Facts

Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$95
Weight
Men: 6.4oz
Women: 4.5oz
Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 9.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The Bare Access 4 features mesh lining and mesh upper that is breathable and non-irritating to the skin.
  • The M Select FRESH is a treatment for the shoe that staves off odor-causing bacteria, essentially keeping the interior environment clean and healthy.
  • Some runners took note of the cushioning tech that gives ground-to-foot feedback for a faster paced movement over the terrain.
  • Runners welcomed the Bare Access Outsole, which features Vibram pods for extreme levels of traction and efficiency with every step.
  • This running shoe feels light and fast for competition, according to some runners.
  • It has an affordable price.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Parts of the shoe started to wear off quickly, based on some comments.
  • It didn’t have very efficient anti-debris components because small stones tended to invade the interior and disrupt the comfort of some runners.

Bottom line

The Merrell Bare Access 4 is a minimalist running shoe with hyper responsive insoles that give runners full control while running. This shoe has a few drawbacks, but it’s still able to provide a comfortable and satisfying ride.


Rankings


Ratings

4.4 / 5 based on 68 ratings

5 star
60%
4 star
21%
3 star
13%
2 star
4%
1 star
0%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

81 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews

  • 84 / 100 by Danny Mop • Danny • Level 1 expert

    All in all, I would actually really recommend these shoes. They're very nice; good quality. They're actually very light, also.

  • 82 / 100 by Top Ten Shoes of Sports • Top Ten Shoes of Sports • Level 3 expert

    Its full-foot connection gives you a zero-drop with hyper responsive insoles for better control hence the best trail running shoes.

  • 87 / 100 by French Bloke Runs • French Bloke Runs • Level 1 expert

    To my greatest surprise, I also loved the fact that there isn’t too much cushioning, that I could feel the ground better than with my previous pair.

  • 71 / 100 by The Hibbits • The Hibbits • Level 1 expert

    These shoes feel just fine, but I regard them as a step back from the Bare Access 3s.

Show moreless reviews
Apply to become an expert

These are visual presentations, not reviews


Updates to Merrell Bare Access 4

  • Contrary to the cloth-like quality of the previous version’s upper material, the Merrell Bare Access 4 utilizes a more robust mesh that’s full-bodied and durable. The holes on its façade are ports of ventilation where air constantly enters to keep the foot cool and dry.
  • The Bare Access 4 reduces the amount of stitching and stitched-on layers on top of its upper. A seamless construction has been implemented here to fully give a non-irritating wearing experience for the foot.
  • Synthetic overlays that help in wrapping the sides and heel of the foot are fused directly onto the upper unit, so it doesn’t affect the overall weight of this running shoe. It’s truly created to deliver a super lightweight running experience to those who wear it.
  • The mid-sole unit is thicker and more responsive this time around. The cushioning systems featured here support the foot well and handle the weight of the runner responsibly. Rebound qualities and flexibility are integrated in it, making it a shoe that is forgiving when it comes to the natural movement of the foot.
  • The outsole delivers durable protection for the wearer. It features one of the most robust outsole technologies in the market. It doesn’t succumb to abrasion and it even allows the forefoot flex without feeling restrained because of the outsole material. It’s responsive and pliable.

Merrell Bare Access 4 size and fit

The 4th version of the Merrell Bare Access is slightly smaller than the regular standards of length. It is recommended that runners buy a ½ smaller size when it comes to this running shoe. It has a medium width when it comes to its heel, mid-foot and forefoot. Its low-cut design allows the runner to move naturally and more freely, while its curved shape lets the natural curvature of the foot to fit well in it.


Outsole

This running shoe features the Bare Access Outsole for its external layer. It has a rubber foundation for added durability, but its main technology is the Vibram, which is a set of pods that give durable protection from wear & tear, as well as traction over the surfaces.

Flex grooves in the forefoot allow the runner to have a surer and more responsive toe-off. It’s a forgiving outsole unit that allows the foot to travel through the gait cycle with ease and comfort.


Midsole

The MBound is a mid-sole technology that’s meant to deliver surface feedback to the foot of the runner. While giving cushioning, it lets the runner have a feel of the surface, making the running experience seem closer to the ground.

The CMEVA or the compression molded Ethylene vinyl acetate is a mid-sole foam that’s of high quality. It carries the foot well and doesn’t break down easily, even after many uses. Its durability lets the runner use this shoe often with trust that the mid-sole will remain robust.


Upper

The upper unit makes use of a mix between Air Mesh and Synthetic Leather. It makes a more durable and full-bodied upper that’s breathable and supportive. It doesn’t smother the foot because it’s slightly pliable and responsive.

The overlay system is made from TPU. It’s a durable add-on to the upper, but it doesn’t increase the shoe’s overall weight. It helps the fabric wrap around the foot and make the runner feel snug and secure.

The inner sleeve has been treated with the M-Select Fresh anti-microbial coating. It eliminates bacteria that cause bad odors, thus making the interior environment cleaner and healthier for the foot.

An EVA insole has been added on top of the mid-sole. It adds a bit more cushioning to the foot. It even features the M-Select Fresh treatment to maintain a bacteria-free platform on which to rest the foot.