Trail Running Shoes 2012: Merrell Trail Glove

$110 4.5 / 5 REI: 4.5 / 5 REI: The Merrell Trail Glove cross-training shoes are tough enough to handle light hiking in wet or dry conditions. Their light weight and innovative design let feet work as if they're not in shoes at all. Customer Reviews: -I've used this shoe the last year and a half to backpack in the mountains in New Mexico and Arkansas, doing 10-12 miles a day. I've been very happy with comfort, performance, and durability. -I ran in a pair of these this morning for the first time. Was mostly on Pavement and NOT Trail. The extra thick tread under the toe makes more noise than my Current Gloves. I think these shoes feel good but they feel like SHOES (not barefoot). They are Zero Drop and have a comfortable Toe Box though. -they are definitely full-blown shoes, which is my only real complaint with them (I prefer barefoot or huaraches myself). They don't really shine until you get them out on rugged trail. When you do that most of the weakness turn into strengths--instead of feeling constrictive, they really feel like an extension of your feet. -When I first tried mine they felt like a pair of cylcing shoes compared to my Vivo Evos and I lacked confidence in them on smooth surfaces. A always felt like I would slip, no evidence for it just a preoccupation. Off road, I really enjoy them and the extra protection they give on rocky ground. I like the look of them but after alot of miles, I think that they are just not for me. I alter my style in them more than in other shoes. Bit of a sickener because they are so well well put together and look like they will last forever. -For runners fully indoctrinated in barefoot running or zero drop shoes, I would recommend the Trail Glove as a go-to trail shoe for non-technical trails. For those hoping to break into this new world of barely there trail footwear or those running higher mileage on rockier trails, I would recommend the Minimus Trail to keep your feet feeling nearly bare, but protected. Either way, running in trail shoes which simulate barefoot performance is freeing and exhilarating. I’ve definitely noticed benefits in my foot strength and injury prevention. Just transition with caution! -The Trail Glove fits more like a glove that the slipper like KSO Trek, mostly because of the lacing system. The Trail Glove and KSO Treks are both lightweight, I haven't checked the spec's to compare, but they are both minimalist shoes so its probably not a huge difference. The separate toes in the KSO Trek's and other Five Finger line-up is a novel design (maybe not since it is just modeled after the human foot), but I don't think it adds any advantages to running that the Trail Glove doesn't, aside from being goofy looking, getting dandelions caught between your toes, stubbing your toes and the ability to grab things with your toes to impress your friends. I think the Trail glove is more protective and more comfortable than the KSO Treks and you don't have to train your toes to fit into individual pockets. If you like the Five Fingers, that's fine, I ran with them for a while and liked them a lot, until I tried these bad boys.

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