Verdict from +100 user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • Many users admired the lightweight built of the Merrell Bare Access Flex 2.
  • This road running shoe is very affordable.
  • Several users were happy with how comfortable the shoe is.
  • A few buyers lauded the stylish design of the shoe. They said it looks nice and appealing.
  • Some satisfied wearers commented that the shoe is well-made.
  • A significant number of runners said the Bare Access Flex 2 offers excellent arch support.
  • According to some user reviews, aside from running, the shoe is also comfortable and reliable enough for long walks.
  • A couple of users noted that the outsole design of the shoe is durable and grippy enough for both road and light trail surfaces.

1 reasons not to buy

  • Some users were unhappy with the toe-box. They said it is way too large for their feet.

Bottom line

The Merrell Bare Access Flex 2 received positive comments from the majority of the users. They admired the shoe’s feather-like feel, impressive ground contact, and its durable construction. Though some found the toe-box to be too wide for them, it still does not affect the positive rating the shoe received.

This neutral road running shoe is a good option for those who are looking for a running partner that has minimal cushioning yet durable and flexible enough to provide a more natural experience.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Good to know

  • The Merrell Bare Access Flex 2 features an all-new upper design. It now uses a textile-type mesh material that still offers breathable and comfortable coverage. There are also TPU overlays strategically placed on the upper mesh for support and structural integrity.
  • The M Select™ GRIP material is still present in the outsole of the shoe but, it comes with a new pattern. The new outsole aims to provide runners with a more durable grip on varied paved surfaces.

Just like the Merrell Vapor Glove 3, the Bare Access Flex 2 runs true to size. It has a medium fit in the heel and forefoot sections and the toe-box is roomy enough for the toes to wiggle comfortably. 

Designed for runners with medium foot shape, this road running shoe is available in medium width option for both men’s and women’s version.

The 2nd version of the Bare Access Flex is one of the best Merrell running shoes that utilize the  M Select™ GRIP outsole. It is formulated to provide durability to high-wear areas and reliable traction on both wet and dry surfaces.

Along with the sticky rubber are the flex grooves strategically placed in the outer sole. It allows the foot to move naturally for a more agile and adaptive stride.

The Bare Access Flex 2 follows the Merrell Barefoot 2 construction for stability and enhanced proprioception and the zero-drop platform offers a more minimalistic feel.

In the midsole of the shoe is the FLEXconnect™ technology, which is designed to provide the foot a comfortable and flexible cushioning. The dual-directional flex groove EVA foam of this technology provides a good combination of stability and agility.

In the upper of this barefoot road running shoe is the textile-type mesh material. It is designed to provide breathability to the foot. It keeps the foot well-ventilated throughout the run, especially on warm running conditions. This mesh material is slightly stretchable, giving the foot a more adaptive fit. 

For a more comfortable in-shoe feel, Merrell makes use of the breathable mesh lining to complement the upper coverage. The mesh lining is smooth enough to prevent blisters and hot spots from developing.

Along with the mesh material are the TPU overlays that are strategically placed for enhanced fit and added support. It also provides structural integrity to the platform.

The shoe also features a Hyperlock heel counter, which is made from a durable TPU film. The heel counter is specifically designed to provide runners with more secure and comfortable heel lockdown.

Lastly, the Merrell Bare Access Flex 2 comes with a traditional lace-up closure. The lacing system features durable, flat laces that are easy to adjust. They are designed to stay tied throughout the activity and the extra eyelets allow the runners to further secure their ankle according to their preferences.

The Bare Access Flex 2 is a lightweight neutral running shoe designed for long and short-distance runs. Merrell did not replace the midsole and outsole technologies of the first model because it was proven to be effective in helping runners tackle the roads with ease and confidence. But what exactly made the Merrell Bare Access Flex 2 a true winner to some runners?

Lightweight design. The men’s version of the shoe weighs 198 grams while the women’s weighs 158 grams. This light design made the shoe very ideal for long-distance and quick-paced training. This shoe is also ideal for competition and other intense activity. 

Great ground contact. The Bare Access Flex 2 has a zero-drop design and barefoot feel. The 15mm heel and forefoot height allows runners to stay connected to the ground. The cushioning is not too much nor too little. It is just right to shield the foot during impact and provide comfort through the gait cycle.

Zero-drop design. Most Merrell running shoes have zero-drop design and these shoes aim to provide runners with a more natural feel. They offer stability and comfort for an improved running experience. The zero-drop and barefoot shape of the Merrell Bare Access Flex 2 is truly a winning design. 


How Merrell Bare Access Flex 2 ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 19% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Bottom 25% Merrell running shoes
All Merrell running shoes
Bottom 14% zero drop running shoes
All zero drop running shoes


The current trend of Merrell Bare Access Flex 2.
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Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.