6 years ago5,000+ Views
$100 Amazon.com: 4.7 / 5 REI: 4.4 / 5 Customer Reviews: -I spotted these shoes on one of the many barefoot running blogs and websites and couldn't wait to get a hold of them. I have slowly transitioned to barefoot running like so many thousands of others who were inspired by "Born to Run," and while I'm very far from becoming an shoeless Ultra Marathoner, I am a dedicated convert. Since retraining my feet and lower legs in my Vibram Five Fingers, the rest of the expensive outdoorsy cushioned shoes in my closet just feel terrible. My hope for these Merrell Pace Gloves is to have a shoe to wear when I'm not running that complements all of the benefit I have received from running in Vibram Five Fingers. Out of the box, these shoes are extremely light weight with the look and feel of a high quality Merrell product and I'm very happy with the look of the Chili Pepper color. I can definitely wear these as a casual shoe with a nicer outfit and feel great about the style. In slipping them on, the soles are very flexible and followed the point and flex of my foot and there are minimal seams on the inside. At first, they seemed long in the toes, which didn't make sense because I always wear a 7 1/2 in Merrells, but this is obviously on purpose. The width of the ball of my foot perfectly fit into the contours of the sole and the extra length allowed for spread of my toes within my stide -- this is very important and I am actually quite impressed with how well this was accomplished. I walked around the house and hopped on the treadmill for a few minutes and the shoes successfully encourange me to support my weight through the ball of my foot with a forefoot/midfoot strike. They were very comfortable while running and my toes still had room to spread without constriction. So far, these seem like an outstanding shoe! -Word of caution. I have very narrow feet and these hug like crazy. I would think if you have wide feet, these shoes would literally rub you the wrong way. So far out of the box.... love them! Update 6/28/2011: I still love these shoes. I would rather wear them instead on my slippers. A couple things I noticed. The color bleeds (chili pepper) the first sign of sweat i had pink socks. Second, if my feet swell even a little, they get uncomfortable. Otherwise, I love these shoes and get many compliments on them. -I love these shoes. I live in South Korea and wanted a barefoot shoe that could take the abuse of the mountainous terrain and keep my feet protected but connected (and not let every rock and bit of sand in across the top of my foot like the deeply scooped trend of most barefoot shoes.) I got them in yellow (acacia?) and they look great. They fit like a second skin and break in very quickly. I'm a solid 9, and the 9 fits me perfectly. I walk to work, hike, and play frisbee in them and they really perform in every task. My footing feels sure and comfortable and I can feel my stride improving. I was nervous about "barefoots" being able to handle the sharp rock paths and hostile sidewalks you get here, but the Vibram sole does its job. I know the rock is there. I can practically manipulate it, but it is in no way painful or damaging. Sometimes I walk the sharp rocks on purpose, just to marvel at how awesome these shoes are. I'm definitely glad I bought them. -This is a really fantastic shoe! I have been looking for a shoe that blends the barefoot feel of the Five Fingers (FF), the comfort of the Nike Free, and the trail grip of the PI Peak XC, and voile!, here it is! Unlike the FF, which do not function very well on the trail, do not protect against stone bruises, and may not fit your foot well (toe and heel size), the Merrell Barefoot gets all these things right. This shoe fits like a glove, with no slip, pressure points, or seams to get in the way (I wear a very thin sock with them that prevents against any potential blister issues). The sole is *slightly* stiffer than the FF, which provides more stability when running technical trails. The sole tread is perfect and grips really well. I have run mud, roots, rocks, and hard pack and have been impressed by the grip and function on all. I have also walked in them, hit the gym, and worn them casually and the style and function have been excellent here as well. They run a half size big - I normally wear an 8 and the 7.5 fits perfectly (some of the other reviewers had this backwards). I highly recommend these shoes for the experienced or new runner looking to get in the minimalist game. -I wish I could join in on the party and joyously proclaim that these are the best things since sliced bread, but, alas, the sizing on this shoe is ALL over the place. I specifically tried on 4 different pairs in a size 11 (doesn't go any higher than that, unfortunately), and ALL 4 measured differently in both length and toe box width. I am a true size 11, so there is really no excuse for them NOT to fit. The ones I tried on in REI when they first came out fit perfectly with lots of room to spread my toes....how I wish I had bought them right there and then. Ever since then I have ordered THREE other pairs, none of which fit, and have a forth pair coming in a couple of days which will then make it a total of 5 tries. After that, I give up. It's very discouraging, especially after calling Merrell directly who claimed that they run big, which is not the case with this shoe. If you scour the internet, you will find reviews ranging everywhere from they run a full size or half size small, to true-to-size, to running a full to half size big. If only I were able to find the ones that fit in the latter two categories. This is a major bummer as I was planning to transition over into these particular "barefoot" running shoes in time for the Bolder Boulder, but it's not looking that way. Guess I might have to go with the fugly five fingers. :( For those with a shoe size under 10 1/2, you may be in the clear as you have room to play around with the inconsistent sizing which, while not optimal, gives you some flexibility. If you are a size 11, it's the luck of the draw I am afraid. I recommend this shoe to anyone who is under a size 11. :( -This is a great minimalist shoe. At first, it felt as though there was a bit of arch support, but after a couple runs the shoe broke in great and allows for full movement of my foot. Great protection on trails and the traction is good. I'd recommended this to any barefoot/minimalist runner. They're pretty stylish too, I like to wear them all the time. Only con, which was expected, stinky. These shoes are comfortable enough to wear very happily without socks, which is what I prefer, leading to some shoes with a very special stink!