Merrell’s M-Connect Series of Running Shoes for Those Transitioning to Minimalism

Posted on 05 April 2013

merrell-connect-series-800by Nick Pang.

Merrell recently launched its new M-Connect series of running shoes. It is a complete collection featuring running, training, and hiking shoes in addition to apparel. They have everything for the beginning transitioning runner to the advanced minimalist runner. This is Merrell’s biggest introduction to date and is a complete solution addressing the needs of every runner on both ends of the minimalism spectrum.

For those starting out, the Merrell Mix Master Move with 4mm drop and ample cushioning is the perfect starter shoe for those coming from heel-cushioned traditional running shoes. Or if you have been running in lightweight shoes like racing flats or closer to the ground shoes (8mm drop or lower), you can go with the Merrell Bare Access 2 with 0mm drop and light cushioning.

If you are looking for an upgrade to your current minimalist shoe (4mm drop or lower), the Merrell Road Glove 2 with 0mm drop and minimal cushioning is the next shoe for you. On the barefoot end of the spectrum, for those advanced minimalist runners, the new Merrell Vapor Glove is the ultimate barefoot-style running shoe. With 0mm drop and only 5.5mm from the ground, this super-lightweight shoe weighing about 6 ounces or less is the shoe minimalist runners graduate to.

You can learn more about how to transition to minimalist running shoes with Merrell Bareform or Merrell’s Barefoot Training Program. Of course, you can also see the two books that I have written on this subject: Wear Tested and The Minimalist Runner.

merrell-connect-series-grid

In a nutshell, starting with Merrell Bareform and Training Program, pick one of the shoes from the M-Connect collection depending on where you are in the transitioning program and follow Merrell’s instructions.

Personally, whatever program you follow, let your body tell you when to stop and rest. Or your foot. Always listen to your body. Slowly transition from cushioned shoes to minimally cushioned shoes like Merrell Vapor Glove. The goal is to enjoying running injury-free. I’ve been running for over 25 years, 22 of those years in traditional cushioned-heeled running shoes with a heel-striking form that gave me knee and back pains. The last 3 years were the best running years for me – midfoot striking in minimal shoes with no pain or injury except when I transitioned too quickly in the early years. Sustainable injury-free running is my personal goal.

Read the full detailed review of the individual shoes in the Merrell M-Connect series here.

Merrell M-Connect Series

Free up your running style with Merrell’s barefoot running shoes. Barefoot running helps you adjust to your natural gait, strengthens muscles and often alleviates pain. However, it’s important to ease into this new style to avoid injuries. Choosing a more cushioned running shoe is ideal for runners who like longer distances, train on harder surfaces or are transitioning to barefoot running.

Merrell Vapor Glove

The Vapor Glove is Merrell’s lightest, super-flexible, and most barefoot shoe. It is zero drop with an all-mesh washable and breathable upper that molds to your foot while ventilating heat and moisture. It also has reflective details for increased visibility. A new ultra-thin Vibram outsole and full toe wrap bumper completes this Merrell non-toed version of a Vibram Five Fingers. MSRP of $80.

 merrell-vapor-glove2

Merrell Road Glove 2

The Road Glove 2 is also an upgrade to its original version with a new mesh and synthetic leather uppers. It also has reflective details for increased visibility. With a zero drop, the Road Glove 2 has a midsole enhanced with a protective toe cap and slight cushioning. MSRP of $100.

 merrell-road-glove-2-profile

Merrell Bare Access 2

The Bare Access 2 is an upgrade to its original version with a new Bare Vibram outsole and a redesigned upper that is made of a synthetic mesh. It also has reflective details for increased visibility. The Bare Access 2 is zero drop and has a uniform toe-to-heel cushioning to let your feet land flat with less impact as you adjust. MSRP of $90.

merrell-bare-access-2-profile 

Merrell Mix Master Move

Unique in this shoe is the textile and synthetic leather uppers with molded eyelets for secure lacing. It also has reflective details for increased visibility. New to this shoe is a Merrell Float midsole that is 10% thinner and 25% lighter to provide more feel and ground control. For heel strikers, the Merrell Air Cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability. MSRP of $95.

 merrell-mix-master-move2

Merrell shoes available nationwide: here

Also available at these NRC partner stores:
Two Rivers TreadsBorn To RunCleveland Running CompanyNEWSole RunningMojo RunningRunning LabGeorgia Game ChangersSpark RunningFeet for Life Motion CenterVarsity Sports MandevilleBoston Street RunningRevolution Natural Running

Donate

2 Responses to “Merrell’s M-Connect Series of Running Shoes for Those Transitioning to Minimalism”

  1. Tom says:

    I’ve only tried the BA2 so far. I was really dismayed by this stiff arch structure. Reminded me of traditional support trainers. Yes, I know, some find it not disturbing at all and there is a reason why the shoe designers put it there. It’s actually not so much the comfort aspect that annoys me but that it prevents the arch from functioning properly. I find it sort of ironic that only two articles below this one a “pro-arch” article can be found, e.g. http://naturalrunningcenter.com/2013/03/17/arch-foot-naturally-cure-plantar-fasciitis-meaning-artificial-supports/

  2. Jason says:

    Arches tend to get hammered for longer distances, particularly for transitioning runners who are still building foot strength. The very minimal “arch support” in the bare access is there to help prevent bad form – it won’t interfere with good barefoot form, but the cushioned midsole can lead to poor form when tired. It’s more of a reminder for your arches to hold up and not over-pronate rather than flattening inwards with fatigue. This is similar for the trail glove and road gloves, though the amount of arch “reminder” is less pronounced. This is why I love the bare access.


Leave a Reply

*