There are a few reasons why.
First, I had a good experience with Merrell before. I had got a pair of their Freewheel Mesh Chukkas for my trip to Seattle and general everyday use. I loved them.
(They don’t make those particular Chukkas any more. The closest model they have now is the new Gridway Mid, which looks even better than my old Chukkas.)
Second, the Trail Gloves have a barefoot feel, which I really like.
Finally, they don’t have laces, just a bungee-type cord, so it’s an easy on, easy off type shoe, which I’ve always appreciated, but appreciate even more since having lived in Japan for nearly a decade. There, you’re always taking your shoes off and on: at some one’s house, at an izakaya (Japanese style bar), and at your own house.
Those are the reasons I had before buying them. Merrell definitely met and even exceeded my expectations.
The barefoot feel was even more comfortable than I had expected. I wore these shoes on long walks in Kona and also for my exploration of the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park a few months before the latest eruption.
I went with my cousin, so we went off the beaten path a couple of time
Yes, the shoes have a barefoot feel, but they also provide support. Never did my arches ache. My feet were never sore. You can feel the ground wearing these—they have excellent traction—but there’s also some cushion there.
How did they get the name Trail Glove? These shoes actually fit like a glove—or like a sock, if you prefer that simile.
The easy on, easy off style of these shoes was also great for going through airport security. And the shoes were comfortable for the long walk to my gate. (I left from San Jose, which is not a huge airport, but I always seem to get the farthest gate. Kona, if you haven’t been there, has a very small airport.)
I can’t recommend these enough as travel / light hiking shoes. Merrell is the best, in my opinion.
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