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Men's Barefoot Trail Run Ascend Glove

$120.00 $69.99

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Merrell Men's Ascend Glove

Mike from Merrell gives us a closer look at the Merrell Men's Ascend Glove.

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Cushioned for longer runs and more demanding terrain, our lightweight and durable Ascend Glove shoe stays true to your natural stride with its barefoot profile. Charge over mountains and rocky terrain with its aggressive, grabby lug design and TrailProtect pad for extra off-road support.

• Fabric and synthetic upper
• MotionMesh engineered for optimal breathability and range of motion
• Breathable mesh lining
• M-Select FRESH naturally prevents odor before it starts for fresh smelling feet
• Wash as needed in cold water (gentle cycle). Air dry.

• 0mm Drop / 6mm Cush/ 10.5mm Stack Height
• TrailProtect pad in the forefoot and heel offers additional support for the roughest terrain
• Non-marking outsole
• Vibram® outsole

Men’s Weight: 8ozs (1/2 pair)

40 reviews
Average Rating: 4.0
82% said Sized as Expected
18% said Larger than Expected
0% said Smaller than Expected
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  • Very Good Shoe - Could be Perfect with Minor Changes
  • By Andrew
  • 9/6/2013
  • 3 of 3 people found this review to be helpful.
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  • Most Helpful Positive Review

I have been running in Trail Gloves for two years, and over these two years I found myself wishing I had just a bit more cushioning during particularly long or fast runs in those otherwise outstanding shoes. I was really looking forward to the Ascend Glove, which I bought in June, because it looked like it was exactly what I'd been looking for: a Trail Glove that gives a bit more cushion without sacrificing much road feel. To a great extent, that's what these have turned out to be. The amount of cushioning is just right, and the outsoles on these work really well. There is, however, room for improvement in these. Firstly, the toe box is too long, which can be slightly annoying because I wind up clumsily catching the end of the shoe on stuff while running, or stubbing the toebox on the ground because I've misjudged how long the shoe is. (I've also noticed that the toe box in the Trail Glove 2 has been lengthened to unnecessary proportions – perhaps someone at Merrell has unusually long toes.) Secondly, there is, as others have pointed out, a small but noticeable arch in the insole. This doesn't appear to be an arch support, but part of the designer's strategy for ensuring that the shoe remains fixed underfoot and doesn't slide around while you're running. (This same challenge is solved in the Trail Glove with a heel sling that locks your foot in at the back, and omni-fit laces coupled with a flexible arch wrap that allows the shoe to hug your midfoot.) After running for so long in Trail Gloves, I initially found the small arch in the Ascend Gloves mildly uncomfortable (unlike the arch in the Road Glove, which I found to be unwearably painful). I now don't mind the little arch, which I've gotten used to, but I'd rather these shoes affix to my foot in the same way that the Trail Gloves do. In fact, I wish these were exactly like the Trail Gloves, but with the extra 2mm of cushion and the more substantial outsole. Apart from these minor complaints, I'm really pleased with these shoes. The outsole is very durable and has stood up very well so far after hundreds of miles of primarily road running and one 8000' elevation change bushwhack in the White Mountains (I really appreciated the cushioning on the way down). Everything else has held up well too – apart from the dirt on them, they look close to new. Despite my minor misgivings about these shoes, I really like them, would buy them again and would recommend them to others.

Merrell's Reply:

Thank you very much for this detailed review and great feedback on how to make this shoe even better than it is! Our design team loves hearing your critiques. Now get out there and put some more miles on these bad boys!!!

Product Size Rating:

Sized as Expected

How do you most use this product?:

Road Running, 40+ miles/week.

  • Not tough enough
  • By dgideon
  • 11/28/2013
  • 1 of 1 people found this review to be helpful.
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  • Most Helpful Critical Review

My benchmark for running shoes is the Merrell Trail Glove. Great shoe that is extremely comfortable and nearly indestructible. With my goal being to run Ultras I recently bought a pair of Ascend Gloves to complement my Road Gloves, Trail Gloves and Mix Masters. I wanted a minimalist shoe, but also needed the additional cushioning and the more aggressive sole for those softer trails. My first impressions were very good. The fit was similar to my other Merrells, traction on muddy trails was significantly better than the Trail Gloves and the cushioning was just right. 9 runs (230 km) later and I came to the conclusion that the Ascend Gloves are not tough enough to be called trail shoes. The front trim does not reach back far enough on the inside of these shoes to protect the soft upper mesh from rocks and vegetation on the trail. The Mix Master has the same problem, but with the thicker sole the mesh is somewhat better protected by the greater distance from the trail to the upper part of the shoe. Below are images showing the damage as well as the difference in the protection between the Trail Gloves and the Ascend Gloves.

Merrell's Reply:

From the sounds of it you are covered for any type of run with all of our different Barefoot styles you have! We appreciate your great feedback and comparison between all of the running styles you have. We want to know more about this Ascend Glove and will be reaching out to you soon.

