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Merrell Road Glove

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Merrell Road Glove

Post  Ben Z on Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

Gonna give this shoe a test I think. I loved the wide toe box on the trail glove and if this has the same fit and is 'flatter' for the roads it could be a winner.

http://www.runningwarehouse.com/viewlargeshoe.html?pcode=MRGLM1

Anyone tried them yet?
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Re: Merrell Road Glove

Post  Ben Z on Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:37 pm

Just picked up a pair. I'll try to post a proper review in a few weeks. Having not put any miles in my VFFs the last few months I'm going to be quite cautious with using this shoe. Just a few miles here and there.
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Re: Merrell Road Glove

Post  Ben Z on Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:38 am

I've done a handful of runs in the Road Glove now and I have to say, for what they are, I like the shoe. Here is a link to the rather loud color I purchased:

http://www.merrell.com/US/en-us/Product.mvc.aspx/26342M/60841/Mens/Barefoot-Run-Road-Glove/Dark-Cheddar/J38393

Upper / Lining:

The upper is extremely comfortable as it consists of a thin mesh. It does consist of a number of overlays but as the shoe is so wide I don't even notice the overlays or think they provide much other than extra weight.

The shoe is designed to be worn sockless so the lining is very comfortable. I have not noticed any irritation from the lining, only a bit on the outside of my right, big toe. But this is due to the footbed I think, not the lining.

Midsole / Outsole:

Merrell lists the midsole at 4mm. This 4mm of Vibram rubber, plus the non-removable insole, is all that seperates you from the ground. You have a bit more protection with this shoe compared to a shoe like the Vibram KSO, but not much. You can still easily feel sharp rocks, etc.

This is a zero drop shoe as well. No heel lift.

The Vibram rubber is listed as TC-1 Rubber. What I noticed is that this rubber is quite tappy (i.e., somewhat loud) on pavement or a treadmill. But I also think part of why it seems to be louder when I run in a shoe like this is the way in which my body is reacting to being lower to the ground and trying really hard to run on my forefeet. It's not an issue, just noticeable.

Overall:

It's a very nice, very minimal shoe. I spent the last year running in a 4mm drop shoe and even after a handful of runs my achilles and calves are tight for a couple of days after using them. So the transition takes some time. Given the wide forefoot and tight heel (note: there is no achilles cutout but this has not bothered me) I really like the fit of the shoe. On soft trails, grass and the occasional road miles I think this is a nice complement to any running shoe rotation.

One last thing I wanted to point out is how different this shoe is from other, supposed minimal shoes. I've been logging most of my miles in the Brooks Pure Connect these days. On the treadmill on Monday I ran the first four miles in the Road Glove, then switched to the Pure Connect. When I started up on mile five with the Pure Connect it took me a few seconds to stabilize myself. It felt like I was way higher off the ground and a little wobbly. I actually didn't like the feel at first. Eventually I felt fine, but even then I started to notice my heel a bit. Maybe I am cut out to wear 0mm shoes after all.
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Re: Merrell Road Glove

Post  T Miller on Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:54 am

Thanks for the review.

If you're looking for a very comfortable zero drop shoe I would recommend the Altra Instinct. I wouldn't race in them but I love em. See them here.
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Re: Merrell Road Glove

Post  Ben Z on Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:52 pm

I've looked at the Instinct before Tim. Seems like a nice shoe and people rave about it. Main reason I got the Road Glove was that it was a bit of an impulse purchase having visited the Merrell store in the MOA in Bloomington.

The shoe I probably should have purchased though is the Bare Access:

http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Product.mvc.aspx/26343M?green=2da0286b-4b48-4487-9de7-5f9e4ec9985d

It is a no frills zero drop shoe with the same great last as the Trail and Road Gloves. Plus, it's cheaper (yet still too expensive IMO for what you are actually getting).
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