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.