Verdict from 30 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • A few testers claim that the forefoot section is roomy enough to accommodate a comfortable wiggle from the toes.
  • The aesthetics of this running shoe are praised for being eye-catching and versatile-looking.
  • Some reviews have pointed out that the flexibility of the platform is adequate for the natural motion of the foot.
  • The use of recycled materials is lauded by those who appreciate products that are made with environment-friendly components.
  • According to a couple of comments, the outsole isn’t too aggressive as to prevent transitioning to the roads.
  • Fans of minimalist running shoes have expressed their appreciation for the close-to-the-ground midsole design.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A few runners claim that the outsole rubber has worn off after only a few weeks of use.
  • A tester has reported that the midfoot support is exaggerated, thus restricting the motion of the foot.

Bottom line

The overall feedback of people towards the Merrell Bare Access XTR Sweeper has been largely positive. This Merrell trail running shoe is apparently an attention-grabbing product because of its efficient build and its intended impact on the environment. The recycled components used for the platform and the upper are especially highlighted. Conversely, the flimsy durability of the outsole and the prominent midfoot section are disliked.

Fans of trail running shoes and close-to-the-ground experiences similar to the Merrell Trail Glove line are the target market of the Bare Access XTR Sweeper.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Good to know

The Merrell Bare Access XTR Sweeper is a trail running companion that is designed with the use of recycled materials. This trait is the distinctive factor that separates it from its counterpart, the original Bare Access XTR model. Some form of environmentally friendly approach is used for the upper, midsole, and outsole, and it accommodates the new-day revolution of transitioning from traditional components to sustainable ones.

Regular sizing measurements have become the basis of the creation of the Merrell Bare Access XTR Sweeper. Potential consumers can get a pair with their usual choices of size in mind. However, it is important to realize that getting a pleasant in-shoe feel can be affected by personally testing the shoe or by reading/watching reviews from various sources.

Regarding the fit, the elements that work to deliver a secure yet customized sideways coverage are the semi-curved shape of the platform, the form-fitting upper fabrics, and the flexibility that comes with the overall design.

Vibram® EcoDura is the rubber compound that is used for the outsole unit of the Merrell Bare Access XTR Sweeper. This compound uses 30% recycled scrap rubber to reuse already-manufactured elements. Traction and movement control are the purposes of EcoDura.

A bevy of traction nodes pockmarks the external pad. These not-so-prominent bits are designed to clamp onto the ground, particularly on the off-road paths. They are also made to transition from the trails to the roads.

Flex grooves line the forefoot and heel. These shallow channels have the job of making the platform as flexible as possible, thus permitting the natural transition through the gait cycle.

Underfoot cushioning is the responsibility of the BLOOM® midsole. This full-length foam is mixed with 10% algae biomass, a natural method of cleaning water.

An integrated footbed is placed right on top of the main cushioning unit. 30% of this component is recycled.

Mesh serves as the upper unit of the Merrell Bare Access XTR Sweeper. This textile is a common material that graces many running shoes. However, 40% of the yarns of this iteration is from is made using recycled plastic. The resulting product has a similar look-and-feel of standard mesh layers.

The hot-melted overlays that are fashioned on the front, sides, and rear of the upper unit are derived from 100% recycled materials. The goal of these synthetic overlays is to help with the attainment of a secure fit.

The semi-round shoelaces that crisscross through discreet eyelets on the roof of this shoe are of 100% recycled materials. They are stretchy and soft like the usual variants of lace.

The external heel counter that bears the MERRELL lettering is also 100% recycled. It has a thin structure, though it goes from the lateral to the medial side in a wraparound fashion.

A lightly padded collar-and-tongue design permits the foot to experience a snug fit that averts in-compartment wobbling and accidental shoe removals.


How Merrell Bare Access XTR Sweeper ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 2% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Top 3% Merrell running shoes
All Merrell running shoes
Bottom 1% zero drop running shoes
All zero drop running shoes


The current trend of Merrell Bare Access XTR Sweeper.
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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.