The Merrell Trail Glove is a stark contrast to the Hoka Speedgoat that you will read about on the following page, being aimed at the minimalist runner. My first impressions were how light it felt and how little bulk it had. Designed for trails, it has 3mm lugs on a Vibram sole – although these are very closely spaced so don’t grip well on mud or on wet grass. However, the grip was fine on dry ground. The lightweight mesh uppers are very soft and comfortable, although I was concerned about the lack of protection they afforded to the forefoot. With zero drop and only 4mm cushioning, the Trail Glove isn’t a shoe to suit everyone; as soon as I started running, I realised that there was very little between my foot and the ground. This would be a good choice for runners looking for a more natural, barefoot-mimicking shoe, and to transition to less heel drop. Use them for a run on a long sandy beach or through soft grassy fields, but don’t expect much comfort on your hard-packed trail. That said, runners more accustomed to a minimalist, low drop shoe will find this a comfy option for dry weather.
The Trail Glove will suit the more experienced minimalist runner, looking for a lightweight yet robust shoe that can handle dry conditions with ease.