Merrell Vapor Glove 5: barely-there protection

Following the barefoot footsteps of Merrel Vapor Glove series, it is a minimalist shoe for experiencing the most natural foot movement and connection with the ground. Only 6.5 mm of rubber and foam keep your foot apart from the surface underfoot.

Its zero-drop construction also places your heel and forefoot on the same line, mimicking being barefoot.

Who is it for?

  • runners with strong feet and ankles
  • forefoot strikers
  • people who want to develop a more natural foot mechanics when walking and running

Best uses:

  • short- and mid-distance runs
  • roads and moderate, hard-packed trails
  • treadmill
  • gym

For a more trail-ready option, consider Merrell Trail Glove collection. These shoes have more substantial underfoot protection.

What's to like about Vapor Glove 5

  • Sock-like upper: barely noticeable
  • Easy to put on/take-off: thanks to the stretchy collar and laces
  • Durable Vibram outsole
  • Use of recycled materials: in the laces, insole top sheet, mesh lining, outsole rubber - 30%


The current trend of Merrell Vapor Glove 5.
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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.