Good to know
- Merrell’s mastery when it comes to shoes with minimalist features is very evident in the Bare Access Trail. While this is not the ultra-minimalist type, the shoe offers more than enough flexibility, a low to the ground feel, and good ground feedback to moderately mimic barefoot running.
- Versatility is a huge upside in the shoe as this can be an excellent race day option or it can be a rugged, everyday trainer because of its superior cushioning relative to its weight. This becomes a hybrid option as a racer/trainer, road/trail alternative or a transition shoe for those who are looking to experience more of the minimalist type of running shoe.
- Without placing a midfoot insert, Merrell made the ride stable in the Bare Access Trail. It begins with a low platform, a zero drop, and moderate tread patterns that allow runners to be very secure, supported, and confident in their gait cycles.
Runners who fancy a tight heel and an even snugger midfoot that ultimately leads to a wide toe box will easily fall in love with this shoe. Generally, the fit of the heel to the midfoot is narrow to medium. Luckily, the wide forefoot accommodates a large number of runners and is perfect for a really plush platform every takeoff. Medium is the available width of the Bare Access Trail. Sizing is fairly standard. For those wanting to have more space in the heel and midfoot, going half a size up is a good option. Sizes are from 5 to 15 for the men’s and 4 to 11 for the women’s.
The Vibram outsole continues to be the rubber of choice in most of Merrell’s trail shoes for its superb traction and durability. Merrell creates a really versatile shoe as the rubber configuration is not too aggressive. Running from the door to the trail, even technical trail is a handy capability of this shoe.
Merrell packed the midsole with several of its premium foams. There is the UniFly foam, which gives decent ground feedback despite its moderate cushioning features. The M-Bound foam is also located here for its responsive cushioning. Adding underfoot support and enduring performance is an 8mm strip of EVA.
The upper is durability personified with a very durable and breathable mesh that is supported by TPU overlays. It is definitely an upper that can take a serious beating on the trail. Comfort is provided by a decent padding in the heel and tongue while the proprietary M-Select Odor Control fights off bad smell. A traditional lace-up closure using simple but very effective laces enables runners to get their best fit. Additionally, these laces stay tied from the start to finish.