Merrell has a few barefoot shoes in its range. The best known is the Merrell Vapor Glove, which I myself often wear for sports. You can read more about the model in the review of the Merrell Vapor Glove 4. Next to the shoe there is the Merrell Move Glove*. A barefoot shoe, which is even more intended for use in sports. A good reason to take a closer look at the shoe. What I did.
Is the Merrell Move Glove a barefoot shoe?
Like the Vapor Glove 4, as well as the complete Vapor Glove series from Merrell, the Move Glove is a minimal shoe and not a pure barefoot shoe. The reason for this is the slightly lower flexibility and the slightly harder shape.
Nevertheless, the Merrell Move Glove fulfills some and important aspects of barefoot shoes:
- Zero setting
- Thin sole
- Relatively flexible
- Light weight
Especially you zero position is an important factor for a barefoot shoe. Without this, it is never a barefoot shoe. Merrell itself also has some models in the range, which are not barefoot shoes. This is for example the Merrell Vapor Glove Trail series. You can read more about this in the article about Merrell’s barefoot shoes. Let’s take a closer look at the points in detail.
Merrell Move Glove sole
As mentioned, we have a zero setting. In addition, the sole of the Merrell Move Glove is quite thin with a total of 5.4 millimeters. Of that, 4 millimeters is made up by the tread: The sole itself is 1.4 millimeters. The sole is also relatively flexible. Proper barefoot shoes offer a bit more here, of course. Nevertheless, it is exciting that there is a barefoot feeling. Gravel and other surfaces are clearly felt. In my eyes, this is even an advantage for newcomers to barefoot shoes. Because so the barefoot feeling is not too extreme. By the way, over time, the sole of Merrell barefoot shoes becomes much softer and more flexible.
The profile of the Merrell Move Glove is a special feature. It is a siped profile, which provides a better grip. Especially on muddy or soft ground you have so great advantages.
As you can see, the classic image of a barefoot shoe with complete flexibility can only be depicted to a limited extent. Nevertheless, the shoe is quite flexible. The tread is also advantageous. It is discreet, yet helpful in holding. This is particularly interesting for climbing, running on soft ground or for sprints.
The Merrell Vapor Glove 3 as well as 4 are both cut quite tight in the middle. An issue that some complain about. The toe box is wider. Especially for people with wider feet, this can be a small restriction. Whereby I must say that I also have wide feet and have and see no problem here. On the contrary, this can be an advantage in many applications. Especially when the shoe must sit there a little more securely and firmly on the foot. This is the case, for example, in sports.
The hold on the foot here is significantly better than that of the tested Merrell Vapor Glove 4 3D. The shoe has an extremely wide toe box, which is perfect for a barefoot shoe. However, this also makes the shoe relatively loose on the foot. Of course, especially in the toe area.
Quality and stability
The new model is supposed to be particularly robust. This was confirmed in the test. The manufacturer has already added a lot of stability with the Vapor Glove 4. The Vapor Glove 3 had a small weak point here, but it only became a problem during hard use.
The Merrell Move Glove convinces here with a further raised sole. This generally offers more grip and also significantly greater stability in the shoe itself. The connection between the upper shoe and the sole is much stronger and more secure. Of course, this has a major impact on the look. That, in turn, is a matter of taste. For everyday wear, I don’t find it so nice. For sports, it’s a suitable look.
Merrell Move Glove during sports
The shoes are ideal for sports, as they offer a good grip. Here you benefit from the siped profile, which offers perfect grip. The profile is also optimized for fast changes of motion.
With a few other barefoot shoes I had here already problems in sports. This applies, for example, to models from Vivobarefoot, which is one of the few manufacturers with nicer barefoot shoes for sports. From the Vibram FiveFingers I am personally by the optics not a great friend. In my opinion, toe shoes also offer no advantage over barefoot shoes.
In addition to the good grip, the Move Glove also offers very good stability. The shoes from Merrell are generally very robust and can therefore also trump crossfit or forest running.
For use off the road (forest runs, cross runs), the Move Glove offers another advantage. The tongue is continuous. This prevents dirt from above from entering the shoe.
Is the Merrell Move Glove worth the money?
In my opinion, the Merrell Move Glove*is worth the money. You get a stable minimal shoe, which is perfect for sports. Especially for off-road runs, the shoe is excellent.
Very important points are the zero position, thin sole and light weight, which are all fulfilled by the Merrell Move GLove. Especially for sports, the new shoe from Merrell is a perfect choice. The raised sole offers you advantages in use and stability. So the shoe is also ideal for rope climbing (for example, crossfit) or for forest runs with a little more mud. This also clearly sets the Move Glove*apart from the Marrell Vapor Glove 4*.
What I also like very much about Merrell are the crazy colors. I like the bright models in the shoes. The Merrell Move Glove is also available in chic colors. Overall, however, there are fewer fancy ones than with the Merrell Vapor Glove 3 or 4.
For the purchase decision, you should go something according to your personal taste in optics. The Move Glove is a bit more stable compared to the Vapor Glove 4. For very robust applications, the Move Glove would be the better choice for you. However, the model is also a bit more expensive.