Are Merrell Shoes Good for Running?

Are Merrell shoes good for running? They are if they are flat and encourage the natural movement and function of your foot.

One of my favorite Merrrell minimalist shoes for forefoot running is the Trail Glove 3. If you really want to stand out and perform well in a road race, in training, or during long runs on tough, rocky trails without any troubles, the Merrell Trail Glove 3 is a good choice because of its durability.

Are Merrell Shoes Good for Running

Are Merrell Shoes Good for Running?

Unfortunately, many minimalist trail running shoes I have tried are not really puncture-resistant. Trail runners, especially endurance trail runners, need a minimalist running shoe with a durable rubber outsole as well as a durable upper. Again, this is why the Merrell Trail Glove 3 is good for trail running, because the upper fabric can handle heavy abrasions.

The Trail Glove 3 is zero-dropped with a Vibram outsole more durable than the previous Trail Glove 1 and is a great forefoot running shoe for rocky paths and long distances.

The toe-box of the Merrell Trail Glove 3 is wider than the Trail Glove 1. The lacing system on the Trail Glove 3 was also re-designed to accommodate wide feet. The Trail Glove 3 is also more flexible, more breathable, more durable and flatter than the Trail Glove 1, making it a much better running shoe for forefoot runners.

Are Merrell Shoes Good For Running?
Tough durable outsole delivers amazing traction when forefoot running through the woods!

Other notable features of the Trail Glove 3:

  • Great for road and off-road running
  • It really does fit like a glove
  • Vegan friendly
  • Fully functionable when wet
  • Upper mesh is of highly durable material
  • 4 mm of under-foot protection, still allows good-ground feel
  • Considered by wear-testers to be better than the New Balance Minimus
  • Shallow lugs on the outsole provides good grip for hiking and running down slippery hills
  • Reflective stripes on the upper makes you seen in low light visibility
  • Super flexible, moves automatically with your foot
Are Merrell Shoes Good for Running?
The lightweight, mesh upper forms perfectly to your foot’s structure, giving it a glove-like fit.

Overall, if you have wide feet, do a lot of long distance running on the roads or on the trails, and are looking for a shoe with a tad more protection and durability than most barefoot running shoes, the Merrell Trail Glove 3 is a great choice. If you are interested in an even more minimalistic Merrell shoes, check out my review on the Merrell Vapor Glove.

Other Top Running Shoes for Forefoot Runners:

Inov-8 Bare-XF 260 – Very comfortable, zero drop and versatile barefoot shoe that’s not only great for running, but rope climbing too.

Sockwa G4  – Perfect alternative forefoot running shoe to the Vibram FiveFingers.

Amuri Cloud – Super barefoot-feeling zero drop minimalist running sandal that will strengthen your feet in no time!

Vibram KSO EVO – Super thin barefoot shoe that’s durable for both road and off-road running.

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!


  1. I recently started wearing Correct Toes toe spacers while barefoot to improve foot health and function. Now I need to find a “Correct Toes Approved” shoe I can wear them in. Are you familiar with Correct Toes, and do you know whether the Trail Glove toe box is wide enough to accommodate them?

  2. More flexible than 1? Are you kidding me? Have you actually used them? I’ve done about 1000 km in model 1, and checked model 3 – these are even stiffer than road gloves, more similar to ascend glove, but with weird arch support…

  3. I also read that they are stiffer then the 2nd generation. I don’t know about the 1st gen. They are pretty stiff – but bendy in the right places. If the 1st gen was stiffer, that would be ridiculous.

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