Thursday, March 14, 2013

Merrell Trail Glove 2.0

I will just lay it out right now: I love the Merrell Trail Gloves.  They are my preferred shoe both on trails and on the road.

I am happy to report that my advance media sample pair of Merrell Trail Glove 2.0 shoes  have not let me down.  On the contrary they are amazingly better than the original Merrell Trail Glove.
My first run with them was with my RVRR peeps at Round Valley on February 17, 2013. It was cold and windy and there was a little snow covering parts of the trail. Here is what I wrote after that run, "First run with Merrell Trail Glove 2.0's: WOW - they are actually BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL Merrell Trail Glove!"

My second run was February 22nd at Watchung Reservation.  I wrote, "Second run in the Merrell Trail Glove 2.0 and they are great. Traction is good on old snow and the rock plate is much more protective than the original Trail Glove - which I don't even think had one - yet the flexibility is maybe even better."

Therein lies the most major advance in the 2.0 version.  I wrote to Merrell about the original Trail Glove, that I felt it didn't have enough protection for long runs on eastern rocky trails.  I suggested that they make a Trail Glove West and a Trail Glove East - the East version with a zero lift, but a little more sole.  They have answered the problem, as far as I can tell, by improving their rock-plate protection, yet keeping the overall shoe as flexible as ever.

After the Watchung Reservation Run

There is a slight change in the lacing system, reducing the OmniFit closures from 4 to 2.  That adds a little less feeling of shoe on top of the foot.

I continue to use my older Trail Glove and Sonic Gloves on trails and on the road.  I have New Balance minimal road shoes and trail shoes, but their last is a little too curved for the shape of my foot.  The Trail Glove's last sticks to my foot as if it was a part of it, and protects my arch area better than the New Balance MT-110.

I will be running the HAT 50K in this shoe on March 23.  I will give a report on its performance over that distance sometime shortly after that.

In the interest of full disclosure, they do send them to me for free.  I am not happy that they retail for $100, which is much more than I think running shoes should ever cost - but that is because I am not only cheap, but now I am spoiled by the hand that has fed me.