Sunday, March 24, 2013

Merrell Vapor Glove Review: If You Think You Want it, You Want It

The Merrell Vapor Glove is the shoe that every active adult with feet should wear at least some of the time. I'll explain why that is in a moment. But, before your eyes go glossy over another one of my post modern shoe reviews, let me disclose an important observation: The Vapor Glove fits large.

Merrell Men's Vapor Glove - rolled

Here is the Merrell commercial for the Vapor Glove with plenty of useful shoe specs and lingo.

So, please try the shoe on in at least two sizes before deciding which size to buy. I wear a roomy US size 12 in most Merrell men's shoes. But, the Vapor Glove's unbelievably flexible upper makes that 12 feel even bigger. So, I could easily wear a size 11.5 instead. Easily.

This sizing discrepancy is interesting, actually, because I compared the sole of the Vapor Glove to that of the Road Glove 2. And, they both appear to share the same measurements in length and width. (Didn't actually measure) So, I would say that the extra-minimal structure in the Vapor Glove's upper allows its roominess to shine through more than the Road Glove 2. (Just a guess)

Anyway, regardless of my sample pair's largeness, I'm still able to secure the Vapor Glove to my foot well enough to enjoy the benefits of its shoeness regularly.

That's enough about sizing now.

Merrell Men's Vapor Glove - top

Shoe + Sock = Vapor Glove

Imagine that you put your favorite pair of shoes and your favorite pair of socks into a magic box that creates a superior hybrid out of two different things. (In the biological world, this would be called procreation. But, we're not gonna go there) The product of this sock and shoe combo would be—you guessed it—the Vapor Glove.

And, yeah, you'd be as impressed with the functionality of the Vapor Glove as much as you would be with how good it feels. Rather than attempting to cradle your foot with a two-dimensional outline, the Vapor Glove seems to take all three dimensions of your foot into consideration. The way it hugs your arch and metatarsals without impeding the lateral or vertical motion of your toes is better than any other shoe I've tried.

Seriously, if I didn't appreciate running shoes for the individuals that they are, I'd say that the Vapor Glove has ruined every other shoe for me. It's just that comfortable.

Merrell Men's Vapor Glove - interior

It's designed to be worn without socks. And, I can really feel that skin-friendly interior, which Merrell treated with some of that anti-microbial stuff that may or may not deter foot odor. (I'm still inclined to wear socks. But, that's just me) The shoe is machine washable, too, by the way.

Yes, You

Okay, I'm a realist. I know that there are plenty of you who have no interest in testing the potential of your barefoot running abilities. You may not even be interested in wearing a shoe like the Vapor Glove for running at all. And, I don't intend to tell you to change your ways.

Essentially, if you're an experienced barefooter or minimalist purist, you've pretty much figured out if this is a shoe you want to try. So, let me address the cushion-disposed faction for a moment:

Those of you in doubt might wonder why the Vapor Glove is good for more than just the barefooter runners and minimalist purists. Well, my favorite feature of the Vapor Glove is its ground feel. The Vibram sole allows for a substantial amount of proprioception. And, a high degree of proprioception gives your body better stability and impact awareness.

You don't have to run in the Vapor Glove to develop this sensitivity to the ground. Just walking around helps your brain develop a vocabulary to communicate with your lower legs and feet as you move across your world. This vocabulary translates (with some loss of understanding, of course) to your more strenuous activities that you perform in more cushioned shoes.

Merrell Men's Vapor Glove - upper and sole

Most runners need to appreciate the ground more, I think. The Vapor Glove helps with that.

Additionally, the shoe looks good and does all sorts of good things for your lower body muscles. So, Merrell has bridged the gap between conscientious shoe wearers and minimal footwear. There have been a couple other shoes that came very close to accomplishing this. But, they lacked certain details that the Vapor Glove successfully incorporates into the wearing experience.

