Trail running shoes should be ultralight and let you stay nimble on your feet; this can be achieved either through traditional styles of footwear intended for trail running, or with specially designed barefoot shoes – like the Vibram Five Fingers. The Merrell Vapor Glove is the best of both worlds. Specifically designed for those who want the benefits of running barefoot, but the protection of footwear as well, the Vapor Gloves are very thin, almost moccasin-like trail running shoes. Despite the name, they do not have individual spots for each toe – unlike Five Fingers. However, this design merely makes them much easier to fit and find a comfortable pair.

Instead, the Vapor Gloves offer you a rubber sole shoe with a mesh & TPU upper, Trailprotect pad for underfoot protection, and breathable mesh lining to keep your feet cool on the trail. This also makes them super easy to dry out, should it rain or you find yourself running across streams and puddles. The outsole is Vibram TC5, with a diamond sole pattern and 2mm lugs. 

In addition to the feeling of barefoot running, the flat sole of the Vapor Gloves can also serve well for weightlifting, where flat soled shoes are sometimes useful, and for kayaking and exploring the beach – a viable and more versatile alternative to water shoes; they’ll dry out just as quickly. They’re the perfect minimalist shoe for everyday walking, running and exercise, and are a solid bargain, too.


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