Review: Merrell Women’s Barefoot Pace Glove
I have been a big fan of minimalist shoes for a while now. In my last post several months ago I talked about how my FiveFinger Bikilas are the best pregnancy shoes ever. Fast forward 6 months, and while I still wear my VFFs all the time, I’ve also been having a lot of fun wearing the Women’s Merrell Barefoot Pace Gloves. I’ve been wearing them for the past few months on various activities, from trips to the grocery store to hardcore circuit training sessions at the gym. After spending a solid chunk of time in them, I’m ready to share my thoughts.
While I dig the look of FiveFingers, they can definitely be shocking and confusing to the uninitiated. For those that need a much more conformist/uniform look, the Merrell’s give you just that while maintaining the minimalist sensibilities you love. I chose the Acacia (Yellow/Gray/Black) Pace Gloves because I like the color, but to be honest, all of their colors look pretty modern.
I’m a former PE teacher, and to me, cool sneakers are a must! My students always noticed my shoes, as did my jealous coworkers (many of whom were stuck wearing heels). I love my Merrells because they have a simple, yet distinct look to them. These shoes go with almost any outfit: they look great with jeans, workout clothes, and shorts.
These shoes are so light, which is probably the main reason I like them so much. I basically feel barefoot in them, and have done all kinds of stuff in them, including:
- Circuit Training
- Cardio Resistance Training
- Walks around the mall
- Chase my 2 year old and 6 month old around
To me, the shoes being as light as possible and the style are probably the most important aspects, but I realize some people want more. One good thing to know is that the soles are made by Vibram, the maker of FiveFingers, so you know its going to be durable, flexible, and thin!
Here is some info on the Pace Glove’s weight, materials, and assembly:
- Microfiber and breathable air mesh upper
- Merrell Omni-Fit™ lacing system secured with welded TPU provides a precise, glove-like fit
- Fused rubber toe bumper provides ultimate durability
- Synthetic leather rear foot sling provides stability
- Non-removable microfiber footbed treated with Aegis® antimicrobial solution resists odor
- 4mm compression molded EVA midsole cushions
- 1mm forefoot shock absorption plate maintains forefoot flexibility and protects the foot by distributing pressure
- 0mm ball to heel drop keeps you connected to your terrain
- Vegan friendly footwear
- Vibram® Trail Glove Sole/ Rubber Compound TC-1
- Women’s Weight: 4.7 ozs / 133.3 gm (1/2 pair)
Pics, Pics, and More Pics
The Whole “No Sock” Thing
One of the drawbacks (maybe the only drawback) of wearing these shoes comes from not wearing socks. Its probably obvious what that issue is: the smell. After wearing these shoes for several days in a row to the gym, it was inevitable that the result would be a terrible smell. So, I did some googling and from what I read, there weren’t that many people that had my problem (maybe most people wear them with socks or just have really pleasant smelling feet). What I did to resolve the issue was I took some oxy clean spray and squirted them down heavily, ran them through the washing machine, and let them air dry. I repeated this process again for good measure, and they were back to being new. I have learned that I do need a day or two off in between wearing them so this doesn’t happen as bad. Of course, if I had another pair of them, I could easily alternate back and forth. I do love the fact that these shoes can be worn so comfortably without socks, even if there is the potential issue for some odor.
Pace Gloves vs. FiveFingers
You already know that FiveFingers have individual compartments for each of your toes. Pace gloves do not have this, but the toe box is wide so your feet do not feel scrunched together. I, personally, like the look of pace gloves better than FiveFIngers. I don’t get asked that many questions about them from random people and they are just as light as FiveFingers.
I have been asked about my merrells at the gym a few times (although nowhere near the amount of times I’ve been asked about FiveFingers). To everyone that asks, I always tell them that I totally recommend these shoes. I just can’t see myself going back to regular athletic shoes/foot coffins after wearing light, thin, spacious minimalist shoes. These feel and look awesome; there isn’t much more you could ask for!