The Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove shoes and the New Balance Minimus Trail shoes are very similar in style. They both have no heel drop (zero drop) and promote running the proper way by almost forcing you to strike the foot on the floor on the front.
For this initial test run I just tested the comfort and fit of the shoes and they both feel very similar and did not run on the trail with them.
The Merrell Barefoot Trail Gloves are very flexible and have a more minimalist feel to them but the New Balance Minimus feel like it offers a bit more protection. Both are light and great shoes to use on the trail, giving the person wearing them good traction. These types of shoes also strengthen the legs as you’re forced to use a fuller motion when running or walking. There is a good chance you will wake up with a sore calf muscle if you are not used to minimalist shoes.
I ran in the Merrell Trail Gloves and I definitely enjoy the comfort of the shoes. It’s very light but offers more protection than the Vibram FiveFingers. There was padding and protection exactly where I needed it, where the foot struck the ground.
Both of these shoes are well made and have a good tight fit. The also both share Vibram soles, but will the Merrell barefoot’s standout against the new and already popular New Balance Minimus shoes? Tell us what you think.