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If you've been having a hard time finding a minimalist, zero-drop shoe that still offers a touch of cushioning from the road, you simply haven't encountered the Merrell Men's Bare Access 2 Running Shoe. This shoe features a flat profile to enable perfect barefoot form, but 8mm of cushioning and a 13.5mm stack height offer a modicum of protection from hard running surfaces. New for 2013, Merrell redesigned the upper for better durability and fit, and extended the Vibram outsole the full length of the shoe for better traction and protection from rough surfaces.

  • Polyester mesh upper is highly breathable and durable
  • Synthetic overlays add structure and enhance your fit, while small toe cap protects against stubbing
  • Wide forefoot allows toes to splay naturally as you run
  • Integrated footbed features 2mm of EVA for light cushioning, and is treated with an Aegis antimicrobial formula to fight odors
  • EVA sole offers lightweight cushioning while full Vibram outsole delivers reliable traction and protection
  • Reflective details increase your visibility in low light
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Great Shoe!

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:Runs large

I love these running shoes. It is super light, but gives you a little extra cushion than most minimalist shoes. Like another review said, it does run a little big so you probably want to go at least .5 size down.

Runs large

    Order shoe at least a half size smaller than your regular shoe. I ordered my normal shoe size (10.5) and the fit was not even close. I have normal to wide feet and the toe box felt huge. The heel is very minimal as well, which contributed to the loose feeling. They are nice looking shoes and a true zero drop, just order at least half size down. Wasn't able to wear, so review is for fit only.

    Reasonable Minimalism Great Performance!

      Bottom Line Up Front: Bare Access 2 provides the sweet spot for runners looking for light weight and zero drop but not wanting to go all the way to strips of rubber.


      + Footbox is roomy and the upper is very airy mesh. Heel cup is very flexible.

      + Vibram rubber soles with uniform traction along the entire sole.

      + Enough cushion to keep feet from bruising, but still able to feel the road.

      + Zero drop to let those calves do the work and save your knees!

      Keep in Mind:

      - Though Vibram, the rubber is a thinner layer to keep light and will reduce overall durability a bit on all but the most light footed efficient runners.

      - Lacing is normal, not Omni-Fit from the Trail Gloves--something they should really bring over to these shoes to make them perfect!

      - As with all zero drop shoes transition from standard running shoes should be carefully monitored and gradual.

      I jumped into minimalist shoes with a pair of Vibrams a few years back and strained a calf on my first run--knocked me out of the game for most of a summer. Backed off to Asics Blur-33 for the road and kept the Vibrams and a pair of Merrell Trail Gloves for the woods. Loved the Trail Gloves so much that I wanted a pair from the M-Connect line for another foray into roadwork. Felt the Road Gloves would be too much, gave the Bare Access 2 a shot. I'm totally hooked! 100+ miles on them and they have minor wear I'd expect for my 6'1" 190 body and less than perfect stride. I'm a 10.5 in my Asics and a 10 in Trail Gloves and now the Bare Access 2. Once you've worn something like this it's almost impossible to go back to more standard built up marshmallow running shoes. My long run in them is up to just over 8 miles, and I've no doubt they'll see a marathon before they're done.

      Quite simply these just feel natural and FUN!

      Love them, but fell apart after 3 weeks.

        I Love these shoes. They are very light, fitting and comfortable. I only wear them from my house to car, and then walk around a carpeted office building all day. I don't run in them. Even with minimal use, the sole on one the shoes has started to separate in two different places. Its been about 3 weeks, so its been to long for me to return unless I pay for shipping. Props to backcountry for taking the return. Boo to Merrell for shoes that fall apart in a few weeks.

        I'll buy another pair and hope for better luck next time. They were very comfortable.

        Two words; bad @$$!

        • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

        These things are just fantastic. SUPER light, zero drop, good padding with insanely good fit. They have a very wide toe box which allows your toes to go as wide as they need to.

        I just started running seriously and I am on my 3rd week of training for a half-marathon. These shoes make running on the pavement bearable. I tried running on the paved road with my trail gloves and the texture of the Vibram soles wreaks havoc on my knees and ankles when I start to get beyond 4 miles.

        Advice; size DOWN half a size from your typical street shoe size. For example, I wear size 10 in Adidas shoes, I wear a 9.5 in Merrell's.

        Good work Merrell!


        After 120+ miles in the rain, snow and sleet, these still look brand new! Wear thick merino socks and your feet will still be warm for your run, even in 20 degree temps.

        For those running on the road who want a barefoot style shoe, pull the trigger... you won't be disappointed.

        Alas, after countless training runs, sun, sleet, rain, snow, two half-marathons and nearly 500 miles, these things had to be retired... from running.

        I have demoted them to my cross trainers now and wear them for lifting, boxing etc because they are still in amazing shape. I went ahead and bought another pair for my next 400+ miles of road running. GREAT JOB MERRELL!

        I bought this shoe on steep n cheap for...

        I bought this shoe on steep n cheap for $40ish dollars, can I exchange for another size & not have to pay anything extra?