This is the most minimal shoe in Merrell's lineup. As an aspiring Ultrarunner, my training and racing mileage demands more cushioning than this shoe offers, but than again, that's not what I bought it for, nor what it was built for. Rather, I wear this for everyday wear and short fast speedwork, so as to strengthen my feet and allow me to get by wearing more minimal shoes (like the Trail Glove, Mix Master, or upcoming Ascend Glove) on longer training runs and races. In addition to my logged training, I walk a lot as part of my daily life, going to and from campus, and as part of recovery and tapering. So I do about 20-30 mpw in these walking, with interspersed "sprints" to catch a crossing light or a bus! Then, when I put on my training and racing shoes, which might otherwise feel "thin," my feet feel wonderfully invincible. So I can cushion my body for long miles, while avoiding the muscular atrophy that inevitably sets in with the prolonged use of overly protective footwear. I prefer zero drop in all of my shoes, but demand it in my non-training/racing/heavy hiking shoes. I've also used these for light hiking during the recovery period from my last race (the Lake Sonoma 50 Miler, which I ran in my trustworthy Mix Masters), and they worked great. Some would say they run big, and while I could probably fit into a size 13 comfortably in these (something I can't say about most shoes), I'm happiest in the 14, which is my size in just about everything (but only because hardly anybody makes anything in 15, which is probably my size for a lot of the models that don't offer the super-comfy Merrell Barefoot toebox).