It is curious how Merrell is experimenting with its latest models, in which it is typically playing with different types of uppers and even materials, at the forefront of recycling and using synthetic fabrics to bring out different editions (normal, 3D, ECO, etc.). These innovations have meant that the appearance of new models is not something particularly noteworthy, so the arrival of the Merrell Trail Glove 6 indicates that there are deeper changes beyond components or color schemes. With the de facto demise of the terrific Bare Access saga (the Bare Access XTR is simply not recommended as a minimalist shoe), the Trail Glove 6 is the American brand's option for non-radical minimalist runners, even if the functionality of trail running is lost a bit.
Although the basic concepts of minimalism are still present, there are quite a few changes from the previous edition Trail Glove 5 while maintaining the Barefoot 2 shape. The upper is radically different (well, within the real limits for a shoe) and consists of two pieces, one of them asymmetrical reinforcing the front and the other in the form of a bootie that allows great breathability. It draws attention to the arrangement of the eyelets that no longer end the elements that embrace the middle part from the bottom but are born at a medium height to play with the pressure of the laces and get a custom fit.
The rest of the Merrell Trail Glove 6 follows the expected evolution and uses the material known as BLOOM™ that announces a great performance while being partially made of recycled material. We'll need to wait and see how it works but we don't expect great cushioning either (in the sense of abundant and soft feeling) in a shoe of these characteristics, at least it keeps the drop of 0 mm. As usual, the outsole has been developed in collaboration with the prestigious manufacturer Vibram® that provides the best in materials (TC5+). It is surprising that they have not opted for the new EcoDura rubber, perhaps not prepared for more demanding situations. The lug configuration has changed substantially and now consists of visibly larger triangles plus a large transverse groove at the front to improve the flexibility of the whole. So, let's run.