. The site said buy a size up, but I found my normal size was fine. The shoes have a huge (too big?) toe box - both in width and length. They actually seem to run half a size long - there's easily 3/4 of an inch between my toes and the front of the shoe. The lining is nice and I guess the shoes are meant to be worn barefoot, which I don't do. So, they are a bit of a pain to put on over my Smartwool socks as the lining grabs at the socks.
Great shoe for a lot of uses
I have low arches, so I would not have expected myself to be a good candidate for these shoes. Tried my first pair about 2 years ago and have used nothing else since then for exercise. I wear them without socks (so I size them the same as my dress shoes, rather than the usual 1/2 size larger for running shoes). I use them for running, walking, hiking, and working out. They're comfortable, light, and perform well.
Panama City, FL
Great shoe - running is fun again! Fit is definitely one size up, but comfortable sockless. Transition to barefoot takes time, so be cautious as you'll find yourself wanting to do more early on (Merrell has a great app to help the transition).
Not a great trail shoe (but didn't buy it for that), as rubber is hard and doesn't grip rock and there is limited protection. That said, it is very much one with the foot.
Love the shoe, use it for cross country and road.
Great Minimalist shoe
The vibram soles are amazing, helps protect your feet from rocks and things. One downfall is though the soles could last forever as a minimalist landing mid foot in the bend of the foot the sole is coming apart from the shoe. HOWEVER, that is after over 500 miles in them. They can be kinda slick while running in the rain. But these shoes I love and adore! They will take me through my first marathon on Oct. 16th. They are worth a try for a minimalist runner!
Good but not Great!
This shoe was a half size too long but too narrow/tight for me. It has plenty of toebox room and would make a great minimal running shoe if it was just a little wider. I like them as a casual shoe to light trail hiker/runner but because of the narrow Vibram footbed I didn't care for running in them. I don't hate it but wasn't the right running shoe for me, I'm going to be returning them.
Poplar Bluff, MO
Good for minimalist
Great to step into the minimalist realm! I bought them for hiking, trail running, and general use. I had to go down a 1/2 size and they are still a bit bigger than I'd like though. I'm doing my road runs in Newtons right now but I may transition to these.
Great for Crossfit
I needed a minimalist shoe for Crossfit that could handle jumping and running. This shoe feels great and lets me get back on my heels for the Olympic lifting while still having padding for running short distances comfortably (one mile or less).
Ed the Cop
These shoes are great!
This is a great all around shoe whether you are on the road or trail! The only issue I have had is with traction on wet pavement (run through some freshly sprinkler-ed sidewalks and be ready for some adventure).
Original Merrell Trail Glove - Awesome!
Incredibly durable shoe that performs well on all terrain. I have found it to be great for hiking, scurrying, trail running, and all-around use.
GenX Trail Guy
excellent fit and well made
comfortable right out of the box. extremely light weight.
Mens Merrell Trail Glove Trail Running Shoe
Your Help Is Here
Shop with confidence knowing your team of Fit Experts is waiting to answer all your questions.
You can always find your perfect product and your perfect fit.
Your Road Runner Sports Fit Experts will make sure you get exactly what you want and have tons of fun in the process!
Give us a call, chat, or email!
Call 800-743-3206 to
Get help with your order or finding a product
Learn how to find your perfect fit for shoes, apparel and gear based on your feet, body, and training goals
Or just to have a great time talking about life, liberty and the pursuit of running!!!