Merrell Vapor Glove 2
The Merrell Vapor Glove 2 is a breathable and lightweight trail running shoe. The solid barefoot feature functions well. An uninhibited and natural stride is created by a washable mesh that conforms to the shape of the foot.
It is comfortable in hot weather. The flexible shoe is recommended for daily training. It allows for natural movement of the feet. The shoe is comfortable and fits well. Neutral runners who want a minimalist shoe will be pleased with this shoe.
The Vapor Glove 2 is a barefoot, low-profile, running shoe that is part of the company’s End Connect series. It is the purest, most minimalist shoe offered. The shoe is inspired to help runners feel their world.
- Good traction and arch support
- High-quality materials
- Secure and breathable coverage
- Vibram outsole
- Upper is somewhat delicate
- Not comfortable on wide feet
Just like the rest of the shoes, light groove patterns on the outsoles are flexible. They move naturally with the feet. The excellent durability of the shoes allows miles of travel without losing traction or wearing down.
Movement is natural and unrestricted. The zero heel drop adds to how natural the shoes feel. A footbed made of M-Select Fresh microfiber provides an extra cushioning layer. The footbed cannot be removed. It has antimicrobial properties to keep the feet healthy and clean. The footbed is integrated with the outsole as one unit which makes for a barefoot-like and minimalist running experience.
The mesh upper of the Vapor provides excellent breathability and comfort. It protects against the heat and gives the shoes excellent flexibility and breathability. Additional durability is provided with the use of TPU on the outside edges.
The laces aid in giving the shoes a snug fit. Heel support is provided by a synthetic leather Rear Foot TPU Sling. It keeps the feet from sliding and the ankles from rolling without adding extra weight.
The toe bumper protects objects such as rocks. The lack of stitching reduces hotspots and the risk of blisters. The liner is treated with an antimicrobial to prevent the barefoot shoe from reeking up the closet. The shoes are machine washable.
The shoes strike a reliable and dependable spot between durability, flexibility, lightness, and thinness while remaining a lightweight shoe. The average shoe for men weighs 5.8 ounces. The average weight of shoes for women is 4.8 ounces.
The antimicrobial footbed material aids in helping to keep the feet fresh and odorless. The lack of stitching improves breathability in the upper. Airflow is not blocked in those areas. The footbed and mesh lining are coated with M-Select Fresh odor-wicking technology.
The antimicrobial properties aid fungus prevention. The lack of stitching reduces hot spots, blisters, or irritation risks. Very soft material is used on the inside if the shoes. The flexible shoes give the feeling of natural feet.
Those who want a barefoot-like off-road experience will like the shoes. The shoe is intended to be worn barefoot for a next to skin feel. The 100 percent vegan-friendly construction is appreciated by many runners.
The midsole also passes the durability test. The upper of the Vapor Glove 2 resists abrasions and punctures to allow venturing off-road. The lacing system lasts for many miles without deteriorating.
Because the shoe is flexible, it does not wear down quickly. Some testers reported durability issues of the mesh in the upper after a few months of use. The outsole is made of reliable and durable Vibram.
One tester, who had the shoes for six months, put them through extreme abuse. Merrell could not have designed a shoe for what he did to them. The tester is a minimalist at heart. He wants simplicity at all costs.
Spending a bit more on something that he feels is quality, and serves multiple functions and purposes is not a problem for him. The damage included ripping most of the sides of the shoes.
An inside edge was ripped and duct taped and super glued back together. Up top of the shoe, there was a tear. He used black thread to mend it. With all the damage, he highly recommends the shoes.
He plans to order two more pairs of the Vapor Glove 2 -one as regular walking shoes and one to replace the but up shoes for the kind of activity in which he engages such as cutting grass. The hole on the top of the shoe had nothing to do with the design.
He caught the shoe on barbed wire when running off-trail through wooded areas and old fields. He follows deer trails which are incredibly rough terrain. The shoe was snagged as he went over a fence.
It ripped the mesh but could be sewn back together. The holes in the sides were due to his running while wearing the shoes in the winter. During warmer seasons he runs barefoot. The Vapor Glove 2 was purchased for winter wear.
There were 43 inches of snow in Iowa, where he lives. The tester runs through the deep parts of snow. As snow warms and melts, it creates extremely hard ice. As he ran putting pressure on the shoe, the ice crystals acted like razor blades and gnawed at the edges.
It took three months, running 30 miles per week, for the holes to develop. There was constant jarring and ripping into the ice. He runs through the stubble of Iowa been fields that continuously cause jarring of the shoes.
There is no protection against extreme cold. The heel is protected by the TPU Sling. Under the sole, the 3.5mm thick outsole and two-mm midsole cushioning make up the 5.5mm stack height. A low stack height on a flexible shoe means every stick or stone on the trail or road will be felt.
The model and shape make the shoes uncomfortable on terrain that is rock or has lots of debris. The shoes do not provide proper traction on the icy and snowy ground. The shoes give as close to a barefoot feel as possible.
Protection against surfaces that are particularly rough is not provided because of the thin midsole and outsole. Users can go up and down hills on hard surfaces. Good traction on slippery or wet surfaces is not provided.
Unlike high drops that heel strikers prefer, the zero drop allows for a variety of strike types. The Vapor Glove is built on a zero drop barefoot platform. There is no elevation between the heel of the foot and the ball of the foot.
The configuration puts the foot in the most natural position. It stimulates muscles, strengthens feet, and helps to align posture. The platform is contoured. When coupled with the upper, it gives a sock-like fit for a foot-hugging experience that feels very natural on the feet.
* Breathable textile and mesh
* Landings cushioned by CMEVA foam
* Natural barefoot feel due to zero drop and minimal cushioning
* Pull tab allows heel to be lifted
* Rear Foot TPU Sling helps prevent sliding or rolling and supports the heel
* Snug fit provided by lace-up vamp
* Synthetic and TPU upper
* Toe bumper to protect against rocks and debris
* Vibram TCI outsole for traction on various types of surfaces
* Zero drop and natural barefoot feel
The width of the toe box provides lots of room without being excessively roomy. A traditional lace closure ensures a snug, secure fit that allows the tension to be customized. The shoe is reasonably priced.
Areas some testers say could use improvement include thicker outsoles for protection against items in the road, wide shoe sizes, more cushioned midsole and more durable upper. All in all, the Merrell Vapor Glove 2 is an excellent choice for those who want a minimalist shoe to improve running form and increase speed.