Verdict from +100 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • The testers welcomed the color schemes of the Merrell Bare Access Flex E-Mesh.
  • A few admired the lightweight design of the shoe.
  • Several wearers lauded the breathable coverage of the Bare Access Flex E-Mesh.
  • A couple of users mentioned that the shoe is durable.
  • Based on some reviews, the midsole offers the right amount of cushioning - not too firm, not too soft.

2 reasons not to buy


  • The midsole allegedly offered little support to those who have tendon concerns.
  • Some people felt that the upper was too tight.

Bottom line

The Merrell Bare Access Flex E-Mesh wasn’t very well-received. People were welcoming of its aesthetics, but that’s just about the only thing that was appreciated. The underfoot platform was criticized for being uncomfortable and unaccommodating. The sizing schemes and width profiles of this road shoe were also subjects of disapproval.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

User reviews:

Good to know

  • The E-Mesh version of the Merrell Bare Access Flex is a neutral running shoe that’s designed to tackle both the roads and the trails. It makes use of an engineered mesh upper to provide breathable and seamless coverage. Thin TPU layers are patterned on vital areas to help protect the façade against wear and tear. A molded heel counter locks the foot in place and prevents it from exiting the foot-chamber unintentionally.
  • The underfoot platform makes use of an ethylene vinyl acetate unit to offer responsive cushioning to the foot. Flex grooves have been integrated into this component to heighten the natural bending capacity of the joints and muscles.

The Merrell Bare Access Flex E-Mesh was designed to be true to size. Regarding width, the available option for women is B – Medium. The men’s iteration offers the D – Medium profile. The upper unit features fabric that’s designed to give a form-fitting coverage.

The outer sole of the Merrell Bare Access Flex E-Mesh utilizes the M Select™ Grip+ which is made of a sturdy and grippy rubber compound. Its purpose is to shield the foam midsole from abrasion while also delivering traction on both wet and dry surfaces.

Grooves crisscross against each other, forming diamond-shaped patterns on the surface of the outsole. These small trenches encourage the natural flexibility of the wearer’s foot.

The FLEXconnect™ midsole is composed of ethylene vinyl acetate or EVA which runs the entire length of the Bare Access Flex E-Mesh. It aims to give a well-cushioned ride. Dual-directional flex grooves are inherently included in the mold, making it more supple and compliant to the flexibility of the foot.

An EVA footbed has been integrated with the primary foam material. Its goal is to add more cushioning and provide a snug in-shoe feel.

The engineered mesh is a material that’s similar to woven cloth. It readily conforms to the shape of the foot, giving a secure yet wrapped-up coverage. Ventilation pores allow environmental air to enter the foot-chamber and maintain a cool and dry experience.

Thin layers of thermoplastic polyurethane bolster the toe box and the eyelets. These add-ons also provide structure to the façade of the Bare Access Flex E-Mesh.

Hyperlock™ is a printed TPU counter that’s placed on the external heel section. It intends to hold the back of the foot in place and keep it from wobbling or exiting the interior of the shoe unexpectedly.

How Bare Access Flex E-Mesh compares

This shoe: 75
All shoes average: 82
55 94
This shoe: £110
All shoes average: £130
£60 £240
This shoe: 210g
All shoes average: 296g
170g 680g
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.