Merrell Men's Vapor Glove - toe heel

But, Don't Take My Word for It...

At the time I am writing this review, there are 15 consumer reviews of the Vapor Glove on the Merrell site. And, all but two of those reviews give the Vapor Glove 5 out of 5 stars. The other two reviews give it 4 stars with the primary complaint in those ones having to do with the larger-than-expected fit.

Clearly, this is a likable shoe with all sorts of potential. And, not insignificantly, the Vapor Glove retails for a tempting $80. If I wasn't fortunate enough to receive this sample pair form Merrell, I'd have purchased the shoe myself.

Personal Use

I suppose I've betrayed the fact that I really like the Vapor Glove. I've been anxious for its release since I saw pictures of it last Fall. And, it's everything I hoped it would be.

I intend to run a bunch of my weekly mileage in these shoes. They are superb on any terrain, even trails, if you're so inclined. (Although, to be honest, I might only try them on trails. I have too many exceptional trail shoes to just not use them)

Sure, I'll still wear other shoes with cushioning on a regular basis, too. But, I fully expect to develop better foot and muscle strength with the Vapor Gloves over time. So, they will definitely be part of my regular rotation.

Merrell Men's Vapor Glove - Side and heel

Thanks for reading!
Product provided by Merrell.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

In the Works: SKORA, Inov-8, and OMG Trails!

Before I post my last Merrell shoe review of the month (saving the best for last, of course), I thought I'd take a quick breather from writing shoe reviews to tell you about some reviews I'll be writing soon.

I realize this isn't the most efficient use of blog time. But, who says blog production has to be efficient? So, if you're staying tuned to Another Fn' Runner—and, thanks so much if you are—here's what you have to look forward to in the coming weeks:


I was diggin' SKORA PHASESKORA's freshly updated website layout the other day and noticed that more than a couple of their FORMs and BASEs are on sale. And, I don't mean they're a little bit on sale. Those shoes are splendidly on sale! So, if my previous review of the BASE piqued your interest but failed to dull your financially cautious tendencies, now might be the time for you to have another look.

Or, as you may have heard, there are two new SKORA shoe models hitting the streets this season. And, wouldn't you know it, I'm anxiously watching my doorstep for delivery of the PHASE!
SKORA update


Speaking of new shoes: Holy crap, the people at Inov-8 have a bunch of new products this season, don't they? I mean, honestly, I'm not sure that inov-8 can even keep up with promoting all of the new series and color updates.

Well, I'm very excited to have two new road shoes and two new trail shoes from Inov-8 that I'm getting ready to put through the reviewing rigmarole. So, yay!
Inov-8 Mudclaw 265 Inov-8 Trailroc 150 Inov-8 Road-X-Treme 138 Inov-8 Road-X-Treme 178

More Trails

We're all going to be sick of reading about shoes by the time this phase of SS13 releases is over. So, don't think I've been neglecting one of the things that really drives our passion for running around here: Trails!

I've been spending some more time on the MST at Falls Lake with my camera lately. And, I've got at least one "review" of another trail section almost ready for you. And, aren't there a couple of trail races coming up?
Falls Lake mystery section hill

As always: Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Merrell Pace Glove 2.0 Confessions: Review in the Guise of an Interview with a Transitionalist Minimalist

If the men's Trail Glove has a sister, it's the women's Pace Glove. And, mother Merrell would be remiss to update the former so splendidly without giving the latter a few tweaks and modifications. To not update them both equally would be unfair.

Merrell Women's Pace Glove 2

So, of course the women's Pace Glove gets the 2.0 treatment this Spring! And, like the sibling men's running shoes, the Pace Glove remains inspired by barefoot activity while protecting the bared foot almost seamlessly.

How am I able to write about this women's running shoe with such intimacy and confidence, you ask? I asked the women's shoe evaluator in my life to try out the Pace Glove 2 and convey her thoughts.

