We spent 7.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

8 reasons to buy

  • The 2nd edition of the Trail Glove has a soft upper and a cozy lining for comfortable runs on the trails.
  • The price is very reasonable.
  • It is very light.
  • A significant number of runners valued the noticeable ground feedback with just enough protection provided by the rock plate.
  • It is very flexible.
  • The Trail Glove 2 has some serious traction, according to many reviews.
  • Some runners appreciated the upper’s ability to dry off.
  • A majority of runners loved the new sleek and sophisticated look.

3 reasons not to buy

  • A handful of runners noted that the arch is a bit too snug.
  • The contour of the snug arch takes some break-in time.
  • Works mostly for those who have extensive experience with minimalist shoes.

Bottom line

The Trail Glove line is one of Merrell’s most popular shoes and should continue to be so for experienced minimalist runners. With an improved upper and roomier toe box, getting that much closer to barefoot running is capably provided by the 2nd instalment of this series. It feels agile and has tons of traction in basically all off-road terrain.


Update: Merrell Trail Glove 5
Terrain: Trail
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 6.7oz | Women: 5.5oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 0mm | Women: 0mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Features: Slip-on
Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike
Distance: Competition
Heel height: Men: 11mm | Women: 11mm
Forefoot height: Men: 11mm | Women: 11mm
Brand: Merrell
Type: Low drop | Zero drop
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $110
Colorways: Black, Orange
Small True to size Large
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A top rated Trail running shoe
A popular pick
It has never been more popular than this March

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.

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87 / 100 based on 5 expert reviews

  • 97 / 100 | Minimalist Running Shoes | | Level 4 expert

    I simply cannot find any problems with the shoe after running sockless in them on trails, asphalt, and track for over a month.

  • 85 / 100 | Gear Institute | | Level 4 expert

    Best for dedicated trail runners, through-hikers, or minimalist outdoor enthusiasts looking for a low ride with modest cushioning and protective features for high-demand off-road activity.

  • 90 / 100 | Outside Times | | Level 2 expert

    An evolution rather than revolution of the original and well-loved Trail Glove. A few key refinements add up to a much more comfortable and better performing shoe.

  • 88 / 100 | Another Runner | | Level 2 expert

    Personally, I like the new design motif of the Trail Glove 2 a lot. The original Trail Glove looked okay to me. But, this one, with it's dark to light gradient and web-like reflective overlays looks cool, especially after the shoes get dirty.

  • 70 / 100 | Running Shoes Guru | | Level 2 expert

    With fairly narrow feet, I didn’t feel my feet swimming in space to the extent I experienced with the original Trail Glove.

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  • Merrell introduces only a handful of changes in the Trail Glove 2 to keep the spirit and performance of the original model. In the outsole, the lugs in the forefoot are more aggressive than before to really enhance the traction, particularly when going uphill or taking on grass, mud, or technical terrain.
  • The upper gets a makeover by a new breathable mesh. More than just ventilation-friendly, the new mesh has a shiny and sleek appeal compared to the one used before. Overall, the upper has a softer feel courtesy of the plush lining of the interior.
  • Perhaps the biggest change that is not so evident is a roomier toe box both in width and height. It directly answers the concerns of the past version where the narrow toe box limited the number of people who can enjoy the shoe’s awesome performance on the trail.

The fit of the new version of the Trail Glove clearly resembles the original model except for the added real estate in the toe box. It still caters to runners with narrow to medium dimensions of their foot. The heel and the midfoot have nice squeeze that holds the foot in place on uneven terrain. Medium is the width of this shoe. Shoe length is standard in the Trail Glove 2.

The Vibram outsole remains to be the rubber of choice in the Trail Glove 2. This is characterized by lugs that are generously spaced apart with aggressive forefoot lugs. These lugs are as reliable as the lugs found in the Trail Glove 5.

A rock plate serves as an adequate protection against rocks and sharp objects without taking away ground feedback.

As expected, the midsole is mainly for some cushioning and added underfoot protection. The midsole houses a 4mm compression-molded EVA to get the job done. It runs the whole length of the shoe for consistency in cushioning and better transitions.

A very breathable mesh with DWR-coated synthetic leather and synthetic overlays serve as the most significant features of the upper. It is a bare minimum upper that envelopes the fit very well because of the overlays and the OmniFit Lacing system. Inside the shoe is a Microfiber footbed with antimicrobial properties.


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.