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The tag160 website is primarily dedicated to license plates, cool cars, and reporting the license plates of bad drivers.

But we like our Merrell Trail Glove minimalist running shoes, and there is a report and pictures below.

   Note:  We've also done a report on the minimalist
              shoe Vibram Five Fingers Treksports.


Merrell started selling the Trail Glove on about 2/1/2011 as part of its new Barefoot line of shoes.   I ordered these shoes as soon as they were available and received mine on 2/9/2011.

On this page (below), there are photos showing the packaging and product right out of the box. 

I was particularly interested to see how they compare to the Vibram Five Fingers Treksports that I have been running in since November.  (See my report on the Vibram Five Fingers Treksport).  As you can see, there are photos below comparing the Merrell Trail Glove to the Vibram Five Fingers Treksport.

My first run in the Merrell Trail Gloves was on 2/12/2011 at Torrey Pines Beach in San Diego.  I purposefully did a lot of the run in the ankle deep surf to see how they do in wet, sandy water.  They did well.  I ran without socks.
 
I really like these shoes.  They are much closer to barefoot running than any normal running shoe.  However, they provide a lot more padding and protection than the Vibram Five Fingers Treksports.  Depending on how minimal you want to go, it may be too much padding. 

The sole on the Trail Glove feels twice as thick as my Five Fingers.  I would prefer less protection.  However, it is certainly possible that after 100 or so miles that sole will compress.  If it does that, it's going to be perfect.

The shoes feel true to minimalist form in that they offer no arch support or any support.  They seem to make no attempt to control the foot, and there does not seem to be anything in the heel or arch area that raises this higher than the rest of the sole.  Also, they have a big toe box so your toes have lots of room to spread out natuarlly.  I really like that.

I can can step on golf-ball-sized rocks in the Merrell Trail Gloves and not have it bother me too much.  In the Five Fingers, rocks that size are uncomfortable. 

I still need to take these on the seven mile trail run I've done regularly in my Five Fingers.  I'm sure I'll have no problem in the Merrell Trail Gloves because they provide a lot more protection.

I'll write more after running in them more.  But for now, here are some pictures:





















The Trail Glove shoes are size 10.5 (U.S.).  The Vibram Five Fingers are size 42.  Both fit me right, even though the Five Fingers look a lot smaller in the photos.  (Actually ... the Merrells are a little big.  I probably could be wearing size 10, but I like a lot of room in the toe box.)

























Running in ankle deep water at Torrey Pines Beach, San Diego, 2/12/2011.







This is a comparison between my 10.5 Merrell Trail Gloves and my wife's size 40 Vibram Five Fingers Trek Sports:





Beautiful shoes and beautiful gold flakes in the sand.  What a pretty day.





2-19-2011  10-mile Trail Run in Penasquitos Canyon

On 2/19/2011 I did a 10-mile trail run in Penasquitos Canyon (San Diego).  I started at Canyonside Park and went down to Wagon Wheel Crossing, where I hoped to be able to wade across the river and come up the other side of the canyon.   It had been raining all night, so the trail was very wet and muddy.

Here are my shoes about three miles into the run, a little below the waterfall (for those of you who know the area).







I was sure the bridge at Wagon Wheel Crossing (5 miles down the canyon) was still washed out from some big rains we had a month or so ago, but I hoped to be able to wade across.  Here's a picture of the last part of the trail before you actually get to the main part of the river where the bridge used to be:



I tried wading through this area, but I was soon up to mid-thigh deep, and I knew that meant the main river channel would require a swim to cross.  I'm not that hard-core.  So after messing around looking for a way through, I gave up.

Here's a picture of the Merrell Trail Gloves in ankle deep water, near Wagon wheel Crossing:



I ran back up the canyon the same way I came down.  This meant 5 miles on a rocky, muddy trail in shoes that were now soaking wet.

The shoes gave me no problems.  I had no blisters or any places on my feet where I thought I might develop sores or blisters if I'd done another 10 miles.  I was tired, and my feet were sore from the feel of the trail through the soles, but that's the whole point of this kind of shoe .... right?

These Merrell Trail Gloves definitely protect the feet more than my Vibram Five Fingers.  It would have been hard to do 10 miles in the Vibrams like I did with the extra protection offered by the Merrells.

The Merrell Trail Glove is nothing like a normal running shoe.  You still feel every rock under your feet that is bigger than a marble.  If you've never run in a minimalist shoe like this, they will feel very different to you.  You will have to control your heel strike and land more flat-footed to prevent injury.  You'll do this naturally almost immediately.  As a result, your feet and calves are going to be really tired.  It'll take some time to build up strength.

After the run, I hosed the shoes off, put them in the dryer, and then wore them the rest of the day to work and running errands.  They felt good.  I suspect I will wear them a lot, even when not running.

The Merrell Trail Glove shoes are a great piece of equipment. 

One more comment: I don't work for Vibram or Merrell, and I am not paid by them for this review (or my Vibram Five Fingers Review).   I have a real job.

Later.















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