• Terrain


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


    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 normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

    Stability / overpronation / normal arch

    Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low 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.

  • Use

    Daily running

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


    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
  • Weight
    Men: 5.7oz
    Women: 4.5oz
  • Heel to toe drop
    Men: 0mm
    Women: 0mm

    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.

  • Heel height
    Men: 13mm
    Women: 13mm
  • Forefoot height
    Men: 13mm
    Women: 13mm
  • Width
    Men: normal
    Women: normal
  • Release date
Show more facts


We spent 9.3 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The upper coverage of this running shoe comes from the Synthetic Leather & Air Mesh.
  • Most reviewers appreciated this 4th version’s overall comfortable design and unbulky nature.
  • The lightweight disposition of the Bare Access Arc 4 is a positive feature for testers.
  • It’s a running shoe that’s effective for many activities, such as running, exercising or even walking.
  • The durability of the individual parts is also very dependable.
  • The minimal cushioning is able to offer protection, comfort and surface control for the runner.

4 reasons not to buy

  • There were complaints with regard to the Merrell Bare Access Arc 4 being a bit narrow for the feet.
  • There is little support for the arch, therefore it’s not the best option for over-pronators.
  • Some runners noted that the aesthetic of this shoe was too similar to the previous versions.
  • Some reviewers felt that the upper unit wasn’t able to snugly wrap their feet properly.

Bottom line

The Bare Access Arc 4 from Merrell is a running companion that many athletes and casual individuals can enjoy. It’s a neutral running shoe that’s catered to minimalist enthusiasts. Its durability is superb and the underfoot comfort is adequate, but it doesn’t have arch supports.


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.

85 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews

  • 85 / 100 | Runner's World

    A supportive alternative for the barefoot-curious runner.

  • 90 / 100 | Runner's World

    Perfect for speed training or for an efficient runner looking for a long distance minimal shoe.

  • 82 / 100 | OutdoorGearLab

    These minimalist running shoes are comfortable and great on the road.

  • First look / Unboxing | Shop Zappos

Apply to become an expert

Updates to Merrell Bare Access Arc 4

  • The upper unit of the Bare Access Arc 4 features a mesh material that has a more open construction than the Bare Access Arc 3. Visible holes pockmark the upper, making sure that air can enter and keep the foot cool and dry throughout every run.
  • The overlay system was created using a sturdy material. Bonded onto the upper fabric, these sections secure the foot in a snug and customizable wrap.
  • The outsole unit now has deeper flex grooves in the forefoot area. Having such a construction encourages more freedom of movement. Every toe-off is now more natural and empowered because of the flexibility.
  • The mesh lining has been treated with an anti-microbial coating that effectively keeps the interior environment of the Bare Access Arc 4 cleaner and healthier for the runner.
  • This running shoe is vegan-friendly. The materials and components that were used to craft it were not taken from animal products, though they still have 100% efficacy in comfort and service.

Merrell Bare Access Arc 4 size and fit

This running shoe was exclusively made for women. It follows the standard sizing scheme for women. It also comes in a medium width, thus accommodating those with medium-sized heels, mid-foot and forefoot sections.


The Bare Access Outsole features gripping lugs that have a 2mm-depth. These aren’t prominent, but they’re effective when exposed to roads and stable off-road tracks.

The Flex Grooves offer natural movement that starts at the edge of the mid-foot to the point where the metatarsals actually bend. These grooves are deeper than the ones found in the previous iteration, so it delivers more efficiency when it comes to its purpose.

The Vibram outsole technology is one of the most durable in the market. It’s made of high quality material that work together to provide a durable outer layer that resists abrasion and wear. It’s also efficient in giving traction.


The MBound is a cushioning technology that has bounce-back capabilities. It’s flexible, but it can carry the foot well. Its soft and responsive nature provides the runner with the capability to function well over many types of terrain.

The Compression Molded Ethylene vinyl acetate or CMEVA offers durability and support in the platform. It doesn’t wear off or break down easily.

The insole was treated with the M-Select Fresh anti-bacterial coating. It protects the foot from moisture and build-up of bacteria. It even adds a bit of cushioning.


The upper unit is made from Air Mesh and synthetic leather. This unit is a durable one that offers breathable and comfortable coverage.

The overlay system is made from TPU, a strong material that’s also responsive. The no-sew construction of the overlays reduces the overall weight and doesn’t make the upper stiff. They help the mesh material wrap the foot comfortably.

The inner lining has been coated by the M-Select Fresh treatment. It doesn’t irritate the skin and it keeps the environment bacteria-free. The neoprene fabric that’s used for this lining is soft and cushiony.