But, you don't want to read my clumsy interpretations of Madame Running Shoe Reviewer's opinions about the shoe pictured all over this post. So, I'll just provide the transcript from our interview* after this excellent photo of the Pace Glove 2's medial profile.

Merrell Women's Pace Glove 2 - medial profile

The Interview*

Me: The Merrell Pace Glove 2 is your foray into a barefoot-style running shoe. What did you wear before you started wearing these?

Her: Yes, the Pace Glove is a new kind of running shoe for me. I was running in the Mix Master [Glide], the red ones, before getting the Pace Glove.

Me: How have you transitioned from the Mix Master to the zero-drop Pace Glove?

Merrell Women's Pace Glove 2 - upper and sole

Her: [rolls eyes] What?

Me: Did you start running in the Pace Glove right away, or...?

Her: Oh... No, no just walked around in the Pace Glove for a few days first, used it on the elliptical at the gym a couple of times. You told me to do that.

Me: Um, yeah, right. So...

Her: That's what I'm supposed to do, isn't it, work into this shoe gradually so that I don't hurt my ankles, right?

Merrell Women's Pace Glove 2 - lateral profile

Me: Yep. That's right!

Me: Anyway, what do you like about the Pace Glove?

Her: I like a lot of things about it!

Me: Well, specifically, what specific features do you like?

Her: I love the way it feels against my arch and how it bends so easily when I walk in them. The feeling that you have hardly anything between you and the ground is...liberating, sort of. I just like that feeling, almost like wearing a [ballet] shoe.

Me: Ah, yes, I was curious to see how you'd like the arch fit, since you have especially high arches. Cool that your foot fits so well.

Merrell Women's Pace Glove 2 - sole and upper

Her: Well, at first, I was afraid that the shoe was too big. I have narrow feet. And, having worn just the red shoes [Mix Master] for a while, I wasn't used to so much room in the toe area. But, that initial concern is gone now.

Me: What made it go away, the concern?

Her: I don't know, really. I just got more confident in the way the middle of the shoe fit my foot so easily and held the shoe in place while my toes were to move in the front.

Me: I read a couple of older reviews of the original Pace Glove. And, they indicated that the heel collar was problematic. This Spring update has a more traditional heel collar. How do you like it?

The fine folks at provide
a brief video blurb from Outdoor Retailer 2013

Her: I like it.

Me: Does the heel fit your [narrow] feet fairly well?

Her: Yes, it doesn't seem too big, or anything; doesn't rub my ankle.

Me: Great!

Her: Uh huh!

Me: So, will you keep wearing the Pace Glove 2 for your future miles of running?

Her: Definitely! Now that it's getting warmer, I'm going to wear them even more!

Me: Oh, did the Pace Gloves allow your feet to get too cold?

Her: No, I just don't like to run outside when it's cold like you do.

Me: That's not very Merrell.

Her: [makes face at Me]

Me: [smiles] Well, thanks for your time today. It's been great to get your insight on the new Pace Glove. I mean, I'd try them myself if I could, but...

Her: You don't need anymore shoes!

Me: I know. [looks down in embarrassment]

Merrell Women's Pace Glove 2 - heel and toe

The Merrell Pace Glove will be available before Spring ends.

Thanks for Reading!

*Not actually an interview :p
Product provided by Merrell.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Merrell Trail Glove 2.0 Review: This Time it's Dirty

As the snow melts and rains fall (for some of us), sloppy trails are beckoning even more loudly than they did just before Winter arrived. And, as if on cue, Merrell presents us with an update to their quintessential lightweight trial running shoe so you can heed the trail's call. Runners, meet the Trail Glove 2.0!
Merrell Trail Glove 2

Very First Time

I am embarrassed to admit that I didn't "have the chance" to try the original Trail Glove before putting on this M-Connectified rendition. (Don't judge me!)

