Merrell Barefoot Run Road Glove 2 CrossFit Review
By Bobby Gillespie
On the weekend I like to run from my house to Push511, the CrossFit gym I belong to. The run is about 6 miles from door to door. My route covers a rather rugged & diverse urban landscape, consisting of a short trail run, a long uphill through a heavily industrial area (which is quiet on the weekend) and some familiar neighborhoods made famous in The Wire. This is a great urban landscape to see what a shoe is made out of. Since I prefer as minimal and low-tech shoe as possible, especially when I’m headed in for a sweatfest CrossFit workout, the Merrell Road Glove 2 seems a good choice.For the better part of the past month I have done 4-5 WODs (workout of the day) a week in the Road Glove 2, along with several hundred burps (I’m in the middle of the 116 Royal Burpee Challenge).
The Barefoot Road Glove 2 is a zero drop shoe, perfect for CrossFitters and minimal runners that want a little more shoe. There is 4mm of cushioning that helps keep your feet feeling fresh on longer runs and on rugged terrain. I really like the wide toe box that seems to be the norm from the Merrell Barefoot shoe collection. Good toe splay helps build up foot and leg strength while allowing your body to “do its thing” and set a solid foundation for picking up or moving heavy things. The sole is made of tough Vibram® rubber however it is a bit rigid and not as flexible as I like. There isn’t much ground feel either, which for some is a good thing but I like to get some responses from my foot strikes. You can take these out on simple trails, but these are really made for the road. There is a rubber toe cap that will extend the life of the shoe, especially through the rigors of cross training and all these damn burpees. The styling is just OK in my book. I like the highly breathable and durable fabrics used in the upper, yet they look rather plain to me.
Zero drop, highly breathable, and durable shoe. Just enough shoe to handle most WODs and short to mid runs for most people.
Styling isn’t great. Laces come untied regularly when doing double-unders. Sole is not as flexible and responsive as you would expect from a minimal shoe.
Its an excellent choice for CrossFit because of the construction and cushioning allows you to wear these shoes during almost any WOD, especially the workouts that get you out the door running. Its also a good shoe for the minimalist runner who wants an in-between or transition shoe. I have recommended this shoe to a few people at Push511 who are looking to transition to less shoe and zero drop, but aren’t big runners. If you are already accustomed to a minimal shoe and zero drop, this is a good shoe for a dedicated running shoe that can take a beating. If you want even less shoe for you WODs, I’ll be reviewing the Merrell Barefoot Run Vapor Glove next.
This is “where the rubber meets the road”. Our Road Glove’s simplicity frees your sole with its barefoot, road-specific design, connecting your feet with the pavement. Its back to basics with this runner: a 0mm drop midsole enhanced with a protective toe cap, midsole cushion and reflective, washable mesh upper. Durable Vibram® Road Glove sole.
• Barefoot construction
• Mesh and synthetic leather upper
• Low cut upper
• Protective toe cap
• Reflective details for increased visibility in low light
• Mesh lining treated with Aegis® antimicrobial solution
• Wash as needed in cold water, gentle cycle and air dry
• 0mm Drop / 4mm Cush / 9.5mm Stack Height
• Vibram® Road Glove 2 Sole / TC1 Rubber
Men’s Weight: 7oz (1/2 pair)
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I’m curious…how did the flexibility of the RG2’s compare to the Bare Access 2?
Good question Bryan. I’ll do a comparison review of the RGs and the BA2 in the next week or so.
I work at a running and outdoors store and have been experimenting with minimalist footwear for 2 years. Merrell’s barefoot collection seems to be missing one major aspect of minimalism…a low profile and wider midfoot structure. As soon as I slipped on the road glove 2 I couldn’t feel my tripod working. The arch structure is too high and narrow. My foot is a d width, but I prefer 2E as I do barefoot grass running 3 times a week, altra one, newton distance, and luna sandal road running, and work in vivobarefoot evos or lems primal 2s. Man I sound like a total minimalist geek…
My verdict is that the midfoot structure is too high and narrow.