Facts

Terrain
Trail

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support
Neutral

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Use
Competition

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Minimalist
Price
$85
Weight
Men: 5.8oz
Women: 4.8oz
Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 6.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The upper unit is made from mesh and TPU materials, which offer a secure and breathable coverage.
  • Many runners appreciate the 100% vegan-friendly construction.
  • The mesh lining and foot bed have been coated with the M Select FRESH odor-wicking tech.
  • The outsole unit is made with the very durable and dependable Vibram layer.
  • The foot bed has been integrated as one unit with the outsole, making a very minimalist and barefoot-like running experience.
  • The 2nd version of the Vapor Glove has a very lightweight nature.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some runners experienced getting the upper unit torn after a few months of use.
  • Others testers felt that it was one size larger.
  • A few thought that a mid-sole cushioning system was needed to fully provide a responsive platform for their feet.

Bottom line

The Vapor Glove 2 from Merrell is a solid barefoot running shoe that can function well. Its security is snug and precise, and its flexibility is next to the natural movement of the foot. It’s a great option for daily training.


Rankings


Ratings

4.3 / 5 based on 1176 ratings

5 star
64%
4 star
19%
3 star
7%
2 star
6%
1 star
4%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, 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.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

83 / 100 based on 6 expert reviews

  • 90 / 100 by Steve Schroeder • Steve Schroeder • Level 1 expert

    I cannot recommend this enough. I am blown away by the quality of this shoe.

  • 82 / 100 by Fellrnr • Fellrnr • Level 5 expert

    The Vapor really does feel like a glove, and has no more interference with your foot movement than a latex glove would on your hand.

  • 80 / 100 by Heavy • Kate Halse • Level 4 expert

    These shoes also have unique lug patterns to help feet flex and move as naturally as possible.

  • 90 / 100 by The Shoes for Me • The Shoes for Me • Level 2 expert

    This creates better flexibility which I found to be out of the box amazing! 

  • 80 / 100 by Birthday Shoes • Jarvis • Level 2 expert

    Overall, the Merrell Vapor Glove 2 is an amazing running shoe and is one of the best closed-toe minimalist shoes on the market for barefoot enthusiasts, especially if you have narrow or average-shaped feet.

  • 90 / 100 by Slow down, Lauren • LaurenMorgan224 • Level 1 expert

    As you’re aware if you read my blog, I’ve been running in Merrell Vapor Glove 2’s as a transition to minimal running. I’ve decided to write a review on these sneakers because I feel that they’ve been a huge part of my transition to minimal running.

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These are visual presentations, not reviews


Updates to Merrell Vapor Glove 2

  • Flexibility and natural stride is the purpose of the 2nd version of the Vapor Glove from Merrell. It retains most of the quality features of the original Vapor Glove, but improves upon them with heightened durability, consistent pliability, and the minimalist design that allows runners to move naturally through the gait cycle.
  • Breathability is part of the main services of the Vapor Glove 2. It makes use of upper fabrics and materials that ensure the runner consistently experiences utmost protection from sticky, moist feet, and the discomfort from getting too warm because of a stifling shoe interior.
  • The close-to-the-ground experience from wearing this running shoe is supported by its relatively thin mid-sole unit. Comprised of only a 2mm-thick foam, the mid-sole still delivers protection and cushioning for a more comfortable stride.
  • One of the most enduring and reliable outsole components has been utilized in this running shoe. The outsole itself is durable and flexible, and yet it delivers superior traction over the surfaces with the grip capability of the compounds that are found in it.

Merrell Vapor Glove 2 size and fit

The Merrell Vapor Glove 2 is slightly larger in size than the standard measurement. It is recommended to choose ½ size option when purchasing this shoe to get the right length. It has a medium width when it comes to its heel and mid-foot sections, though its forefoot area has a medium-to-narrow width. It can accommodate those with medium-sized feet.


Outsole

The Vibram Outsole TC1 is one of the high quality outsole components in the market. It consists of a rubber compound that’s very reliable when it comes to delivering traction over a variety of surfaces. Its grip on the ground and hard asphalt is dependable and it doesn’t let the runners slip.

The outsole unit itself has a light groove pattern that allows the unit to flex naturally. One can actually bend and fold the entire shoe because it was truly meant to allow natural movement to fully occur. It’s also durable, so any runner can rely on it to last long, even after many adventures.


Midsole

The mid-sole unit makes use of a compression molded Ethylene vinyl acetate or CMEVA. This material is very durable and it delivers responsible cushioning at all times. It’s not restricting, so flexibility is still very high for this layer of the Merrell Vapor Glove 2.


Upper

The upper unit makes use of the Air Mesh. It’s a sturdy material that gives breathable and comfortable coverage. It’s a solid feature that allows runners to go through their activities without worrying about sweaty or warm feet.

Heel support is afforded by a Rear Foot Sling that’s made from TPU. Made from synthetic leather, it helps in keeping the heel in place without adding bulk or weight.

Protection from rocks and debris is still important for this minimalist shoe. That is why a Toe Bumper is placed at the edge of the forefoot area. Made from rubber, it protects the toes from debris and other hazards that might come in contact with the foot while running through the great outdoors.

A non-removable microfiber foot-bed with M-Select Fresh is placed right above the mid-sole foam. It adds a bit more cushioning. Its anti-microbial capability allows it to maintain a clean and a healthy interior environment for the foot.