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NB Minimus vs. Merrell Trail Glove
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Ray Dunham
(Raymond) - F

Locale: SE US
NB Minimus vs. Merrell Trail Glove on 03/04/2011 16:33:36 MST Print View

Since the last thread was completely hijacked........please lets discuss shoes. Merrell Trail Glove vs. NB Minimus. Has anyone tried both and what is the feedback regarding each shoe?

ben wood

Locale: flatlands of MO
Re: NB Minimus vs. Merrell Trail Glove on 03/04/2011 19:00:17 MST Print View

this is a head to head comparison you may find useful.

Eric Palumbo
(palumbo) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Trail Glove on 04/07/2011 18:20:34 MDT Print View

I went with the Trail Glove because it offered more room for my long "ring" toe and great heal fit.

Edited by palumbo on 04/07/2011 18:21:10 MDT.

Eric Wheeler
(CactiGuy) - F

Locale: Oklahoma
NB Minimus vs. Merrell Trail Glove on 04/08/2011 20:57:12 MDT Print View

I second the last post! Love mine

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Trail Glove on 07/28/2011 22:59:51 MDT Print View

I'm looking for some shoes to replace my MT101's (good shoe, but the upper tore away from the sole after ~150 miles).

I tried on the Trail Glove today and I really like the design, but the fit of them was just funny. The arch support was too far forward, so the back of my arch wasn't supported and the front of the arch was over supported (ie. pressure). Kind of a bummer because they seem like a super nice shoe. Going down a size had my toes crammed into the front.

I'm wanting to try some Minimus Trail's when I get the chance. Perhaps someone can comment on the rock protection of these while hiking. Basically, I don't want to have to be constantly watching where I step to avoid stepping on pointy rocky. I used to own Vibram Five Fingers and found my feet way too vulnerable to stepping on pointy rocks. The MT101's had a rock plate so this was a non-issue. The Minimus Trail's supposedly don't have a rock plate, but they do have a thicker sole than the Five Fingers from what I've read, so perhaps this spreads out the sharp pressure enough that it's not worry?

Alexandru Gherman
(torik) - F
trail glove on 07/29/2011 08:51:44 MDT Print View

Dan, there is no arch support in the Trail Glove, that bump you felt under your arch will flatten out after a few wears.

Chris Lucas
(ChemE) - F

Locale: SC
NB Minimus on 07/29/2011 09:45:01 MDT Print View

I love mine and don't have any problems with rocks or foot placement. Even on 15 mile days over rocky terrain my feet feel fine at the end of the day. The fit is incredible for me and they can be lightly modified to shed an extra 0.25 oz/shoe.

Putting the NB Minimus Trail on a Diet

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: trail glove on 07/29/2011 09:51:34 MDT Print View

They don't have "arch support" per se. What they do have is a molded outsole in that area that looks like an arch and a really tight midfoot that causes pressure on your arches. I found the same thing with the Merrells and the NB Minimus so I passed on both. Neither has a wide toe box either IMO. They're a bit wider than your average shoe, but still not what I would like to see from an anatomical standpoint.

Edited by simplespirit on 07/29/2011 09:53:15 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"NB Minimus vs. Merrell Trail Glove" on 07/29/2011 10:18:23 MDT Print View


Don't buy the Minimus if you're looking for spartan underfoot protection from rocks and sharp things that go bump in the trail, the Minimus will have you thinking about every foot placement on rocky trail unless your feet are seasoned. A 'rock plate' or hardened eva midsole is NON-existent in the Minimus, the shoe relies on the denser Vibram outsole pads for protection, which it does a great job at doing except in extremely rough terrain where sharp objects can put pressure on the exposed foam areas.

MT101 is a great shoe, your pair was defective, take them back to where you purchased them. 150 miles is like 3 weeks of running, not much mileage at all, the MT101 is about broken in by that point, the sweet spot. The uppers are durable, it was their predecessors (MT100) that had a lackluster upper.

Chris Cheng
(chrischeng) - F
Re: Trail Glove on 07/29/2011 10:29:56 MDT Print View

You'll definitely feel the pointy rocks with both the Minimus and the Trail Gloves. That is one of the problems my girlfriend and I (she has the Minimus Trail, I have the Trail Gloves) encountered with longer mileage days, especially on days walking over 15 miles. There are plenty of lava rocks here in Oregon so sometimes it's pretty difficult to avoid pointy rocks.

