Merrell Barefoot and Minimalist Shoes To Buy Or Not?

With outdoor activities in mind, Merrell has been at the forefront for a while now. They produce different products for different types of environments and activities. They have always done their best to keep up with and set the pace of the ever-changing world.

The level of attention to detail put into the shoes is simply remarkable. This extends to the clothes they design and produce. In this article, we review a number of Merrell’s barefoot and minimalist shoes for you to choose which one suits you best. Here is the first one!

Merrell Barefoot and Minimalist Shoes

Photo Name What We like
Vapor Glove 3 The shoes are Comfortable They are Lightweight
Vapor Glove 3 Luna They are Waterproof They are Beautifully designed They run True to size
Trail Glove 4 They have a Minimal look Sock like shoe feel They have Vibram Soles
Bare Access Flex It Offers Arch support They are Comfortable They are quite Attractive
Bare Access Flex Knit They are Comfortable They are Lightweight You get them in Various Designs

Merrell Barefoot and Minimalist Shoes Reviews

Women’s Vapor Glove 3

Women’s Vapor Glove 3 received a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Here is why. It has minimal cushioning to give you a close connection to the terrain you are working on.

This feature enhances flexibility which allows your muscles to work often thus strengthening your feet. Its flexibility also enables it to fit in small traveling bags.

Its well-patterned Vibram outsole gives you more traction when walking or performing outdoor activities. They grip also enhances the durability of the shoes.

The upper part is made using breathable mesh to ensure your feet are as comfortable as possible for you to perform a wide variety of activities. Vapor Glove 3 is available in two colors namely the acid punch and the black/silver.

Key Features

  1. Mesh and TPU upper
  2. Breathable mesh lining
  3. Outer Material: Synthetic
  4. Inner Material: Manmade
  5. Sole: Gum Rubber
  6. Closure: Lace-Up
  7. Heel Height: 9 millimetres
  8. Heel Type: Flat
  9. Material Composition: Synthetic
  10. Trail protect pad offers underfoot protection
  11. Box contents: One pair of Vapor Glove 3 trail running shoes

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Fray up pretty quickly.
  • Not waterproof
  • The upper synthetic are a massive let down.

Average Rating

4.5 out of 5.0 stars

Women’s Vapor Glove 3 Luna

The Luna Kit got a 5-star rating due to a number of interesting features. Among them is minimal cushioning which gives the user a close connection to the terrain you are working on.

Flexibility is also enhanced by allowing the user’s muscles to work as much as possible thus strengthening his or her feet. Its flexibility also enables to fit in small traveling bags.

With the well-patterned Vibram outsole on the sole, you get more traction when walking or performing outdoor activities. The grip also enhances the durability of the shoe.

The upper part is made using breathable mesh to ensure your feet are as comfortable as possible for you to do a wide variety of activities. The shoe is available in two colors namely aluminum and high rise.

Key Features

  1. 100% Leather
  2. Imported
  3. Rubber sole
  4. Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch
  5. Vibram TC5+
  6. TrailProtect pad offers underfoot protection
  7. Soft full grain leather upper

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Beautifully designed
  • True to size

Cons

  • The lace loops are their weakest link.
  • Some manufacturing defects reported

The shoe is perfect until you make use of it extensively.

Average Rating

5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Women’s Trail Glove 4

Trail Glove 4 shoe received a 4.4 out of 5-star rating. It is minimal and increases the performance of the user due to its flexibility. Users have described the feeling they get with this shoe as sock-like.

Its Vibram sole enhances traction and durability. It is lightly cushioned to enhance flexibility and breathability of your toes. It also has a zero heel to toe ratio to enable the user to feel the ground as much as possible.

The shoe is very light thus enabling the user to perform a wide range of activities with ease. The shoe has three different colors for you to choose from namely vetiver, black, and molten lava.

