Merrell barefoot running shoes

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Barefoot running shoes can promote better running form and help strengthen the foot. These shoes are crafted with a low or zero heel-to-toe drop platform to provide a full foot contact for a more natural running experience. 

Merrell is among the top brands that create versatile minimalist shoes designed to give excellent protection and enhance speed. Merrell barefoot running shoes are good options for individuals who don’t like bulky and heavy running footwear that can slow them down. These shoes are also suitable for runners seeking a comfortable running companion that is lightweight yet durable enough to withstand the rigors of the terrain.

What to expect from Merrell barefoot running shoes

Best Merrell barefoot running shoes - June 2020

Merrell barefoot running shoes can be a good choice for some runners, but they are not suitable for everyone. Individuals who had injuries in the past or have existing foot conditions are recommended to consult a podiatric physician or specialist before they start using a barefoot running shoe. This is to ensure that wearing a minimalist running shoe is safe for them or will not cause them any injury. 

Here are the common features of the Merrell barefoot running shoes.

Light structure

Minimalist running shoes from Merrell are generally lighter compared to conventional running shoes. They help the runner save energy and run faster and longer on various surfaces. They are constructed with a low or zero-drop platform and thin soles that help trim down the overall weight of the shoe. The thin sole is also designed to allow the foot to land on the ground in the same motion as though the user is running barefoot, but at the same time to provide protection against the elements.

Wide toe box

The runner’s foot will significantly feel more comfortable in a shoe with a generous toe box during a long day of running or hiking. Most Merrell barefoot running shoes are manufactured with a wider toe box to allow the toes to splay and flex naturally while running. A wider forefoot also helps improved foot health and toe alignment. 


Flexibility is one of the most common features found in Merrell’s barefoot running shoes. It allows for natural movement and gives the foot a full range of motion for a healthier and more comfortable running experience. 

Minimal cushioning

Barefoot running shoes have zero or less cushioning than traditional running shoes. They also tend to have thinner soles to provide a lightweight ride without compromising durability. Barefoot shoes from Merrell incorporate lightweight yet highly durable soles that protect the foot from impacts, bruises, cuts, and abrasive elements. 

Merrell barefoot running shoe serries

Merrell Trail Glove

The Merrell Trail Glove shoe line is designed to enhance the foot’s natural ability to help stabilize the body when moving rapidly. These trail running shoes are manufactured with a zero-heel-toe drop, flexible sole, and lightweight structure. They also incorporate a grippy Vibram outsole and odor-controlling top that deliver protection and comfort during long trail runs. 

Merrell Vapor Glove

The Merrell Vapor Glove shoe series is designed with an extremely flexible platform and lightweight construction for comfort and optimal performance. They utilize the Vibram outsole with nearly zero ground-to-foot separation for maximum freedom and connection underfoot. These shoes also feature antimicrobial agents that help minimize the growth of odor-causing bacteria. 

Merrell Bare Access

The running shoes under the Merrell Bare Access umbrella are designed with a hyper-responsive insole, which gives runners full control when running. They are a good choice for runners seeking an affordable running shoe that offers a fast and efficient ride. 

These lightweight running shoes are equipped with responsive cushioning and impact protection features, which are designed to provide comfort while running over the rugged terrain. 

Frequently asked questions

Are the Merrell barefoot running shoes better than the traditional running shoes? 

In general, the Merrell barefoot running shoes are lighter and more flexible than traditional running footwear. They are designed to mimic the way the runner would naturally run barefoot. These shoes have also thin soles and provide less cushioning, which may help improve the runners’ stride and increase their sensitivity to the ground underfoot. However, they are not recommended for all types of runners because barefoot running shoes normally do not include plenty of cushioning, support, and stability features, which are essential for runners with foot problems. 

How do I clean my Merrell barefoot running shoes?

Proper cleaning of Merrell barefoot running shoes is important to promote durability and longevity. Here are some easy cleaning steps that will help preserve the running shoes. 

  • It is important to check the care instructions included on the tag or shoe package.
  • Unless you run through something really awful, do not use detergent or soap when cleaning your Merrell barefoot running shoe.
  • Surface dirt such as grit and mud can be removed with a shoe brush, nail brush, or an old toothbrush. 
  • Do not wash your Merrell running shoes in a washing machine.
  • Using the outside heat to dry the running shoes is not advisable as the heat from the sun can alter the shape or damage the color of the shoe. Just leave your running shoe and insole out in a warm, dry place.