2012 Trail Running Shoe Review

Photo: Scott Draper/Competitor

Merrell Lithe Glove, $125

www.merrell.com

Weight – M: 6.5 oz.; W: 8.3 oz.

FIT: While the Lithe Glove (and men’s Sonic Glove) offers reliably tight heel-hold and midfoot connectivity, the toebox is wide and roomy.

FEEL: With a thin layer of outsole rubber and a miniscule layer of cushioning and a flat, zero-drop profile, these minimalist mites will put you as close to the ground as you ever want to be. A durable rubber outsole and thin protection plate offer sufficient underfoot protection against protruding pebbles, but the lightly reinforced toebox and sidewalls can leave toes in harm’s way.

RIDE: Because there’s almost no cushioning, these flexible flyers ride free and firm, requiring a runner to have advanced lower-leg strength and the ability to run nimbly. On smooth terrain and dirt roads, they demand efficient form devoid of heavy heel striking, while more technical routes necessitate careful agility.

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