Merrell Trail Glove 2

But, I think my inexperience with the old Trail Glove allowed me to enjoy the pleasant surprise of this one even more. This is a comfy, foot-hugging, toe-freeing trail shoe!

The first feature that impressed me is the Omni-Fit™ lacing that allowed for a quick hold on the middle of my foot while keeping the toes and forefoot unconstrained. This means that the shoe feels perfectly molded to the shape of my instep and upper foot without encasing it in a plasticy, foamy container. And, I appreciate that on the trail, because I have a greater sense of foot placement over hazardous ground.

Apparently, the Merrell designers modified the Omni-Fit configuration in the Trail Glove 2 to mimic the 2-lace-enclosure setup on the women's Pace Glove. (The original Trail Glove has/had 4 lace enclosures) The rationale behind this particular revision was to allow for more toe splay and reduce pressure on the upper forefoot, which, consequently, makes the shoe easier to put on.

Like the Road Glove 2, the Trail Glove 2 has tons of room in the toe box. (Although, I don't think it's as wide in the heel or midfoot as the RG2). It almost seemed like too much room at first, lengthwise. But, that isn't the case after giving the shoes a good break-in run. Now my size 12 Trail Gloves are a great fit, just like my size 12 Merrell [most everything else].

Merrell Trail Glove 2

Gotta Flex

So, with the smooth fit afforded by the minimally structured upper and thoughtfully-constructed lacing/midfoot elements affirmed, I tested the flexibility ('Cause I'm a flexibility freak!). I had doubts about the midsole's flexibility, because I wasn't sure what that protective ESS(?) plate would do to the flexible potential of the Vibram outsole and 4mm EVA midsole.

Well, the Trail Glove 2's updated protection plate has some new grooves in it to aid in flexibility. And, the flexing results are flexing fantastic! (Too abstract?) It's a very flexible shoe, folks.

I've been fairly skeptical of protective plates, eschewing their worth for flexibility and ground feel. But, I must admit that the plate in the Trail Glove 2 doesn't hinder ground feel or flexibility any more than something with more EVA and no rock plate does. I'm thinking of the Trailroc 235 for comparison. The sensation from stepping on a sharp rock in that and the Trail Glove 2 is pretty much the same.

Merrell Trail Glove 2

Outside Use Only

Out on some of my favorite trails, the Trail Glove performed splendidly over the varied terrain. The outsole, which is the same as it was on the original Trail Glove, gripped uneven surfaces easily. I ran across roots and rocks without losing footing. And, the hard-packed pathways were easy and smoth in spite of the lugs (aka studs, cleats).

Merrell Trail Glove 2

Okay, yes, this isn't a particularly luggy shoe. In fact, I want to point out that the Trail Glove does not excel at gripping soft ground, like deep mud or loose leaves. I found myself slipping somewhat easily in both conditions. But, this is to be expected from an outsole like this one. If you really want to be almost slip-proof on soft ground, you need long lugs. But, of course, shoes with a more aggressive outsole really let you know it when you're not on soft terrain. So, there's a tradeoff either way.

But, regardless of the fault I find in the Trail Glove while slipping on a hill that's covered in mud, I'd still recommend the Trail Glove 2 as a great minimal trail shoe.

As is the case with all zero-drop, minimally cushioned shoes, you really have to pay attention to your foot strike. If you're landing on your heel, the impact on the back of the shoe will will smack your toes against the inside of the high-volume toe box, among other dastardly consequences caused by careless barefoot-inspired running. So, take care if you're new to these types of shoes.

Personally, I like the new design motif of the Trail Glove 2 a lot. The original Trail Glove looked okay to me. But, this one, with it's dark to light gradient and web-like reflective overlays looks cool, especially after the shoes get dirty.


As I write this review, I haven't seen all the colorways that will be released for the Trail Glove 2. (Although, I would bet that one other color option is going to be red, based on the video below) But, you know how Merrell is with color options, there are bound to be a few. And, we'll all get a look at them in a month or two, once the Trail Glove 2.0 appears in stores with an MSRP of $100.

