Verdict from +100 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • Several of those who have tested the Merrell Trail Glove 4 Shield stated that it felt comfortable right out of the box.
  • This trail companion offered a stable performance in both short and long running sessions, according to some consumers.
  • The traction capacity of the outsole unit was appreciated by trail adventurers.
  • Runners were generally happy with the lightweight build of this product.
  • The upper dried up quickly when exposed to bodies of water, a purchaser observed.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Some consumers who had wide feet weren’t supportive of the lack of the wide-width variant.
  • A couple of users got blisters on their toes after wearing the shoe.

Bottom line

The majority of the people who tried the Merrell Trail Glove 4 Shield were happy with what it had to offer. For them, this neutral shoe provided a well-rounded performance on the trails. Its lightweight nature, the quick-drying upper, and the reliable off-road performance were highlighted. Conversely, there were complaints about the lack of other width variants, as well as an uncomfortable forefoot.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

User reviews:

Good to know

  • The Merrell Trail Glove 4 Shield is a running shoe that’s designed for the trails. This product has been configured to suit the cushioning needs of neutral pronators. It has a close-to-the-ground platform design and minimalist aesthetics to cater to those who don’t want the rugged frame of most shoes that are for the trails.
  • Compared to the original Trail Glove 4 model, this iteration uses the M-Select™ SHIELD, a water-resistant layer that keeps the upper safe from mild splashes and light rain.

The Merrell Trail Glove 4 Shield is true to size. Runners are expected to get a pair that follows their natural choices when it comes to length. The width profiles are D – Medium and B – Medium for men and women, respectively. The foot-shaped last and the form-fitting midfoot design aim to hug the foot securely.

The Vibram TC5+ is a rubber compound that’s designed to be durable yet lightweight. It doesn’t have the super aggressive gripping lugs that are prevalent in technical-trail-specific outsoles; instead, it various shapes and patterns on its surface to handle multiple types of terrain.

Flexibility is afforded by inconspicuous grooves and the thinness of the sole unit. Such a configuration encourages the natural flow of motion as the foot goes through the gait cycle.

CMEVA or compression molded ethylene vinyl acetate is the material that’s used for the midsole unit of the Merrell Trail Glove 4 Shield. This full-length foam is only 4 millimeters thick, enabling it to be more agreeable to minimalist runners and those who practice a near-barefoot running style. Its purpose is to cushion the foot and keep it safe from impact shock.

A non-removable microfiber footbed offers additional underfoot comfort. It makes use of the M Select™ FRESH antimicrobial and anti-moisture technology to maintain a clean and healthy in-shoe experience.

The upper unit uses mesh. This material accommodates the shape of the foot, supporting it as it traverses the unpredictable terrains. It is also breathable by design.

The M Select™ SHIELD is a treatment that renders the upper unit resistant to water exposure. It’s a helpful way to improve confidence when running in mildly wet conditions.

Thermoplastic polyurethane overlays are printed onto the façade. The job of this add-on is to act as a shield because the sections of the shoe that utilize it are usually the ones that are susceptible to abrasion and trail debris.

How Trail Glove 4 Shield compares

This shoe: 76
All shoes average: 82
55 94
This shoe: $120
All shoes average: $131
$60 $250
This shoe: 8.2oz
All shoes average: 10.4oz
6oz 24oz
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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.