I am a bit of a chimera when it comes to my interests. Not only am I a big gamer and horror movie fan, but I also am a big time trail runner. I know… crazy! I spend just as much time grinding for XP and loot in MMOs as I do running miles on a dirt trail in the hills of the Appalachian Trail. Needless to say the two lifestyles do not intersect very often. I hardly meet anyone online gaming that thinks a great way to spend a Saturday morning is plowing through 12 miles on the ridge of the AT running down to Harpers Ferry from Burkittsville, MD and I never meet anyone on the trails that plans on going home that night to play Diablo 3 for a few hours.
Once again the cheese stands alone…. or runs alone as the case may be.
Anyways, I am going to talk about my Merrell True Glove minimalist running shoes for a few minutes because this is the interent and it was created for people to talk endlessly about things no one else cares about 🙂
I tried the Vibram Five Fingers about 2 years ago and have to admit I was not totally sold on them. Aside from the fact that it took me abut 5 minutes to get each shoe on I never felt comfortable in them. I know that minimalist shoes take time, but after a few weeks they never seemed to click with me and in running it is all about comfort and form. I abandoned the FF and went back to my trusty New Balance brand.
A few months ago however I was able to pick up a pair of Merrell True Glove running shoes and since then I have not looked back. These babies rock. They have the great construction and material durability that comes with all Merrell products and the lightweight nature of the traditional Vibram Five Fingers. The TG weigh in at about 7oz and are so durable they can easily be rolled up into a ball in your hands. They are more like a traditional shoe with a singular toe box instead of the Five Fingers toe sleeves and have a more traditional lacing style. The singular toe box and lacing style makes putting on the TG much easier then Five Fingers ever were and when tightened created a very tight fit.
The shoe is also made out of a material that unlike the FF does not hold any smell for long. My FF were quite unpleasant and honestly I kept them outside after a few weeks of solid use. On that note, I have taken the TG through many puddles and the water does not absorb into the material much at all. I would of course not recommend the TG as a river shoe but for trails in the rain with puddles it will work just fine.
The sole of the TG is a Vibram sole and has thus far provided much more grip then the FF sole ever did for me. I had lots of difficulty just running on wet grass with the FF but with the TG that has not been an issue.
I did have a rough first two weeks with the TG in which I rubbed some blisters on my achilles tendon but once the skin toughened up a bit I have not had any problems since. I should note that most days I run with a pair of thin under armor low cut socks which also helps prevent and chaffing.
The main issue with the TG is the sizes can be a bit tricky to figure out. I wear an 8 1/2 US Mens size but my TG are a 8 and seem even a bit loose. I have read each person has a different experience with the Merrell Gloves so it would be best to go to a store where you can do a quick jog to test the fit out before purchase.