Key Features

  1. 100% textile and synthetic
  2. Imported
  3. Synthetic sole
  4. Mesh Upper, Breathable mesh lining
  5. Zero Drop/4MM Cushion; 3mm lugs
  6. Trail Protect pad offers underfoot protection
  7. Vibram Outsole; Durable
  8. Stack height (heel/toe): 11.5/11.5mm; footbed: 0mm; insole: 3mm; midsole: 4/4mm; sole: 1.5 web, 3mm lugs

Pros

  • Minimal look
  • Sock like shoe feel
  • Vibram Sole
  • Lightly cushioned
  • Wide toe box

Cons

  • Not as durable as they ought to be

Average Rating

4.4 out of 5.0 stars

Women’s Bare Access Flex

The Bare Access Flex received a 4.0 out of 5-star rating owing to the fact that it is powered by Flex connect which offers an advanced level of performance, versatility, and comfort to the user.

It is very comfortable and at the same time, you contact with bare ground. Obviously depending on whether it is on roads, railways or forests. The shoe is made using an upper lining mesh to enable the user’s feet to breath and enhance comfort. It has a printed heel by TPU to enable the user to maneuver sharp turns and corners easily.

Its dual-directional midsole enhances stability and agility on rough terrain. The grooves are sticky to enhance traction and grip in very dry or wet areas.

It is also light to increase the performance of the user. Bare Access Flex comes in four lovely colors which include black or metallic lilac, Aruba blue, Paloma, and Persian red.

Key Features

  1. 100% Mesh, TPU
  2. Imported
  3. Vibram sole
  4. Mesh Upper
  5. Gripping Outsole
  6. Lightweight
  7. EVA Foam Cushioning
  8. FlexConnect

Pros

  • Offer Arch support
  • Comfortable
  • Attractive

Cons

  • Slippery on wet surfaces
  • Upper material is not so strong
  • Heel tends to start to squeak

Average Rating

4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Women’s Bare Access Flex Knit

Bare Access Flex Knit was rated at 4.1 out of 5 stars. It is powered by Flex connect to offer an advanced level of performance, versatility, and comfort to the user.

The shoe is comfortable and at the same time, giving the user an opportunity to get in touch with bare ground depending on if it is on roads, railways, or forests. This footwear is made using an upper lining mesh to enable the user’s feet to breathe and enhance comfort.

Its printed heel by TPU enables the user to maneuver sharp turns and corners easily. The dual directional midsole enhances stability and agility on rough terrain.

The grooves are dual directional and sticky to enhance traction and grip in very dry or wet areas. It is also light to increase the performance of the user. The shoe comes in four colors which include the blue depths, black, aqua and rose red.

Key Features

  • 100% Textile and Synthetic
  • Imported
  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft measures approximately not_applicable from arch
  • 3D knit upper for 360-degree sock-like fit
  • FLEXconnect dual-directional flex-groove EVA midsole for agility and stability
  • Lace with lace lock closure system for quick and secure lacing

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Various Designs

Cons

  • Lacing system not durable

Average Rating

4.1 out of 5.0 stars

Women’s Trail Glove 4 Knit

Trail Glove 4 Knit received 4.8 out of 5 stars. With this shoe, your feet and toes will be comfortable and spread out. You also get to feel one with the shoe due to its 3D sock-like knit construction which goes all around. It has the lock lacing system to save you time fit in securely. The stretch collar helps you wear and take off the shoe easily.

Trail Glove 4 Knit is made using the Hyper lock TPU film heel to enhance the security of your feet. You can imagine how comfortable this shoe is with its integrated footbed and cushioning layer of 3mm.

It also has a trail protect pad that offers extra support when you are training in off-road. The shoe is minimal and protective at the same time thus enhancing versatility.

It is a zero drop shoe with a heel-toe ratio of 11.5. The shoe is also ideal for vegans. It comes in four different colors which include the Blue Depths, Dusty Olive, Vapor and Black.

Key Features

  • 100% Textile and Synthetic
  • Imported
  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft measures approximately not_applicable from arch
  • 3D knit upper for a 360-degree sock-like fit
  • Vibram
  • Lace with lace lock closure system for quick and secure lacing
  • TrailProtect pad offers additional support off-road

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Great balance
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Terrible laces
  • Not great for long-distance

Average Rating

4.8 out of 5.0 stars

Women’s Bare Access Flex E Mesh

Bare Access Flex E Mesh is a wonderful minimalist shoe. It received a rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars. It has been designed with the M Select SHIELD which offers protection from different types of weather.