Thanks to for making
this Trail Glove 2 video while at Outdoor Retailer 2013.
Merrell Trail Glove 2

Thanks for reading!

This is my foot in the Trail Glove 2. I wear socks. You don't have to.

Merrell Trail Glove 2
Product provided by Merrell.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Merrell Apparel for the Active Guy and Girl

If the plethora of Merrell running shoes wasn't enough to satiate your need for springtime outdoor outfittery, the Merrell team has a collection of new running apparel for you, too. Merrell Apparel

Since this is more of an overview rather than a review, per se, I'm going to spare you from my usual loquaciousness. It would be silly for me to paste the specs and marketing verbiage from the Merrell site here. You'd probably prefer to just follow the relevant links yourself to see that sort of data.

So, I enlisted the assistance of an actively-inclined female tester to try the women's apparel while I tested out the men's clothes. And, you'll find our impressions beneath each picture for some real-life perspective. If something looks good to you, click over to the Merrell site for fancy material terms and ordering.

First, some basic observations about most or all of these items:

  • This collection has a generous fit. That means a size medium is definitely on the roomy side of medium. I wouldn't want to trade a medium for a small, though. The length of the sleeves and such is good. The clothes are not tight-fitting in the usual way that activewear might hug your body.
  • These shirts, shorts, and jackets are all made of technical fabrics. They wick away moisture and feel smooth against your skin as successfully as any well-made activewear should.
  • Each item here is available in at least one other color. So, don't let these colors dissuade you if you do not care for them. Of course, they all complement the M-Connect product line.

And, now, the specifics:

Merrell Women's Running Clothes for Spring

Skip to men's apparel? >>

Thelon Tech Shirt
Thelon Tech Shirt for Women by Merrell

One of the most practically appealing features of this tech tee is the length. We suppose it's what you might call a hip-length shirt. And, that's nice for unwanted flare ups during yoga in the wind, etc. The length in conjunction with the figure-complementing profile(?) make this an attractive option for outside activity.

Orenco Jacket
Orenco Jacket for Women by Merrell

The Orenco Jacket feels as light as it looks. It's ventilated to keep you cool while working up a sweat in less-than-perfect springtime conditions. And, the hood is nice when you just don't feel like wearing a hat when the wind would just blow it off your head anyway.

As you would expect, the Merrell Aeroblock fabric resists attacks from wind and light rain. And, a handy zippered pocket in the back provides a more central location to store whatever you need to carry while out and about; thereby avoiding that unbalanced weight you might endure when keeping your phone in a side pocket. So, yeah, this lightweight running jacket is worth a look, especially if you want one with a hood.

Thelon Tank
Thelon Jacket for Women by Merrell

This stylish tank top impressed our tester with its fitted waist, supportive core, and freedom-affording outer blouse. In fact, out of the four women's items in this overview, this Thelon Tank is our tester's favorite. She said it was like wearing a sports bra with the coverage of a regular tank but without the added weight. The waistband is an excellent feature, because it prevents the shirt from falling up the torso when stretching or bending forward.

Afton Short
Afton Short for Women by Merrell

These tester-approved running shorts have a 4" inseam and soft waistband. The fabric is incredibly light and does not seem conducive to chafing. And, hey, there's a zippered-pocket!

Merrell Men's Running Clothes for Spring

Mix Master Wind Shirt
Mix Master Wind Shirt for Men by Merrell

"Windshirt" strikes me as an odd appellation for something that's heavier than my other wind-/water-resistant running jacket. But, regardless of what Merrell calls this durable top, I've found it to be quite useful on windy days during the past couple of chilly months. The unique knit of the fabric seems to breath very well while deterring wind and light rain.

