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Your toes are aching to feel the ground again, and now they can.

Think of the Merrell Men's Vapor Glove Running Shoe as more of a second skin designed to protect your foot so your foot can do what it does naturally: help you balance and run swiftly. With just two millimeters of cushioning and a zero drop heel offset, this is a barefoot shoe through and through. Merrell's designers went to the extremes of spartan design, keeping the upper light, the TPU heel sling simple, and the integrated footbed so thin you'll hardly notice it underneath your foot. At a feathery five ounces, this is a 'shoe' for the advanced intermediate or seasoned trail runner who wants protection and maximum foot-to-ground sensation without totally sacrificing the protection a rubber sole can provide.

  • Barefoot construction means that this shoe is essentially a lightweight upper attached to a lightweight rubber outsole
  • This construction means absolutely minimal weight to carry on your foot, maximum responsiveness and ground feel, and superior flexibility so your foot can move naturally, uninhibited by excessive cushioning or materials
  • Mesh upper is thin and breathable but also durable so it provides light protection from the hazards of running along a trail
  • Integrated microfiber footbed provides a thin layer of comfort between the sole of your foot and the top of the rubber outsole of this shoe
  • Aegis antimicrobial treatment helps the footbed repel the bacteria that causes funky odors
  • Zero drop design aligns your heel and forefoot so they're completely level, putting your foot in the most naturally balanced position during footstrike
  • External TPU heel sling keeps your heel locked into place and secures the fit of this shoe as close as possible to your foot
  • TC1 rubber outsole offers protection from sharp rocks and trail debris and is sticky enough so you can run across rocks and slick surfaces without slipping unexpectedly

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Merrell Vapor Glove Running Shoe - Men's

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Here's what others have to say...

4 5

Comfortable but not very durable

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

I've been using minimalist running shoes for trail running and road running for many years, and these are by far the most comfortable I've ever had. They are one of the few that don't irritate my feet when I don't wear socks. Super light and perfect for good running form, my only complaint is the durability issues.

I experienced the same issue Eddie mentioned in his review. The fabric will wear through very fast where it meets the rand just above the big toe. This is more cosmetic and a real problem, but still something I hope Merrell fixes in the future. I wore mine for months after I had developed a large hole there. The second issue is that the fabric will eventually start to fray on the outside edge of the midfoot where it meets the sole. If these issues can be fixed in a future Vapor Glove 2 I will be a devoted fan. Until then, as much as I like these shoes, I think I'll go back to the Trail Glove.

Responded on

Why didn't you return them under the warranty?

4 5

Some problems, but nice to run in

I love running in these, however after a couple months of use they developed small holes directly behind the rubber toe (that look like they will spread). I exchanged them for another pair. My foot seems to be between a 10 and a 10 1/2 (I usually wear a 10 1/2). I would recommend buying them on the smaller side, because it looks like the hole was caused by wear due to the extra space (wasn't very much but it looks like it made the difference). Since swapping out for the smaller size I haven't had any problems and really like running in these. Make sure you take some time to get used to the different mechanics of running it these vs traditional sneakers.

Some problems, but nice to run in
Responded on

I have three pairs of these ranging from size 11-12 and have noticed the same issue on the two pairs I run in. The fixI have come up with, and I have an issue with my right big toe rubbing through running shoes in general, is to place a strip of adhesive moleskin along the tow guard seam. It seems to have fixed or at least slowed the wear through. I suspect, like a lot of people, you have sized down and I suspect wearing a side seam out is a byproduct of wearing these tight. I suspect they are in the process of reworking the overall design of rate shoe to correct sizing and wear issues as only two color variations are currently available. Even with the wear issues, these shoes are something I'd recommend for anyone to add to their shoe rotation.

4 5

awesome minimalist sneaker

this is an awesome minimalist sneaker - but it's definitely still somewhere in that sneaker/rubber sock area. i've transitioned to these from new balances (minimus trails and zeros) and the first thing I noticed was just how close to the ground my feet were. there is hardly anything there and you feel everything. the rubber is THIN, to the point where i consciously avoid stepping on anything but flat surfaces, which is,i guess, a good thing. i noticed that these shoes required even more from my foot and ankles, so I would recommend a short adjustment period if you're coming from anything that is more padded.

there are 2 things to note which may be disadvantages for some. first, i have a hard time going barefoot in these b/c the synthetic upper material creases if i have to flex my foot to get on my toes. this creasing actually creates some sore spots on the top of my foot which will cut/blister. second, the sizing on these guys is STRANGE. i wear a size 11 comfortably, 10.5 snuggly. i had to buy a size 10 in these shoes and there is still some breathing room in the toe box (which i like). this sizing issue may be why i have issues with the creasing/top of foot. luckily BC has an easy return policy and made the whole process very easy.

tip: runningwarehouse has a shoe sizing guide that i found was pretty spot on for minimalist shoe fitting.

Responded on

I think I'd wear a thin sock just to mitigate the sweat issue. I'm doing that in the "barefoot" shoes I wear noe.