Product Size Rating:

Sized as Expected

How do you most use this product?:

Trail Running

  • Awesome Trail Shoe
  • By SeanRodg
  • 6/9/2014
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Merrell Trail Ascend Glove Review By Sean Rodgers 6/8/2014 I was so excited to receive my pair of Trail Ascend Gloves so I could hit the trails and continue to work on a more natural barefoot style running gait. One of the things that got me interested in trying the Merrell Barefoot Style shoes was their weight-to-output ratio and the overall look of the shoes. The Trail Ascend Glove is stated as weighing in at just 8ozs a piece in a Men’s size 9. Not the lightest zero drop trail shoe out there but when you add in the Trail Protection in the forefoot and heel as well as the 6mm of cushioning it’s a great bargain for the 1 or 2 ounces over the super lights out there. That hooked me but there’s more. I know I’ve already started out by talking these shoes up so I will summarize my findings here and then state the reasons. I really, really like the Ascend Trail Gloves. I think they are near perfect for me. Here are some of the reasons: They are really light. I know I already stated that case but I mention it again because I really think Merrell got this part right. They also stay light out on the trail because they drain well and don’t carry water around in the foot bed. The proprioception or ground feel that the Ascends give is dampened a bit by the cushioning provided as well as by the rock plate in the forefoot and heel. While this may be a turn off to others it did not affect me too negatively. I do run barefoot on the roads and love the feel of connecting to the ground I don’t like it when I connect to a large or sharp part of the ground called a stone. So the loss of some ground feel is worth it too me. I have also run over 35 miles on the road in the Ascends and the extra cushioning helped make the longer run of over 16 miles bearable. These are not road shoes but they do work. I was recently going to run a marathon in them but instead chose an actual road shoe but I thought afterwards that I should have done it. They do make me feel faster, maybe in part due to the low to the ground design. I have had no blisters in the over 75 miles that I have logged in these shoes. I have run most of those miles sockless and when I do wear socks with them I use ultra thin running socks. I have run in the rain, heat, mud and dirt with them and they have been kind to my feet. I love them for that. Blisters are bad. I think the shoe design mimicking the natural shape of the foot helps out a great deal as does the lacing system. Both are great design points for the Ascends. The wider than others toe box was another of the selling points for me. I like my foot to be able to have some toe spread area and not be forced to be crammed into a tight space like a lot of other running shoes. As I mentioned already I also like the lacing system, which allows me to fit the shoe to my foot. I did not have any problems with dirt getting into the shoes but I do have a full foot too so they are not too loose around the ankles. The shoe as a whole is also way comfortable and feels like they belong on my foot. That says a lot because I prefer being barefoot as much as possible, including running in town. I have not risen to running trails barefoot and I’m not sure I will since I have the Ascends to run in. Seriously, I’m not just saying that. New Balance, Saucony, inov-8 and Brooks has not made me feel that way but my Merrell’s have. Lastly, the shoes are wearing great and I have not seen any signs of them breaking down yet. I have not thrown them in the washing machine yet but I have scrubbed them off in the sink after a few knarly mud covered runs down our local lake trail. I am pleased with that for sure. Durability seems like a winning part of the design too. Speaking of mud and other traction resistant surfaces, the Ascends do a pretty good job. They are good on rocks, dirt, moss, pine needles, and soft bark covered trails that abound in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Mud is not their favorite surface but I figured that by looking at the tread depth and design. They are not super aggressive but I don’t normally run any super muddy obstacle races either. I run trails up in the mountains and I will wear them in a few weeks when I run my first 50K – up in the mountains of the Pacific Coast Range. I know they will do great. In summary, the Merrell Trail Ascend Glove is a super great trail running shoe. They are comfortable and grippy on the trail and offer superior protection for the weight of the shoe. They don’t hold water and the workmanship and quality of the shoe has proven to be great as well. The overall design and look of the shoe is also cool and I have received many compliments by other runners on the Black/Tanga colorway that I sport out on the trails. If you’re looking for a light, technical trail shoe with protection, the Trail Ascend Glove is the way to go.

Product Size Rating:

Sized as Expected

How do you most use this product?:

Trail running with some road runs thrown in for testing.

  • By Hector C.
  • 6/4/2014
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This is my first pair of minimalist shoes ever, I was undecided between the Trail Glove 2 and the Ascend Glove, after reading some reviews here and in other webpages I decided to go with the Ascend Glove and I couldn't be happier. Some say you have to take it slowly and transition at a slow pace to minimalist running, but in my case after I put these on it was love at first try, I took them to a 3.5 miles run for the first time on a hard packed trail with roots, some gravel, ups and downs and they felt just incredible perfect, I felt protected, I tried to pay attention to my form, tried to correct it applying what I read the past two weeks (I'm new to barefoot running not an expert, I just love running in trails), and I can honestly say how wrong I was running in those high heeled monsters. I can not give a very technical review, just say they fit and feel great, they make me enjoy my runs even more now, of course, after the first 3 or 4 runs I felt so much pain specially on my calves, but I knew it was due to never using those muscles before with my other shoes, but to me it was like the pain you feel after you work out for the first time in a long time, so I did what I do in those cases, KEEP ON working those muscles, after two weeks the pain was gone and I'm enjoying these shoes every single step and planning running a half marathon in trails in them in 2 months. I didn't like the arch support on the Trail Gloves, I prefer no arch support so please keep it that way in the Ascend Gloves. Now I just ordered the Vapor Glove to go even more minimalist, even though their not advertised as trail shoes I think they will be fine for short runs. Thanks Merrell for these amazing shoes, you have a new fan now.

How do you most use this product?:

Trail Running, hard packed, roots, gravel.

  • Can't take 'em off
  • By ShadyBarefoot
  • 3/2/2014
  • 0 of 1 people found this review to be helpful.
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I love these shoes. I don't want to take them off.

Product Size Rating:

Sized as Expected

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