Merrell Trail Glove–($110)

merrell.com

If the Vibram FiveFingers is a glove, the Trail Glove is, despite its moniker, a mitten. In addition to having all of your toes in one wide compartment instead of being individually wrapped, this joint effort between Vibram and Merrell provides a few more millimeters between your foot and the ground, keeping the Trail Glove in the minimalist category but allowing for a little impact protection while preserving the barefoot feel. Testers cautioned against the temptation of ramping up the mileage too quickly as doing so is likely to “leave a mark” on your calves. They also warned against taking them on really rocky trails where you can bruise the bottoms of your feet.

Tester’s Take: “I love lightweight shoes, but these are something else. There is nothing to these shoes. I mean nothing. If you want to go out there and feel everything, these are the shoes for you.”

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