I had the opportunity to check out Merrell’s M-Connect line of minimalist shoes recently. They were kind enough to send me three pairs of their shoes to get to know the line, and while all three are part of the M-Connect lineup, each has its own unique styles and benefits. Of the three, the Merrell Road Glove 2 is the most minimal choice. How does it stack up? Read on for the full review to find out!
There isn’t much to the Road Glove 2. The upper material is quite thin, and the sole is quite flexible. It does take a bit of effort, but you can roll the shoe into a ball; great for impressing your friends with how minimal your shoes are! While the toe box is wide, the midfoot and heel fit are much more form-fitting, so the shoe feels very secure. Underfoot, the sole is made by Vibram, which may not mean much if you don’t know shoes, but Vibram makes incredibly tough, quality rubber soles.
These are definitely road shoes through and through. There isn’t much tread on the sole, and there is almost no cushioning, so you feel every bump and crack in the road. Because there isn’t much between your foot and the ground, it is relatively easy to keep a midfoot or forefoot strike with a short stride. It’s an efficient way to run, but a shoe this minimal can be hard on your feet and legs if you aren’t ready for it. I thought I was adjusted to minimalist shoes, but it had been a while since I ran in anything as minimal as the Road Glove 2′s. My first run went great. I felt amazing, like I was flying down the road. I woke up the next morning and wondered if someone had stabbed me in the calves with forks in my sleep. After resting for a few days, I found that my body readjusted quickly, but if this is your first try with minimal shoes take it slowly. I can’t emphasize that enough!
This is the part where any shoe review gets very subjective. What feels right on my feet may feel awful on yours. However, I love these shoes. If I could only own one pair of sneakers, it would be the Road Glove 2. Winter is always a hard time to pull together the motivation to run, but as long as there wasn’t ice on the roads I could run in the Road Gloves…and even on the days I wanted to just loaf around, the Road Glove 2 made it so much FUN to run again that I couldn’t wait to get out there. If that’s not the mark of a great shoe, I don’t know what is!
Here’s a quick video overview of the Merrell Road Glove 2 as well:
MSRP: $100 from Merrell
What I Liked: Flexible; very comfortable fit; allows for natural running stride; provides excellent feedback from the ground
What Needs Improvement: Nothing