I've found the Mix Master "shirt" to be more than sufficient over just a tech tee while running in moderate wind with temps in the upper thirties (fahrenheit). The high contrast red-orange ventilation is comforting, visibilitywise, during early morning runs, too.

Torrent Shell
Torrent Shell for Men by Merrell

If you need a super-duper, lightweight shell jacket, the Torrent Shell is it. I was immediately impressed by that vibrant blue and the featherweight material. It's as if you're wearing the lining of your running shorts as a wind-/water-resistant top layer. This shell even folds into the zippered chest pocket for easy packing.

This shell is a bit chilly if wear it over a tech tee with wind and temps in the low 40's. If the sun were shining in those conditions, it might be alright. But, if you had a long-sleeve shirt under the shell in those conditions, you'd be good. I imagine the Torrent Shell would be awesome if you were starting at a low altitude and going into some much higher elevation where the temps would drop considerably. You could carry it with you and put it on when necessary.

RFE Short
RFE Short for Men by Merrell

These running shorts are my first pair with actual pockets. So, I expected them to be heavy. But, no, they were not heavy at all.

The lightweight comfyness is even more remarkable, because the inseam length is eight inches. My wife says this length makes me look much less dorky than I do in my shorter running shorts. I say this just means I'll be wearing these shorts for everything in the summertime, because I'll have pockets and a socially acceptable inseam on shorts that will allow me to run at a moment's notice!

Thanks for reading!
Product provided by Merrell.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Merrell Road Glove 2 Review: Things You Should Know

Merrell Road Glove 2 verticle It is challenging to review the Road Glove 2, part of Merrell's all-new M-Connect series, without comparing it to its predecessor, the original Road Glove.

I mean, that is the curse or blessing of every sophomore effort in most any industry, right? How many awesome new bands live up to the expectations of their fans with the release of their second album? Exactly. (Right, you can answer that two ways)

Well, let's go ahead and clarify the one thing you need to know right away about the Road Glove 2: It is not the same shoe as the original Road Glove. Whether that is good or bad depends entirely on you, of course. And, I suggest this comparison of the original Road Glove to the Road Glove 2 for a pointed perspective, against which I am hard-pressed to argue.

What it Was

Since the Road Glove came on the scene in early 2012, Merrell has been taking lots of notes from the feedback they've received. Merrell listens to their customers. And, Merrell customers are a varied bunch. So, the designers clearly had to glean just as much helpful info from the superlative reviews as they did from the critical comments.

But, does that devotion to customer feedback lead to creating an even better shoe? In fact, Merrell's conscientious attention to customers led to the design of two exceptional shoes! We now have the Vapor Glove!

(We'll get into details about the Vapor Glove in another review)

It would be fair to say that everything the Road Glove 2 isn't for those runners who wanted the original to be more minimal, the Vapor Glove is in spades. Thus, the Road Glove 2 gets to be what the original wasn't for people who wanted a little more cushioning and shoe when they tried the first Road Glove rendition. (Read that a couple times if it doesn't make sense)

So, boo hoo: Road Glove 2 is more shoe than before. But, yay: Vapor Glove!

Or, yessss: Road Glove 2 is more shoe than before. And, oh, a Vapor Glove.

Merrell Road Glove 2 front and back

What it Is

In my opinion, the Road Glove 2 is a good looking shoe. I've already discussed at length the design and aesthetic appeal of the M-Connect series. So, let's move on.

The Road Glove 2 is lighter than it looks. Merrell is fairly good at making this a given in the makeup of most any of the Barefoot-inspired shoes. But, I had my doubts, since the more linear profile of the Road Glove 2 gives it a bulkier appearance. However, I picked it up and—boom—lightweight!

(The men's US size 9 weighs 7.0 oz*. So, that means my size 12 weighs approximately whatever-it's-light-enough ounces.)

Time to try it on. So, I slide my foot into the left shoe easily. There was no struggling or extreme loosening of the laces. The foot goes into the shoe as quickly as it took for you to finish this sentence. Cool, right?

