Merrell Men’s Mesh Stabilizing Barefoot Shoes

Last updated: September 7, 2022

We looked at the top Barefoot Shoes and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Barefoot Shoe you should buy.

Product Details

In our analysis of 88 expert reviews, the Merrell Men's Mesh Stabilizing Barefoot Shoes placed 10th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

This featherlight trail shoe liberates your run with zero-drop ground contact. The breathable mesh upper molds to your foot for an uninhibited stride.

Our Expert Consultant

Stephanie Mansour   
Certified Personal Trainer, Health and Wellness Expert

Stephanie Mansour, host of “Step It Up with Steph” on public broadcasting, has been coaching women for over a decade on how to lose weight and make it last. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications with an emphasis on women’s studies and psychology from the University of Michigan. She holds certifications in life coaching, personal training, yoga and Pilates.

Expert Reviews

What reviewers liked

The outer sole is made of a durable and dependable Vibram layer which protects the toes and has a great ground feel.
The mesh lining and foot bed have been coated with the M Select FRESH odor-wicking tech.
This shoe is very easy to wear and remove; thanks to its snug fitting lace-up vamp and loop pull. It comes with a unique outsole system including thicker cushioning that makes it suitable for hybrid use (traditional road and trail).
This lightweight shoe weighs in at just 5.8 ounces. A zero-drop heel promotes a fluid and natural running motion. The shoe comes with a breathable mesh lining that helps to keep feet cool and dry while promoting odor control. As an added bonus, the integrated footbed also keeps odors at bay.
- Heavy
These lines contain all the impressive benefits we’ve spoken about above, including the Trailprotect protective pad on the bottom, and breathable material all the way around the outside.
The shoe has been designed to match the needs of the trail walkers and runners and offers a low profile snug fit design. The shoe has a lace-up vamp for a snug fitted closure and a loop behind for quick wear. The upper fabric offers flexibility whereas the outsole made of rubber make sure to have a firm grip on the ground on uneven trails and severe weather conditions as well.
The upper part of the Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoes is made of thermoplastic polyurethane, as well as breathable mesh fabric that follows the shape of your foot. As such, your stride feels more uninhibited. It also features the exclusive long-lasting M Select Fresh with antimicrobial agents that prevent the reproduction of odor-causing microbes. Thus, your shoes will feel and smell fresh even if your feet get wet from crossing over puddles or due to sweat.
These shoes are great to have with you on your daily running routine. They have the upper mesh of TPU material that helps to keep the moisture and sweat out while you run. These shoes have antimicrobial agents. They resist the production of any odor in the shoes thus keeping them clean.
A true minimalist trail shoe with a sleek look and glove-like fit. Although there's little cushioning, the shoe does protect from trail debris and is extremely lightweight. Great for those who want a barely-there shoe.
It has good grip and wide to cater for the spread of a flat foot.
This is a very low profile and lightweight shoe which is intended for trail running. The Merrell Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe is designed to make it feel like you aren’t wearing anything at all, while at the same time providing you with ultimate comfort.
This shoe has great groundfeel and versatile Vibram role.
The footwear comes with a soft, flexible and thin air mesh with textile and other synthetic materials at the Upper Layer. The air mesh structure primarily promotes breathability and releases accumulated heat for cleaner air. The shoelaces snug the legs perfectly, and a TPU on the outside edge provides additional durability.
Merrell Men's Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe is a featherlight trail shoe liberates your run with zero-drop ground contact. The breathable mesh upper molds to your foot for an uninhibited stride.
This shoe has everything it needs and nothing it doesn’t. It is very light and appears very durable.
This barefoot running shoe is made from mesh and has an integrated TPU system. Its upper is made of thermoplastic polyurethane and well-ventilated mesh. For traction, this shoe offers a very sticky and durable Vibram outsole with lug patterns that provide stability and flexibility on all surfaces.
The Merrell Vapor Glove 2 barefoot trail shoes are lightweight, they weigh around 5.4-oz which is heavier than the Sockwa X8, but still tremendously lighter than most trail minimalist running shoes. For a comparison of their lightness, the Vapor Glove 2 feels light like the Vibram FiveFingers KSO and the Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO.
This pair of Merrel women’s barefoot running shoes is certainly attractive and of high quality. This is reflected in the price. They are not cheap. What you get is a brand that you can trust. You can choose between two colours. Another point is that these are a very long lasting pair of best barefoot running shoes. That adds to the cost effectiveness over time. You can wash in cold water on a gentle cycle in the washing machine and simply leave them out to air dry.

What reviewers didn't like

The shoe has narrow shape and low volume toe box which isn't comfortable for runners with wide feet.
Some runners experienced getting the upper unit torn after a few months of use.
The fit might come too loose for runners with small-sized (or narrow) foot. Without padding, runners might experience a little discomfort at the top of their feet.
Material can rub without socks and very tricky sizing.
- Heavy
Doesn’t include some of the slight improvements from newer models.
The shoe has been described as having a spacious inner so you might have to be careful when buying the best size for you. If you have an average sized foot you may have to buy half size lesser than your regular shoe size.
Laces must start at the toe to tighten.
The sole is very thin. It is also a little tight around the toe.
They don't last very long.
Not to be worn without prior transition period of less supportive shoes.
Delicate upper can deteriorate easily and this shoes may not be suitable for users with wide feet.
A disappointed purchaser of the Merrell Men Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe stated, "They completely fell apart in a matter of months."
This is not durable and has a narrow toe box.
The price is quite high, compared to other similar products.
View our Barefoot Shoe buying guide for in-depth advice and recommendations.

From our partners