Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe

Last updated date: September 12, 2019

DWYM Score

8.0

Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe

Why Trust DWYM?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand review. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.
Show Contents

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.

Editor's Note October 30, 2019:
Checkout The Best Barefoot Shoe for a detailed review of all the top barefoot shoes.

Overall Take


In our analysis of 92 expert reviews, the Merrell Merrell Men's Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe 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.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

8.2
18 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.4
1,392 user reviews

What experts liked

The outer sole is made of a durable and dependable Vibram layer which protects the toes and has a great ground feel.
- Runner Click
The mesh lining and foot bed have been coated with the M Select FRESH odor-wicking tech.
- RunRepeat
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).
- RRRTrail
April 12, 2018 | Full review
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
September 28, 2015 | Full review
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.
- My Pro Scooter
June 16, 2019 | Full review
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 Style Shoes
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.
- Active Kix
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.
- SOutdoors
June 29, 2019 | Full review
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.
- BestReviews
It has good grip and wide to cater for the spread of a flat foot.
- Garage Gym Power
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.
- Fit & Me
This shoe has great groundfeel and versatile Vibram role.
- Birthday Shoes
March 25, 2015 | Full review
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.
- Smart Sports Shoes
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.
- US Review Group
March 5, 2019 | Full review
This shoe has everything it needs and nothing it doesn’t. It is very light and appears very durable.
- The Shoes for Me
April 26, 2016 | Full review
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.
- Jogging Addiction
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.
- Run Forefoot
December 30, 2016 | Full review
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.
- Equipawoman
April 6, 2019 | Full review

What experts didn't like

The shoe has narrow shape and low volume toe box which isn't comfortable for runners with wide feet.
- Runner Click
Some runners experienced getting the upper unit torn after a few months of use.
- RunRepeat
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.
- RRRTrail
April 12, 2018 | Full review
Material can rub without socks and very tricky sizing.
- Heavy
September 28, 2015 | Full review
Doesn’t include some of the slight improvements from newer models.
- My Pro Scooter
June 16, 2019 | Full review
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.
- The Style Shoes
Laces must start at the toe to tighten.
- Active Kix
The sole is very thin. It is also a little tight around the toe.
- SOutdoors
June 29, 2019 | Full review
They don't last very long.
- BestReviews
Not to be worn without prior transition period of less supportive shoes.
- Garage Gym Power
Delicate upper can deteriorate easily and this shoes may not be suitable for users with wide feet.
- Smart Sports Shoes
A disappointed purchaser of the Merrell Men Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe stated, "They completely fell apart in a matter of months."
- US Review Group
March 5, 2019 | Full review
This is not durable and has a narrow toe box.
- Jogging Addiction
The price is quite high, compared to other similar products.
- Equipawoman
April 6, 2019 | Full review

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.

An Overview On Barefoot Shoes

Barefoot shoes are a product catered to meet the needs of a certain type of person who likes to feel connected to the earth and to let their feet perform in a more natural way.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

“Barefoot shoes allow for your foot and body to run naturally as if you aren’t wearing a shoe at all,” says health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour, personal trainer and host of “Step It Up with Steph” on public television. “It allows for your body mechanics to kick in without relying on arches, comfort, or support from shoes.”

A barefoot running shoe will provide a durable and fairly thick rubber sole under your foot to protect you from uneven or sharp surfaces that you might find. This small cushion provided by the sole, as seen in the TSLA Men’s Minimalist Barefoot Trail Shoe, allows you to wear these shoes anywhere that you could wear normal shoes, so you are not limited to smooth concrete surfaces or treadmills.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Beyond the cushioning and protection that the soles of these barefoot running shoes provide, they are also often made with a highly resilient and grippy material that provides slip-resistance to the user. The Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot for Swim Diving Surf Aqua Sports Pool Beach Walking Yoga is a good example of this slip-resistant sole, and it makes an ideal shoe for wet conditions.

“Wearing barefoot shoes may improve proprioception and balance. There are so many nerve endings on the bottom of your feet, so being in tune and feeling these as you take a step or run can help with better balance and coordination,” Mansour notes. “Plus, you’ll be activating the smaller muscles in the legs and feet to help support you, since the shoe provides less support than a traditional walking or running shoe. Wearing a barefoot shoe can also help you feel more connected and grounded to your environment.”

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

When considering which barefoot shoe to buy, think about ease of use. Barefoot running shoes look and behave a lot like a pair of socks on your feet. They shoud be bendable and should flex with the muscles of your foot. Basically, the shoe should mimic your foot’s movements as closely as possible.

They should also be nearly as easy to put on and take off, which is why they generally sport a wide opening at the top for your foot. The ability to slide on a pair of shoes like the PENGCHENG Mens/Womens Water Sports Shoes is an invaluable benefit while on the move.

Your shoes should be comfortable to wear and have a durable enough sole to handle any terrain. But as the name suggests, you wear them with your bare feet, which can sweat and cause a noticeable buildup of moisture inside the shoe. Luckily, there are fast-drying and water-resistant options out there.  The VIFUUR Barefoot Quick-Dry Shoe has an upper made from a quick-drying material. It also allows water to drain right out of the shoe for the times you’re wearing them in the rain or for actual water sports. A secondary benefit to a porous design is that it allows airflow into the shoe to let your feet breathe while wearing them. This breathability is a huge benefit when you don’t have a sock between your foot and the shoe to absorb moisture.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

A notable difference in some of the styles of barefoot running shoes is how they stay on your foot. Some have a velcro strap that makes securing them a breeze. For those who intend on pounding the trail or doing a higher level of athletic maneuvers, there are also barefoot running shoes with a full set of laces. These will match the security of a traditional running shoe in the sense that they will stay put on your foot during vigorous exercise.

Lastly, your shoes should look good. Like any other type of shoe, barefoot shoes come in a slew of fun colors and patterns that can add some flair to your day, or they can be simple and elegant with simple, muted colors. Whether you want to find colors to match your favorite sports team or you have a certain color palette of exercise and outdoorsy clothes to match, you will be able to find a pair of barefoot running shoes to suit your desires.

However, if you’re coming off of injury or just starting a workout routine, note that these shoes might not be for you.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

“I would not recommend getting these barefoot shoes if you are overcoming an injury or imbalance in your body, because there are still things in your body that need to be corrected, and having proper support from a traditional shoe can help with this,” Mansour explains. “I recommend barefoot shoes for runners or athletes who are looking to get their feet more in the game — to activate their foot muscles, the muscles and tendons that help with balance, and feel more grounded to their environment. If a newbie is interested in these shoes, I’d recommend simply walking around in them instead of exercising in them.”

The Barefoot Shoe Buying Guide

  • Velcro fasteners can be handy for quickly putting on and taking off your barefoot shoes. A full set of laces can make the shoe feel much more secure on your foot, so you know it won’t slide around while in action. Choose which of the features feels right for your needs to help you narrow your search.
  • Drainage holes are more efficient to drain large amounts of water than a shoe that just has a breathable fast-drying upper material. If you think you will be wearing these shoes as water shoes, this drainage feature might be the right choice for you. If you are mostly running in dry scenarios but fear you may have some sweat or rain to deal with, you will be happy with a material that is breathable and dries quickly, even if it has no built-in drainage holes.
  • Be sure to read the sizing guides very thoroughly on these products. Many will have half and full sizes ranging from very small to very large sizes. These shoes should fit your foot like a glove to give you the best results while wearing them. If they’re too loose, you’ll be fighting with potential blisters or hot spots.