Facts

Discontinued
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
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 9.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

9 reasons to buy

  • Most runners raved about how comfortable the 3rd version of the Bare Access is.
  • It is wallet-friendly.
  • Despite some decent cushioning, it is still very light.
  • The traction is well-loved by a large number of runners.
  • Several runners contend that it can easily double as a lightweight trainer and as a race day option.
  • It is quite flexible.
  • The minimal upper is very breathable as well.
  • Merrell offers 4 vibrant color combinations for the Bare Access 3.
  • A small number of comments stated that it dries very quickly after washing or after getting soaked in the rain.

4 reasons not to buy

  • A common observation from runners is the Bare Access 3’s need to be broken in for a considerable time.
  • Some reviews noted that it does not provide the kind of ground feedback that is mostly associated with a minimal shoe.
  • A few mentioned that they had to wear socks during the break-in period to avoid hot spots or blisters.
  • The arch support is too jarring for a minimal shoe, according to some users.

Bottom line

The Merrell Bare Access 3 is an ideal choice for those who want to transition to barefoot running as it has decent cushioning, even for marathons. It is very light with enough arch support for fast or long-distance running. This is an extremely versatile shoe that needs some time to be broken in.


Rankings


Ratings

4.4 / 5 based on 8 ratings

5 star
50%
4 star
38%
3 star
13%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, 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.

89 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews

  • 95 / 100 by Running, Life is Beautiful • Neoh • Level 1 expert

    The popping from this shoe really worked wonder, and you are speeding without knowing it.

  • 88 / 100 by Devoted Runner • Colyn • Level 1 expert

    Merrell has been using the Vibram sole on this shoe, and it is absolutely the best wearing I’ve ever had on my feet. I run with the forefoot strike.

  • 85 / 100 by Trail Markers • Trail Markers • Level 1 expert

    If you liked the zero drop, medium stack height, soft interior, wide toe-box, and flexible forefoot of the Bare Access 2, you will not be disappointed with your upgrade.

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Updates to Merrell Bare Access 3

  • Merrell built on the success of the prior version and addressed several issues in the 3rd incarnation of the Bare Access. Right off the bat, the bigger mesh with larger holes is a straightforward answer to breathability issues of the earlier version.
  • Another improvement that is directly connected to a past concern is the addition of more reflective materials for low-light running. In the new version, the reflective materials are more than adequate to satisfy the needs of those who often take their runs in low-visibility areas.
  • The overlays are slightly thinner in this version. They still help provide a very nice midfoot hug for the foot, though.

Merrell Bare Access 3 size and fit

The fit and sizing of the Bare Access 3 are very similar to the older version. It is designed for those with medium to narrow fit. The heel and midfoot are comfortably snug while the forefoot gives some leeway for those who need a little more room for the toes to splay. Medium is the offered width of the shoe. The sizing runs true in the Bare Access 3.

Outsole

Merrell uses a Vibram outsole with hexagonal lugs. The lugs are almost flat, which helps with the smoothness of the transition. There are flex grooves in the forefoot and a cut from the heel to the midfoot for added flexibility.

Midsole

The midsole of the Bare Access 3 is a very simple full-length EVA. It is quite thick for a minimalist shoe, which gives more than enough cushioning for high-mileage sessions.

Upper

The new upper is very minimal courtesy of a thin mesh that is very breathable. There are synthetic overlays that give good midfoot hold. A new addition found in the upper are reflective materials around the shoe for low-light running. Quite a rarity for road shoes is the presence of a toe cap in this shoe. Merrell uses M Select Fresh in the interior to provide a healthy and odor-free environment.