I think it has to do with the time on the feet combined with the thin soles because we haven't had any problems with that on our longer trail runs covering the same mileage...

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
NB Minimus vs. Merrell Trail Glove on 07/29/2011 10:36:34 MDT Print View

I have seen few comments regarding the Montrail Rogue Racer in relation to minimalist footwear options. At 8.0 oz this trail runner may not be considered minimalist enough for many here but it is relatively light for a trail shoe and has worked well for me.,default,pd.html

Edited by thomdarrah on 07/29/2011 10:39:53 MDT.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Minimus vs. Trail Glove on 07/29/2011 10:38:28 MDT Print View

It tried them both on at the shoe store, and ended up with the Trail Gloves. They have a thicker sole (9 mm) and a huge toe box. They provide no arch support, but that's the point.

I prefer them over my Vibrams when I'm walking on rocky ground because they provide much more front-of-toe protection. I didn't try the Minimus under actual trail conditions, but the Trail glove seemed to have a grippier sole (more complex siping [is that the word?], as I vaguely recall). They are grippy even on wet rocks -- with one notable exception -- when the rocks are tilted at 90 degrees to the direction of travel. You should try to get as much foot on the rock as possible under those circumstances if you choose to go with the TG's. You'll slip on the rock if you try to use the front of your foot only.


Joey Dawson
(inabag) - F

Locale: Northern VA
Re: NB Minimus vs. Merrell Trail Glove on 07/29/2011 10:48:58 MDT Print View

+1 on the Rogue Racer. I love my pair.

David Passey
(davidpassey) - F

Locale: New York City
Re: Minimus vs. Trail Glove on 07/29/2011 10:51:23 MDT Print View

I also went with the Trail Gloves b/c that rubber strap across the forefoot in the NBs felt too snug.

I like the Trail Gloves a lot except for:

1. The liner around the middle of the foot is not smooth--the fabric is a bit wrinkly and roughly finished. As a result, I get some friction here. No blisters yet, but not a "glove-like fit" either. I expected better from a shoe intended to worn w/o socks.

2. The lacing system is pretty cool in appearance, but in function bothersome. By lacing into grosgrain ribbon that themselves attach further down the side of shoe, Merril has effected extented the length of the laces, so that the lacing covers almost the entire top portion of the foot. Since neither the grosgrain nor the laces are strethcy, this can really create pressure across the top of the foot--not glove-like. Of course, the laces can be laced loosely, but that defeats the purpose of the shoe somewhat. Also, a loosely tied shoe can feel too tight if your feet heat up and expand a bit.

Clint Hewitt
(WalkSoftly33) - F

Locale: New England
Merrell on 07/29/2011 11:18:27 MDT Print View

I own the Merrell Tough Glove

I owned the Merrell Trail Gloves (returned because of sizing)

Sizing is an issue with these shoes.

I Wear a size 41 in KSO Treks, Im usually a 10.5, size 10 for Trail was to long, size 9.5 for Tough glove is to long

I beleive the Tough glove is a half size to a quarter size bigger(read longer) than the trail glove. This may be caused by the curve upwards in the sole near the toes on the trail gloves compared to the tough gloves that will lay flatter. A 9 in Tough and 9.5 in trail would probably be the better size for me. But then you get into the shoe becoming to narrow...

I think Merrell made a great first stab at the concept of this shoe, there main failure was in the toe box. Its intention as described on there website is to give your toes room to spread out and behave as bare feet. Unfortunately it is shaped like almost any other shoe. binding your toes together. Yea, They made the toe box roomier... vertically! Giving it a clown bubble in appearance. What it needs to be is shaped just like five fingers except with out the toes. I cant believe they messed this up especially since vibram made the sole to the merrells.

David Passey
(davidpassey) - F

Locale: New York City
Re: Merrell on 07/29/2011 11:48:32 MDT Print View

I agree that the toe box does not seem as narrow as billed. It feels roomy, but not overly wide. I have medium feet, and the toe box is just about right, maybe even the tiniest bit too narrow.

