Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review: "Merrell Trail Glove vs. New Balance Minimus Trail"

An interesting review, although as I pointed out a long time ago, these shoes don't compete with each other.  But they're pretty close.

I see the line-up as Vibram Trek, Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove, and New Balance Minimus Trail, from less to more.

"The Merrell Trail Glove and New Balance Minimus Trail are two shoes aimed at the same niche-but-growing community of trail runners looking for shoes that allow their feet to function unimpeded, but with protection from the trail.  I truly enjoyed running in both shoes and I will continue to utilize them as a tool in my running, both to increase my foot and lower leg strength and for the sheer enjoyment of it.  I will, however, stick to soft trails when running in these shoes and would not attempt to take them on anything burly or rocky.  That’s just my personal preference."

The author of the review got a couple of shots in the feet from rocks.  I suspect that I've spent a bit more time running barefoot-style, and your feet do adapt to the rocks, and you learn to keep your eyes open for the ones that will hurt.  I think the Trek is a bit "too much" for most burly, rocky trail runs, although I really enjoyed having them when out in Colorado over the summer.  The Trail Gloves feel almost like a hiking boot in comparison, and won't ever replace the KSOs as my primary trail-running shoe, although they'll be great for a race shoe, or for winter running.