View Full Version : Merrell Trail Glove - Originial vs. 2?

02-14-2014, 12:21
I have been thinking of getting a minimalist shoe, even though most hikes I do are day trips during the summer the standard hikers just get too hot most days. I want something flexible with good grip, and I've heard a lot of good things about the Merrell Trail Glove. However, reading reviews of the '2' version, many people were saying the original was better, was more flexible and fit better, etc.

Has anyone here had experiences with both versions?

02-14-2014, 12:52
I responded to another thread regarding minimalist shoes, so I'll share again. I suggest the Keen McKenzie sandel. This is a totally enclosed shoe with the same rigid sole and toe box they use on their trail runners. The fabric on the side walls has no lining, so nothing stays wet.

It also has a removable footbed so you can put in your own. I just bought a pair and will try them out on my section hike.


Just Bill
02-14-2014, 13:40
Heard good things about Keen but never tried them personally- while it would work that is def. a different shoe than the trail glove.

The merrell minimalist line across the board had a last (shoe mold) change from the first runs to the second runs across the board. I was a very big fan of the Bare Access. I like the trail glove but the aggressive tread can be felt through the sole. Good for running down south or on softer natural trails- bad news on harder stuff.

Either way- the original last was a very "clown shoe" shape, narrow heel, snug arch, and big floppy wide toe box. Perfect shape really- but it looks like a clown shoe and Merrell is fairly mainstream so they tightened up the last (i assume) to have greater visual appeal. I won't say they wrecked the shoe- but that's why many folks are complaining.

I have a Merrell outlet by me where I can still get first Gen Bare Access and Trail Glove shoes- there are several around the country and they aren't gone yet, not to mention you can get them for as low as $40.

Altra's have become my favorite shoe for trips, Merrell's for training. Depends on your foot- some folks with narrower feet may be clammoring for the new Merrell's- but IMO- regardless of foot shape, most backpackers benefit from the wide toe box and lower to zero drop heel. Altra's have more cush than Merrell and make a better choice when you are on them 8+ hours with a load on your back.

02-14-2014, 20:18
Ehh, not big on Keen's. I know someone that had Keen hikers that lasted about 100 miles, returned for another pair, which also started falling apart after less than 200. But Bill, I looked it up after seeing your post and there was actually a Merrell outlet right near me...and after trying on both, both not for me. Fit is way too tight at the arch and the first edition does have the floppy toe box you mentioned. I found them quite uncomfortable after trying several different ones on.

Nick P
02-14-2014, 20:55
Agreed on the Merrells lacking crush. Insoles definitely need to be calculated into the (cheap) cost. Am training in their Moab's, but walking SOBO in Keen Voyagers (plus runners, to get me out of New England).

02-20-2014, 14:04
I wore my original Merrell Trail Gloves to death! I absolutely loved them but I haven't gotten the chance to try the new ones. I'm hoping they haven't changed too much. Their great for minimalist hiking and as camp shoes also!