An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove -- initial impressions

Yeah, I got the shoes. How could I not? Well, I suppose if they were hideous instruments of self-flagellation, I could pass. But... well, read on.

We drove to Portland for a fun day, and the first stop happened to be Track 'n Trail at the Washington Square Mall. Actually, my wife insisted it be our first stop. I think she was anticipating this more than I was...

Got into the store, looked at the models available (the Trail Glove in 4 color schemes, the Pace Glove in another 4 colors or so, and the Pure Glove in a few more colors), and then plunked myself into a chair to try on the Trail Glove in "my size". Well, I've been in Nike 10.5 for several years, and my last pair of shoes (the Saucony Kinvara) is an 11, so I figured the 10.5 would be the ticket. But the 10.5 wasn't in my prefered color, I could have lived with it. Anyway, I slipped on the 10.5 and walked around a bit. And immediately I had this feeling like my toes were FREE! Free from encumberances. Free from being squished together like sardines. It was quite refreshing. But one little thing bugged me -- the arch. It was pressing against the back side of the ball of my foot. Just a little bit. So... I tried on the size 10 (which also happened to be in my preferred color scheme) on my "long" foot, and did a little comparison jog. It felt much better. I did some more jogging around (feeling very conspicuous on the mall), and while the lack of any heel drop was noticable, it wasn't painful at all.

So the dicision was made. My wife bought my Valentine's Day gift two days early. She asked if I was going to wear them out of the store...

Huh? I haven't done that since I was probably 10 years old. When I told her that, she insisted. So I wore them out of the store to the car, then driving to our next destination (the Grotto, for any one interested), and put my old shoes back on. Don't want to sully them with too much walking before I take them on a run, you know...

But as we were driving, she asked me if they really felt different. I said, yeah, they do. Kind of like Sandals, really. Like there's nothing over my toes.

That's good.

She asked me if I was feeling everything through the bottom of the shoe. Nope, actually it feels pretty normal in that regard (we had walked on some pretty large-exposed aggregate concrete). It would take something pretty sizeable. I think these are going to work very well for dirt trails, and for gravel roads.

As you can see, I got the Black and Molton Lava color scheme. My wife liked the blue, but my second choice would have been black with yellow.

I've got them on right now, just around the house a bit. I don't know if I'll run in them tomorrow or not. Some of it depends on the weather, some on how far I want to run. But I've found something really comfy. I guess I'll be picking up another pair via mail order soon...

1 comment:

Merrell Barefoot said...

As with any new shoe, there is a “get to know you period” especially when it comes to running, but, for everything from jumping rope to box jumping to hiking outside with the kids, I can honestly tell you these shoes feel fantastic.