Barefoot Shoes

Merrell Barefoot Vapor Glove First Look [Exclusive!]

A few days back I got a pretty interesting note from BirthdayShoes reader, Gadi. Check this out:

I just went to buy the [Merrell Barefoot] Trail Gloves and surprsingly I got some final salesman samples of the [upcoming 2013 release] “Vapor Glove.”…

If you came here looking for a first-look at the Merrell Barefoot Vapor Glove, well, I’ve got some bad news. It’s come to my attention that the shoes seen here on 9/5/2012 were pre-production samples that should not have seen the light of day (to the public anyway). Merrell reached out and asked (very politely) to have the photos and the accompanying mini-review, taken down. Their concern is from a legal standpoint — likely out of a need to protect trade secrets.

We live in a time when counterfeits run rampant and are shipped around the world to unsuspecting Internet buyers. Technology is growing at a mind-boggling pace and information is shared globally with a few clicks of the mouse. Thus, the only true way to protect intellectual property is to keep things secret — literally telling no one.

That’s not easy in the day of the Internet. Since Merrell asked nicely here to take things down — and will send final production pairs in a week or two to be shared here first, exclusively on BirthdayShoes — I decided to pull this post for the time being. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it’s the right one.

We don’t always pull first looks even when it might upset manufacturers. In fact, pulling anything is the exception — we’ve frequently broken news on upcoming minimalist shoes models (before it was intended to be made public (e.g. here, here, and here among many other examples). What more, the identity of tipsters is kept private by default. It’s absolutely important to keep this community a safe place of exchange — if that’s ever in doubt please let me know.

And stay tuned! Be sure not to miss when we officially show off the Merrell Barefoot Vapor Gloves by subscribing!

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

15 replies on “Merrell Barefoot Vapor Glove First Look [Exclusive!]”

I LOVE my Trail and Road Gloves. I’ve tried others (VFF, NB, Skora, Luna), but Merrell has always been the right “fit” for me. I look forward to adding the Vapor Gloves to my arsenal!

I’m very intrigued, can’t wait to see them, i haven’t had much luck with merrills fitting my foot very well so far and i really don’t like the arch in most of their shoes but it looks like these are more minimal and more flexible, and they look pretty nice too.

I have tried on a number of Merrell’s Barefoot style shoes. The one issue I have with every one of them is the toebox and arch. If these are wider, and lack the arch, I’m in.

I’ve got a pair of Merrell Bare Access and Road Gloves. I really love the wide toe box that the Access offers. I’m already setting aside some cash for these.

I have a pair of trail gloves, MT10, MR00, and VFF Bikila. Out of all the shoes the trail gloves actually cause a bit of pain in the toe box. They just dont seem wide enough. Hopefully they fix it.

This is weird, an hour ago I was out running in my VFF Spyridons thinking “I wonder if VVF made a shoe that didn’t have the toes exposed, what would it look like?” the image I thought of is so similar to this. I also came up with Vibram Finger, lol.

these look cool, when they’re released it’ll be just about time to buy shoes for places that won’t let me be barefoot

and the toe box looks fantastic

These are interesting. I immediately thought they resembled the upcoming Vibram EL-X, only with laces. They look pretty decent to me and if they are truly wider than anything Merrell has released to date, then maybe I will be able to wear a pair. I found their other barefoot offerings to be too narrow for my feet.


How is responding in compromise to a polite request a sacrifice of integrity or independence? Even more given that the end result means better information on the final production?

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