Verdict from 8 experts and +100 user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • This one fits like a glove with a tad more room in the toe box for toe splaying.
  • The Vibram outsole continues to be very impressive on a multitude of trail surfaces because of its durability and dependable performance.
  • The mesh upper in the Trail Glove 3 keeps the foot cool and dry.
  • Many runners found the vibrant designs and multiple color schemes appealing.
  • Excellent proprioception is a common appreciation coming from many runners.
  • There is sufficient cushioning for minimalist runners to use the shoe for half marathons, according to some experts.
  • It is light and fast as noted in some reviews.
  • A reasonably-priced running shoe.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Most of the complaints were about its mid-sole, which apparently needed a tad more cushioning for better underfoot comfort.
  • Some said that the inner construction wasn’t optimized because they experienced blistering.

Bottom line

The Trail Glove 3 from Merrell caters to the needs of minimalist runners or those who are looking for an option that is as extremely close to barefoot running. The Merrell Trail Glove 3 is a great option for those who love to feel the tough and difficult trail while wearing a shoe that was built for speed.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Expert reviews:

Video reviews

Good to know

  • The sole and the upper of the Merrell Trail Glove 3 were completely changed to improve one’s running experience. As a result of the updates, the shoe weighs around 15% lighter compared the previous version. It offers a much lighter weight without affecting its original performance.
  • The new sole of the Trail Glove 3 comes with an enhanced off-road grip, making it ideal for running on varied surfaces. It also offers more flexibility than its predecessors and has better ground contact.
  • The upper of the shoe was redesigned to deliver a more breathable and comfortable feel. Along with this is the new sneaker-like look of the shoe, a great look for daily use.

The Trail Glove 3 has the same fit with its predecessor. It has a wide forefoot and the heel and midfoot are of standard measurements. The shoe delivers great fit to runners with wide foot shape. Merrell is offering this shoe at a standard running shoe length.


The outsole unit uses the Vibram Outsole TC1 that delivers impressive grip on various surfaces. It also gives added flexibility for an enhanced running experience. Together with this performance rubber sole is the trail protect plate that offers enough amount of foot protection against sharp stones and rough surfaces.


The shoe uses the 4 mm CMEVA that delivers durable underfoot cushioning. It is light weight in nature yet it offers maximum shock absorption for a more responsive ride.


The upper uses the breathable air mesh that is also durable. It keeps the foot well-ventilated especially on long runs. The upper of the shoe is as breathable as the Merrell Trail Glove 5. It works perfectly well with the shoe’s non-removable footbed that is anti-microbial in nature and has the capacity to keep the foot odorless.

The shoe has TPU Rear Foot Sling that offers a reliable heel support. Together with the Merrell Omni-Fit lacing system, this shoe offers a secure and glove-like fit.

How Trail Glove 3 compares

This shoe: 88
All shoes average: 82
55 94
This shoe: £110
All shoes average: £120
£60 £230
This shoe: 198g
All shoes average: 296g
170g 680g
Author
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.

jens@runrepeat.com