I sure do love Merrell. And not just because they are hosts of an awesome mud run (and we all know that’s the key to winning my heart), but because they understand that some of us have a passion for adventure and the outdoors. And they understand that shoes are not about the latest fashion trend in the gym, but they need to be functional, and withstand the beatings we give them out on the trails and the road.
This fall/winter I had the awesome opportunity to review the ENTIRE Merrell M-Connect line of barefoot running shoes. Most of the time, when asked to review a shoe for a company, I receive the shoe, and need to have some sort of post done ASAP. This time, I was able to put these shoes to WORK…and we did. Months of training, mud, snow, treadmills…you name it. And finally, the time has come for me to share the review with you.
Specs:Upper/Lining:Synthetic and breathable mesh upper
Women’s Weight: 14oz
• Breathable mesh upper
• External TPU heel sling for contoured support
• M-Select FRESH naturally prevents odor before it starts for fresh smelling feet
• Integrated microfiber footbed treated with Aegis®
• Reflective details for increased visibility in low light
• Wash as needed in cold water (gentle cycle). Air dry
• 0mm Drop /2mm Cush / 5.5mm Stack Height
• Vibram Vapor Glove Sole / TC1 Rubber
Women’s Weight: 5oz (1/2 pair)
Retail for $100 (Vim Sport) and $120 (Vim Mid Sport)
Women’s Weight: 1lb 8oz (Vim Sport) / 1lb 9oz (Vim Mid Sport)
What I say: This is a great all-weather shoe. Minimal drop, yet still a significant amount of cushion and stack height makes it durable for trails. But don’t let the minimal drop fool you: this is a burly shoe. I even wore mine snowshoeing! The stiffness of the shoe was perfect for the rugged trails, and the outer was surprisingly waterproof…my feet stayed dry in the snow. These aren’t my first choice for a running shoe due to the stiffness, but are perfect for a hiking our outdoor shoe. And I appreciate the minimal aspects of the shoe, while still having structure to withstand rugged outdoor activities.
Women’s Weight: 5.5oz
What I say: I actually reviewed this shoe earlier in the fall. You can find the entire review/post HERE
What Merrell says: Love at first flight — this barefoot-true training shoe will crush your workouts. Still 0mm drop toe to heel, it features uniform cushioning to buffer impacts while still letting your feet land flat, and a flexible sole with a tacky Chrysalis Glove Vibram® traction. Comfort pluses include: a microfiber footbed, breathable mesh on the vegan-friendly upper and anti-funk Aegis® antimicrobial action.
Women’s Weight: 6oz
What I say: This is an interesting shoe. The design and color is to die for, but of course, that’s not how we pick our training shoes (or at least, that shouldn’t be the only reason). This shoe is fantastic for the gym. The freedom of movement in my ankles and feet combined with the flat, yet flexible, sole makes for a great lifting/cross training shoe. I personally was not comfortable running in this pair. Not necessarily because it was too “minimal” of a shoe, but because it almost felt too loose, especially in the ankle area. I don’t need support per-se, but I also don’t want to feel like my shoe is coming off. It could be an issue with sizing for me personally. Overall though: great lifting shoe (which makes sense, as Merrell ranks this as a “training” shoe)
What Merrell says: This is “where the rubber meets the road”. Our Road Glove’s simplicity frees your sole with its barefoot, road-specific design, connecting your feet with the pavement. Its back to basics with this runner: a 0mm drop midsole enhanced with a protective toe cap, midsole cushion and reflective, washable mesh upper. Durable Vibram® Road Glove sole.
retails for $100
Men’s Weight: 7oz
What I say: I actually didn’t get a chance to review the women’s Road Glove 2. However, Merrell was kind enough to send Geoff some shoes, and he was able to review the men’s Road Glove 2. His thoughts: “The arch feels too high, especially for a barefoot shoe. It wasn’t as flexible as the Vapor glove. Love the styles available, super light weight, great contact with the gym floor. Great gym shoe, not first choice for running. ” Now, that’s a man who doesn’t sugar coat it.
So there you have it. A brief preview of the 2013 M Connect series from Merrell. This was a bit of an overwhelming review to do, with so many specs/information/shoes. But I truly do love this line. If you have any questions about a specific shoe, or the entire line, please comment below and I’ll be happy to respond!
Now what are you waiting for? GET OUTSIDE!