415 users: 4.4 / 5
Terrain: Trail
Weight: Men 5oz / Women 5oz
Heel to toe drop: Men 0mm / Women 0mm
Arch support: Neutral

Verdict from 10.2 hours of research from the internet

10 reasons to buy

  • Several consumers lauded the Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Cotton’s ability to prevent shoe odor. 
  • The underfoot platform is very flexible and supportive, according to many reviewers. 
  • A number of users expressed that this running companion has a breathable, flexible, and lightweight mesh upper that effectively helps improve the running speed. 
  • Some runners noted that the shoe is also perfect for walking and other non-strenuous activities. 
  • The Vapor Glove 3 Cotton fits very well and is very comfortable to wear for long runs, as mentioned in some reviews. 
  • This Merrell trail running shoe offers impressive gripping performance, a couple of purchasers observed. 
  • Many wearers agreed that this running shoe’s minimal cushioning is perfect for users who prefer barefoot running.
  • A handful of buyers are happy that the price of Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Cotton was affordable compared to other running shoes. 
  • People appreciated that the shoe allowed for natural movements even during fast-paced activities. 
  • Testers like the glove-like fit of this running partner. 

2 reasons not to buy

  • A few customers complained that the upper unit of Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Cotton is not durable enough and tends to wear out faster than expected.
  • The forefoot section of Vapor Glove 3 Cotton felt a bit narrow, a couple of commenters mentioned. 

Bottom line

The Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Cotton received overwhelmingly positive feedback from runners and shoe enthusiasts. People love the shoe for being able to provide a comfortable running and flexible underfoot experience. The shoe’s excellent gripping ability, lightweight construction, and breathable upper were also given praise. Despite the criticisms about the product’s durability and narrow forefoot section, others still believe that Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Cotton is a worthy investment.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

User reviews:

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  • The Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Cotton is a minimalist trail-specific running shoe that is designed for barefoot-style running. This running gear is vegan-friendly and has antimicrobial agents that help reduce shoe odor. 
  • This “cotton” special edition of the third version of Merrell Vapor Glove uses the Hyperlock™ molded TPU heel counter for added security. This material locks the heel down during sharp turns and quick movements. 
  • The shoe also features a new rubber compound called Vibram TC5+. This rubber outsole provides better traction on varied surfaces. It is also lighter and more flexible compared to other outsole materials.

The Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Cotton’s flexible upper offers a sock-like fit, providing a comfortable in-shoe feel. This running companion is available in standard shoe sizes for both men and women versions. It can accommodate the usual choices of runners when it comes to size, though it should be noted that some reviewers felt that the shoe is a bit narrow.

The Vapor Glove 3 Cotton’s Barefoot construction is minimal yet highly protective for versatility outside. The shoe utilizes the Vibram TC5+ rubber outsole, Merrel’s exclusive technology, which ensures safety on both sloping and level grounds. 

The TC5+ rubber is combined with front lugs that are strategically arranged to provide better traction even on irregular surfaces. 

The Trail Protect™ technology is a rock plate that is placed between the outsole and midsole for added protection against rugged terrain. This technology is also present in Merrell Trail Glove 5

The Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Cotton features the M Select™ FRESH antimicrobial agents that effectively prevents moisture and sweat, causing unwanted shoe odor. The M Select™ FRESH footframe is designed to conform to the natural flex of the foot, giving the runner adequate stability and all-day comfort. 

Hyperlock™ TPU film heel is incorporated into the shoe to provide additional support and prevent the heel from sliding up and down during sharp turns and quick descents. 

This lightweight running shoe has a thin, barefoot-like insole that delivers zero ground-to-foot separation. 

The upper unit of this trail running shoe is made out of a breathable cotton fabric that allows the air to flow, maintaining a cool and comfortable environment for the foot. 

Vapor Glove 3 Cotton uses the traditional lacing system to provide a secure and snug fit every time. 

Size and fit

True to size based on 92 user votes
Small (4%)
True to size (75%)
Large (21%)
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Size comments

Fits very true to size.. - Amazon
Forefoot fit
Narrow Wide
Heel fit
Narrow Wide
Tight Roomy

How Vapor Glove 3 Cotton compares

This shoe: 88
All shoes average: 85
58 99
This shoe: $90
All shoes average: $130
$60 $250
This shoe: 5oz
All shoes average: 10.4oz
5oz 24oz
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.