If Moots made my cycling soulmate, Merrell has made my running solemate (couldn’t resist the pun) in the Women’s Barefoot Run Pace Glove 2. If you hate minimalist shoes, stop reading now. But—in spite of all of the hype—I really love minimalist shoes. A lot.
It’s lightweight but not totally mesh, so it’s fine for cooler runs but it’s been fantastic in hot weather. My feet are super sensitive and prone to blisters and irritation (hence the socks even with minimalist shoes) and normally I expect blisters and cuts on my heels and ankles as I break in new sneakers, but these managed to not slice up my feet—that’s kind of a big deal for me!
They’re super light and easy to get on and off, which is fairly important since I’ll be racing triathlon with them. They aren’t super fast or anything, but they don’t catch as I’m trying to slide them on. The Vibram sole is a head above similar models that I’ve tried (with Vibram) from New Balance and Nike, in that while I can feel the rocks and feel like I’m running barefoot (like the sole of my foot is curving around obstacles), it hasn’t worn out at all, and it’s a lot more flexible than the comparable models. Bonus, the shoes are vegan-friendly.
So, basically, two thumbs emphatically up!
- MSRP: $100
- More info: Merrell.com