Tying the laces and noticing that my lateral pinky toe is not bothered at all, I'm amazed by the roominess in the forefoot. And, I don't mean there's a lot of room for four of my toes. No, all the toes have room! Narrowness is not even in this shoe's vocabulary (assuming that it could talk).

Basically, I'm telling you that the Road Glove 2 is a wide shoe, people. I'd say it rivals other wide, foot-shaped shoes in the width department. And, it accomplishes this kickass girth in style.

You don't look at it and, say, "Ah, look how wide that Road Glove 2 is! It must be the widest running shoe in the world!" No, you don't say that at all, even if you see it next to the Road Glove [1]. This is because the design of the Road Glove 2 is, shall we say, slimming? Yes, we'll say that.

And, since we're talking about room for my toes, lets talk about the room offered to my heel. There's a lot of that, too. And, well, personally, I'd prefer a little less room in the heel.

Sometimes I get too much of a thing that's, in most cases, always good. And, I just can't dig all the goodness that's being offered. So, in this case, I have to get particular about my lacing architecture in order to handle all the roominess the Road Glove 2 affords my ankle and heel. This isn't a problem. But, it's not a sign of perfection either. It might be perfect for other feet though.

Now, I stand up, and I almost gasp. What the... What is that under my midfoot? Is it? Is it a supportive arch bump? NO! Noooo!


Merrell Road Glove 2 top and side

Keep in mind that my feet were using the original Road Glove as a frame of reference for this new version of the shoe. So, when I stood up and felt the pressure under my arches, I was dismayed to realize that the bump was not the same grippy component that I accepted in the original Road Glove. It would seem that the wider last made the inclusion of a grippier, arch-hugging midsole rather prohibitive. So, if the shoe is not truly glove-like on your foot, you're going to feel this arch "support".

However! The midsole arch is less conspicuous when you're running. It even dissipates a bit after a couple of runs in the shoes. So, don't let that mention of the arch bump scare you if you are adverse to arch bumps. This is a fairly unique characteristic of the Road Glove 2. And, you really only know how you'll like it if you try it on yourself.

Once I made my peace with the Road Glove 2's interior topography, I started running down the road and noticed that the "ride" felt smooth and just slightly on the soft side. With a stack height of 9.5 mm*, I was surprised by how Merrell's designers balanced the soft with the firm in this shoe's sole. (Road Glove 1 wearers, the 2 is softer than what you're used to)

Merrell Road Glove 2 incorrect outsole verticle
As I am writing this review, this is how the RG2 outsole looks on the Merrell site. It is not correct. You can see how they were first planning to fuse the new outsole onto the narrower middle portion of the original Road Glove. So, it's interesting.
Merrell Road Glove 2 verticle
This is how the RG2 outsole actually looks in real life. (colorways vary)

The flexible tread pattern is nifty, because it seems to connect better with the road than the almost trail-like outsole on the preceding Road Glove. There's greater surface area covered by the revised Vibram outsole on this shoe. And, that seems to provide a stable footfall on flat surfaces.

The grid pattern coupled with special flex points in the outsole make the shoe fairly flexible for a solid run on pavement. You can bend the forefoot in places where it should be bent. And, again, that's good enough for road running.

Merrell Road Glove 2 sole and side

What it Shall Be

I'd say the Road Glove 2 is more of a shoe-wearer's shoe rather than a barefooter's shoe. And, that's a nice thing for the runner who wants to step further down in drop and stack height while maintaining a degree of comfort and, yes, support.

Essentially, the Road Glove 2 is a great shoe. Merrell seems to have created this update with a great deal of thought and purpose, designing a shoe that will fulfill the needs of a lot of runners who want to run lots of miles on lots of pavement.

Try it on. See how it feels.

Merrell Road Glove 2 verticle

Thanks for reading!

*Specifications obtained from
Product provided by Merrell.


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