I'm looking forward to summer travel and was wanting an airport-friendly minimalist walking shoe that's easily removable - but also serves well throughout the time at destinations in terms of a tourist's walking comfort.
Currently looking at the Merrell Barefoot Pace:
...or the Merrell Barefoot Pure Glove:
Does anybody own/wear these? Would you buy them again? Thoughts on them as candidates for travel shoes?
The Merrells are fantastic. I am using the Trail Glove as both my main running shoe and as a casual kick around shoe too! Very comfortable, and you can blend in without wearing "those toe shoes."
They are very well constructed, just make sure you get the right fit, it can be a little weird if you are between sizes. The thing I like most aboth them is that while the sole really feels protective when running over rocks and trails, it really feels like you are walking around in socks the rest of the time. It is really easy to forget that you are wearing shoes at all.
One thing to notice is that with a super thin sole and no heel, all of your long pants will suddenly be too long. I plan on getting a pair of the tough Gloves for work, and I think I'll need to get all of my pants hemmed.
I bought the Pure Glove for the same reason: several big trips planned this summer and I needed a lightweight but comfortable shoe. I really like these, they are very comfortable and look cute with jeans. I think the sizing is a little weird. I usually wear a 7 but that size felt really big so I went down to a 6 1/2. The 7 was slipping on my heel and felt really loose, the 6 1/2 is much tighter but I like the fit.
I also got New Balance's shoe with the vibram sole. I don't know the name. Also very comfortable shoes but I have had trouble breaking them in because they ride a little high on my heel.
I wore out a pair of Pure Gloves. I loved them at first but as they got wet/worn they became stiffer and less comfortable. Also not nice looking!
I wanted to stay with Merrell so I then purchased
and I absolutely L O V E them! I first bought them thinking I'd wear them when shopping, etc., so I'd look more "normal" but after wearing them a few times I couldn't bear to take them off.
They've taken a worse beating than the Pure Gloves and still look/feel great. I like not having to tie/untie laces and my toes love the freedom to move around without suffering when I walk over sharp gravel. Aforementioned gravel is about 80% of the footing around here and another 10% is sugar sand and teeny gravel that used to get into the Pure Gloves but can't get into these. No more stopping every 10-15 minutes to get stuff out of my shoes!
I wear my Merrell barefoots ALL THE TIME and I love them. I had no break in period and like other posters, there was none of that "look at her SHOES" like with the toe things (the toes weren't all that comfortable anyway)
Eddie Bauer now sells them and has a 20% off thing going on right now - you could get them for $80.
I own the male counterpart, the "True Glove" and like the fit and feel. I would recommend that you wear them around for a couple of days to get the feel of them before embarking on any long journey, however. I had to 'break' mine in a little as the back of the shoe rubbed against my Achilles a bit for the first few days. I now wear them around all the time (when it isn't SNOWING at the end of April in Wisconsin...BAH!) and only wear my VFFs at the gym.
My wife has a pair of the pace, and the back is a bit stiff for quick slip on. She tried a size a bit larger initially, but did not stay in place so she had to go to right size. I just flew across the country with the Inov8 195 and they were perfect for slipping on and off. Also love them for workouts.
I have tried these on a couple of times and never actually bought them - either style. Depends on what you want, but if you are looking for a "barefoot" style shoe, then be aware there is a pretty strong built-up "rocker" kind of thing that is part of the sole under the ball of the foot and that is why I keep putting them back - it just really irritates me. Might not bother you at all, but you need to be aware and try it out carefully.
I purchased both types and love them! I have tried all the specialty shoes(earth,rebook,sketchers, nike free) and these are the most comfortable to work in (I work in a hospital 12 hour shifts) and I have been running in them also... they are very comfortable... my calves took 2 runs to get used to the new style of running!
I own the men's barefoot shoe, the trail glove.
I love it! There was a 10 or so day break-in period, but after that it's my defacto shoe for wearing when not at work. I really noticed a difference between new and broken-in, there's a lot of padding that's worn away and now it's really an awesome shoe.
I actually don't wear my vibrams anymore, I just wear these. I think they're faster to get on, give me more support where I want it (in the arch) and are generally more comfortable. Oh, and I don't get weird looks everywhere I go. Instead people ask "where did you get those?" :)
I'd wear them for traveling, I'd just be wary of long times standing on my feet. I figure in the next 3-6 months I should be better for long periods of time (5+ hours), but right now anything like that makes me want to put my feet up and relax.
I was actually looking at buying at least one more pair, the men's tough glove for more of a dressed up look. Just need to try them on, as I understand there's a bit of a difference between each of the models. Oh, and FYI, if you have wide feet you might want to go 1/2 size bigger...at least, I find that true for the men's models.
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