This minimalist shoe also blends in a unique way to give the user a special fit and also enhance versatility. The M Select SHIELD offers resistance to water. The TPU upper mesh ensures that your feet breathe.

It also has Fresh antimicrobial agents to eliminate odor coming out of the shoe or your feet.  Flex-Connect feature also offers the user additional off-road support.

It has been constructed in a minimal and protective way to enhance versatility. The shoe has a heel to toe ratio or stack height of 14.2mm. The shoe is available in three colors namely the turquoise, black and hot coral.

Key Features

  • 100% Synthetic
  • Imported
  • Synthetic sole
  • Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch
  • FLEXconnect dual-directional flex-groove EVA midsole for agility and stability
  • Hyperlock molded TPU heel counter for security
  • Mesh and TPU upper
  • Merrell Barefoot construction is minimal yet protective for versatility outside 
  • Vibram® TC5+ 
  • Stack height (heel/toe): 11.5/11.5m; footbed: 0mm; insole: 3mm; midsole: 4/4mm; sole: 1.5mmweb, 3mm lug 
  • Weight: 0lbs 8oz / 232g (1/2 pair)

Pros

  • Super comfortable
  • Arch support
  • Great for walking

Cons

  • Sole is not durable
  • Sizing issues, may be too tight.

Average Rating

4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Women’s Trail Glove 4 Shield

Trail Glove 4 Shield has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. The M Select SHIELd offers protection from different types of weather. The shoe blends in a great way to fit the user and enhance versatility.

The M Select SHIELD makes the shoe water resistant. Its Fresh antimicrobial agents eliminate odor coming out of the shoe or your feet.

With the TPU upper mesh, your feet will breathe the entire time you have the shoe on. The shoe also fits naturally on the feet due to its Burrito tongue wraps. The Trail Protect pad gives the user additional off-road support.

The shoe has been designed and made in a protective and minimal way to fit different users. The shoe has a heel to toe ratio or stack height of 11.5mm. It is available in three colors which are the play digital, hyper nature and the black/purple.

Key Features

  • synthetic-and-mesh
  • Imported
  • Synthetic sole
  • The minimalist style of the Merrell® Trail Glove 4 Shield shoe offers maximum performance to keep you moving with confidence on any trail.

Pros

  • Comfortable right out the box
  • Lightweight
  • Great Traction
  • Flexible
  • Great fit

Cons

  • Sizes run smaller
  • Not great for a long run
  • Not made with wide feet in mind
  • No ankle support

Average Rating

4.2 out of 5.0 stars

Women’s Bare Access Flex Shield

Bare Access Flex Shield has been rated at 3.9 out of 5 stars. The trainer shoes have the M SHIELD to enhance the protection of your feet and so that you can be comfortable, have a ground connection, and experience versatility in any type of weather.

With M Select SHIELD, the shoe is water resistant. It has the traditional lacing closure. With the dual directional groove, you can be sure of stability and agility on any road and sharp turns.

It also has antimicrobial agents to eliminate odor. It has a stack height or heel-toe ratio of 14.2mm. The shoe is available in three colors namely Hyper nature, neon vapor, and black/white.

It also has antimicrobial agents to eliminate odor. It has a stack height or heel toe ratio of 14.2mm. The shoe is available in three colors namely Hyper nature, neon vapor and the black/white.

Key Features

  • Synthetic
  • Imported
  • Synthetic sole
  • The Merrell® Bare Access Flex Shield trail shoe is perfect for protecting you from the weather while you enjoy the trail, road, and beyond!
  • Mesh and TPU upper 
  • Traditional lace closure 
  • Hyperlock™ film heel counter for security 
  • M Select™ FRESH antimicrobial agents reduces shoe odor 
  • Integrated footbed 
  • FLEXconnect™ dual directional flex-groove EVA midsole for agility and stability on uneven terrain 
  • M Select™ GRIP+ outsole with anatomical grooves is sticky and durable for superior grip and traction on wet or dry trails 
  • Stack height (heel/toe): 14.2/14.2mm; footbed: 0MM; insole: 3mm; midsole: 8/8mm; sole: 1.2mm web, 2mm lugs 
  • Weight: 8oz / 218g (1/2 pair)

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Comfortable
  • Good fit

Cons

  • Didn’t like the laces. Won’t tighten as much as I would like.

