Merrell Trail Glove 6

8.8
8.8 score
[Editors rating (8.8)] = (Gearweare.net) score (8.8)/10

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Editor rating: 8.8 / 10
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Editor’s Conclusion
There's always room for improvement. You know it, I know it, and Merrell certainly knows it. Taking their Trail Glove 6 into a newer generation, Merrell offers the feet of its trail runner customers a treat in the latest version of the Merrell Trail Glove.

In its 6th version, the Trail Glove has a new design that aims to imitate the shape of the bare human foot, ensuring it stays in a natural position. Version 6 has done its job with many improved features, an enhanced fit, and heightened abrasion resistance, with some great reviews.

It's always important when redesigning a shoe to not alienate customers by changing too much. Merrell has the balance entirely right as it features a minor amount of additional support, an increase in sole thickness and more abrasion resistance.

Some seem to think this is more of a minimalist shoe, making it perfect for any beginner trail runner looking to transition into a barefoot style. Let's see if this trail runner is the right fit for you.
Merrell Trail Glove 6 Review Facts
Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Versatile

Great grip

Secure feel

Lightweight

Mixed terrain

Minimalist design

Cons

Not an authentic barefoot feel

Key Features

Design

This next-generation Trail Glove packs a punch with some great features, making it perfect for anyone after a minimalist shoe for trail runs. For example, the external rear sling locks in the heel and allows for extra security. At the same time, Merrell constructs the Barefoot 2 to keep the foot in a natural position, helping to keep that barefooted feel. A combination TPU reinforcement on the sides is also great for holding the foot in place.

These aren't called gloves for nothing; they fit like a glove from the get-go, giving that barefoot feel that allows for a better trail run. These shoes are perfect for trail runs and suit a range of activities such as gymming, weight training, running, walking, cycling, or general everyday use. In addition, they enable you to feel the ground and grip, for times when the balance is essential. One word, squats!

The Merrell Trail Glove also handles steep, boulder-strewn mountains and loose dirty tracks exceptionally well with a tremendous grippy sole. Most seem to find this trail shoe perfect for light trail and paved surfaces, but some users who wore them on more technical terrains also raved about its traction. The Vibram outsole is also ideal for wet surfaces.

You'll also get a more secure fit due to the enhanced lacing systems compared to the previous versions. Although I must say they are a bit hard to put on, that's to be expected with this shoe style. But by heck, once they're on, they stay on!

Comfort

Although you need that barefoot feel, you don't want to be so barefoot that your feet are in pain. Luckily, there is a rock plate for protection and extra comfort.

Achieving the balance of a shoe thick enough to provide comfort and safety against rough and uneven terrain with the basic design of a minimalistic shoe isn't easy, but Merrell manages it. Trail Glove 6 provides plenty of protection for walking off-trail.

Fit

Merrell is considerate when it comes to sizing. Due to its barefoot nature and build with an entire forefoot, the Trail Glove 6 allows for more natural foot movement. Therefore, if you've bought the Trail Glove 4 previously, in compassion the Trail 6, you might notice it runs half a size large. So, for a similar fit to the previous Trail Glove 4 version, Merrell suggests ordering a half size smaller than your typical size. However, if you've purchased the Trail Glove 5 before, Merrell state that the sizing is the same.

There is a slight break-in period to be aware of, but most customers seem to find this minimal, so I wasn't too concerned. But, again, this is to be expected with this type of solid shoe. The extra arch support makes this shoeless of a barefoot shoe, but it is helpful for those that need more help for running over rugged terrains.

Materials

Merrell hasn't only made the Trail 6 better for performance but better for the planet with the introduction of sustainable materials. Merrell's effort into making their shoes sustainable is impressive, with a considerable amount of the material recycled.

For example, the laces, webbing pull tab and Sketch Mesh Post Industrial x NXT are 100% recycled, while 65% of the mesh upper, 40% of the mesh lining, and 30% of the Vibram® rubber EcoStep are recycled. Impressive!

Durability

When doing my research, I found nothing online to state that the Merrell Trail Glove 6 are nothing but durable. On the first impression, this is an excellent and secure shoe that should last well.

The materials appear to be sturdy and reliable, with no minor issues on immediate use. I like the durable materials that they've chosen, which are both sustainable and reliable. The Vibram rubber sole is incredibly durable, protecting the longevity of the shoe and your feet as you trek the trails.

Comparison to Similar Trail Shoes

With a sole thick enough to protect against rough and uneven terrain, the Trail Glove 6 provides plenty of comforts. However, if you need a sturdier runner for hiking and climbing over more technical terrain, you may want to try out the La Sportiva Wildcat 2.0 GTX . The Sportiva won't give you the barefoot feel, but it will cover all your bases with a breathable mesh upper, premium waterproof membrane and combination rubber sole for extra grip on snow or dirt.

Some seem to think this Merrell range is not as complete of a barefoot design as other brands, being more like a minimalistic shoe. However, they have a surprisingly good grip and a thoughtful design, allowing the toes to spread naturally. These are perfect for beginners transitioning to barefoot shoes or needing a somewhat thicker sole for off-road trail walking. If you want a more authentic barefoot design, many reviewers seem to enjoy the Vapor 5.

Verdict

Merrell continues to improve the Trail Glove 6 with its recent generation of barefoot shoes, light and minimalist shoes that's a nice change from bulky hiking shoes. Sometimes, you need a lighter, faster, more responsive shoe. They look and feel nice, with the black version going with just about anything.

It's hard to improve on perfection, but the Trail Glove 6 are even more comfortable than the last version, if that's possible. With good traction, comfort, a minimalist feel, and plenty of color choices, you can't go wrong.

As said before, this isn't the most barefoot of shoes, but anyone looking for a minimalist shoe and beginner trail runners should be happy with the feel and support of the Trail Glove 6.