Kevin Robin

Locale: Northern California
NB minimus vs trail glove on 07/29/2011 13:35:27 MDT Print View

love my trail minimus', I've put 80+ miles on them running and hiking with a 30 or so pound pack. The fit great, the metatarsal "band" loosens up when the shoes warm up and hasn't caused any issues for me. There is a sewing defect on the inside of mine that i feel when i put them on, but doesn't seem to bother me after a few miles (its actually right on the inside of the shoe under the metatarsal band). I have tried my girlfriends merrell's (we are the same size foot) for a few miles and prefer the minimus. For my feet, the minimus has the right amount of cushion under my foot to allow me to put miles on without really sore feet, while not sacrificing too much ground feel. There seems to be mixed info on which shoes have more/less padding/protection, you should try them on, the merrells have a thin rock plate in them, and they definitely feel different than the new balance. My girlfriend recently switched to beefier shoes (saucony peregrines) for backpacking due to continuously bruised feet in her merrells (she has been running/backpacking in these 3+ days a week on trails for 2 months and she still has bruised feet after a weekend of backpacking). She still prefers her trail gloves for running and training but will not use them with a heavy pack anymore. My feet feel pretty sore after 15-20 miles but seem to feel great the next day; no hotspots/blisters/pain the next day, on our recent trip to yosemite we hiked clouds rest hike from the valley, followed by the 4mile trail and panarama trail to/from glacier point the next day, and a 6-7 mile run through part of the mirror lake loop the next day with my feet feeling great after the run. The shoes seem to be holding up relatively well so far. I prefer wearing them with thin socks, but they seem to also be comfortable barefoot. Also, after dousing them in a few stream crossings, they dry relatively quickly (dry shoes and damp socks after about 30 minutes). Hope that helps

Edited by happakidd on 07/29/2011 13:37:16 MDT.

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
NB Minimus and NB 101 on 07/29/2011 14:28:06 MDT Print View

An extra ounce gets you a rigid sole with some interesting cleat-like protrusions. But it's a whole different shoe.

I really like my Trail Minimi! Only running in my local mountains so far. I am glad to hear that people are backpacking in them. RU wearing socks? They are snug and low volume. I am coming from shoes like Salomon XT Wings so this is a pretty big departure. I love the flatness fore-aft -- such natural "stability". Changes your balance point. I am skeptical that the upper is going to take much abuse.

I also have the Trail 101. It doesn't have as snug fit (you can lace them tighter, of course) and will accommodate a bit more of a sock. The sole is covered with a very thin rigid layer encrusted with some interesting shaped cleat-like protrusions.

Edited by backpackerchick on 07/29/2011 14:41:42 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Shoes on 07/29/2011 14:32:18 MDT Print View

Thanks for the comments. It sounds like I would be better off sticking with shoes with a rock plate because I don't want to be watching for rocks constantly. My main criteria in a shoe is that's lightweight and quick drying so I just cruise across creeks. I may have another look at the Rogue Runners. I had a quick peak at them in the store but didn't try them on.

Regarding my MT101's failing, the actual side wall of the shoe is tearing on the inside of both heels. It's not the upper pulling away from the's the upper tearing, which makes me hesitant to try a second pair because I see no reason why the material would be stronger. I wonder if maybe my heels are just too wide and stressing the heal area of these shoes. The ~ 150 miles I have on them are almost all from hiking with only about 20 miles of actual running included in that.

MT101 fail

MT101 fail 2

Edited by dandydan on 07/29/2011 19:33:41 MDT.

Chris Cheng
(chrischeng) - F
Re: Shoes on 07/29/2011 17:53:18 MDT Print View

If that's the same fabric as the Minimus, then my girlfriends pair is suffering something similar at the toe end. Because rubber toe guard on the Minimus doesn't cover the front/top of the toes, unlike the Trail Gloves, her kicking rocks by accident while running and walking has worn a hole through on both feet at the toes. It isn't nearly that bad but it's something I need to keep an eye out on.

She's also got about 4 months (or so) and many hundreds of miles of mostly trail running with them, so I guess it really isn't too bad. However, my Trail Gloves haven't shown any signs of wearing yet...