Average Rating

3.9 out of 5.0 stars

Women’s Trail Glove 4 Knit Wool

The Trail Glove 4 Knit Wool received a 3 stars rating. This barefoot shoe is just perfect as it ensures your feet and toes are comfortable and warm in cold weather with blended wool.

You also get to feel one with the shoe due to its 3D sock-like knit construction which goes all around. It has a lock lacing system to save you time to fit in securely. The stretch collar helps you wear and take off the shoe easily.

The shoe is made using the Hyper lock TPU film heel to enhance the security of your feet. You can imagine how comfortable this shoe is with its integrated footbed and cushioning layer of 3mm.

It also has a trail protect pad that offers extra support when you are training off-road. It is minimal and protective at the same time thus enhancing versatility. It is a zero drop shoe with a heel-toe ratio of 11.5mm. This shoe is available in one color: The Natural.   

Key Features

  • Fabric, Wool
  • Imported
  • The minimal look of the Merrell® Trail Glove 4 Knit Wool shoe features maximum performance and incredible underfoot comfort that will keep you soaring down the trails!

Pros

  • Attractive

Cons

  • Not shoes in my book.
  • Feel like socks.
  • The sole feels rigid

Average Rating

3.0 out of 5.0 stars

Women’s Trail Glove SHIELD CPH

Trail Glove SHIELD CPH received 4.9 out of 5 stars. This trainer shoe was designed and made after Merrell collaborated with talented photographers, designers, DJs, choreographers, and architects from Copenhagen.

It has the M Select SHIELD which offers protection from different types of weather. This footwear also blends in a unique way to give the user a special fit and also enhance versatility. The M Select SHIELD offers resistance to water. The TPU upper mesh ensures that your feet breathe.

The minimalist shoe fits naturally on the feet due to the Burito tongue wraps. It also has Fresh antimicrobial agents to eliminate odor coming out of the shoe or your feet.  

The Trail Protect pad also offers the user additional off-road support. The shoe has been constructed in a minimal and protective way to enhance versatility. The shoe has a heel to toe ratio or stack height of 11.5/11.25mm. It is available in the pomegranate color only.

Key Features

  • Mesh upper
  • Authentic

Pros

  • Beautiful shoes

Cons

  • Wish the sole was more flexible

Average Rating

4.9 out of 5.0 stars

Buyer’s Guide

How should a shoe fit?

When trying out a shoe, do not take one that feels too big or tight. Buy a shoe that fits properly and feels light on your feet. Ensure there is some space between your toes for them to spread out. Try out a shoe the way you would try out clothes.

Why are shoes treated?

Shoes are treated to prevent microbial activity that may result in odor. If possible, always buy treated shoes to eliminate bad smell.

Where are Merrell shoes made?

After Andy Merrell sold the organization to a key player in the market, Merrell relocated all manufacturing operations to Asia.

Conclusion

Merrell is an organization that has grown over the years simply because it manufactures quality shoes. It was founded and run by a shoe designer who left the blueprint of making great shoes with the organization when he sold it.

We have reviewed a number of shoes that will definitely interest you. Each shoe has its own unique features thus you can look for the shoe that fits your tastes, preferences, and needs. All Merrell shoes are durable and very comfortable. Buy one today and start experiencing the greatness!

Hi there. This is Clare. Dave and I manage this site. We are outdoor enthusiasts. Most of the content is about products that we love using or have researched.
Latest posts by Dave & Clare Thompson (see all)
close

GET DISCOUNTS AND OFFERS INBOX

We’d love to keep you updated with our latest news and offers 😎

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Comment