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Merrell Trail Glove 7 Review | Great Minimalist Hiking Shoe for Beginners?

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Merrell Trail Glove 7 Article Review

The Merrell Trail Glove 7 is designed to provide you with versatility on the trail with a minimalist feel. This model has a lower stack height and a zero-drop to give you more natural foot movement.

As a fan of the Merrell Vapor Glove 6, I was super excited to put the Trail Glove 7 to the test. In Colorado, I’m constantly tackling hikes of different difficulties and I love having a consistent pair of minimalist trail shoes.

After countless hikes, training sessions, and miles walking the Trail Glove 7, I’ve built this review to reflect my interpretations of this shoe’s performance.

Merrell Trail Glove 7


Merrell Trail Glove 7 Product Shot

Best For

  • Summer and Hot Weather Use
  • Light to Moderate Hikes
  • Minimalist Shoe Lovers and Beginners
  • Hikes With Water

Falls Short

  • For Exceptionally Wide Feet
  • For Long-Term Durability

Merrell Trail Glove 7 Review

Who Should Buy the Merrell Trail Glove 7?

Throughout my testing with the Merrell Trail Glove 7, I found a few contexts where I think this shoe makes a lot of sense.

1. Good Minimalist Shoe for Those That Want Some Comfort

If you want a minimalist shoe for hiking that has a little cushion to it, then I think you’ll like the Merrell Trail Glove 7. This shoe has a stack height of 14mm with a slim EVA foam midsole integrated into it.

Personally, I love this because if I’m tackling trails with a lot of rocks and obstacles then I want a shoe that offers a little more protection. Plus, I find this shoe to be easier to wear for longer hikes compared to barefoot shoes with <8mm stack heights.

Merrell Trail Glove 7 Midsole

Whether I was tackling hikes in Southern Colorado or trail running over rocks in Moab, Utah, the Merrell Trail Glove 7 has performed well regarding comfort. Its Vibram outsole has also been a 

2. Great Option for Minimalist Shoe Beginners

To add to the above, I also see the Merrell Trail Glove 7 as being a good minimalist shoe for beginners. If you’re new to using barefoot shoes on hikes, especially longer hikes, then you’ll want to ease in to give your feet time to adjust.

Merrell Trail Glove 7 for Beginners

With this shoe’s fit and comfort, I see them as a really good option for beginners wanting to use barefoot shoes for hiking more regularly. These can also work for daily wear and working out which is an added perk to them.

3. Work Well for Warmer Weather and Hikes With Water

If you’re wanting a shoe for warmer weather use and for hikes with water, then I think you’ll resonate with these. I’ve waterlogged this shoe on multiple hikes and I love that they dry fast and don’t break down in that process.

Merrell Trail Glove 7 for Water Hikes

The mesh upper in this model breathes well and if you’re like me and like going sockless on hikes where you know water crossings are coming, then you’ll enjoy this model.

The Merrell Trail Glove 7 will work best for barefoot shoe enthusiasts and beginners. This model’s stack height provides a little cushion which is great for longer hikes that have a lot of obstacles.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Merrell Trail Glove 7?

Despite thoroughly enjoying this model for hiking and casual workouts, there are a couple of contexts where I think you’ll want to pass on them.

1. Not the Best Shoe for Exceptionally Wide Feet

While the Merrell Trail Glove 7 has a barefoot shoe feel to it, it’s not going to be the widest model in the game. This shoe has a medium width per Merrell’s site which will fit most medium to slightly wider feet well.

Merrell Trail Glove 7 Toe Box Width

For notably wide feet, I think you’ll find this shoe to feel a little limiting through the toe box. In addition, I could see flat and wide feet finding the arch to be a little uncomfortable in this model.

2. The Durability Isn’t the Best for Heavy Pavement Use

If you’re thinking about buying this shoe for a lot of pavement and concrete use, you may want to tread lightly. This shoe can work on the pavement, don’t get me wrong, but I think you’ll break them down faster if you’re doing a ton of high-volume concrete walking.

Merrell Trail Glove 7 Lugs

I would try to limit how much you’re wearing the Trail Glove 7 on pavement if you want the lugs on this model to last longer. As with most trail shoes, you can wear down their lugs at a faster rate by rocking them on concrete often. Buyer be warned.

Trail Glove 7 Pros and Cons

Below are some of the pros and cons that I’ve found with the Merrell Trail Glove 7 throughout my testing them.

Report Card: Get the Quick Facts

Merrell Trail Glove 7

Merrell Trail Glove 7 Quick Facts
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Stack Height: 14mm
  • Removable Insole: No
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Width: Medium/Slightly Wide


  1. For light to moderate hikes and trail runs, the Merrell Trail Glove 7 is an awesome option to explore.
  2. The Vibram outsole does a really good job with traction on surfaces like rocks and loose terrain where you want a little more bite.
  3. The breathability of this shoe is great and for hikes with water you’ll enjoy how fast these dry and clear water especially when fully submerged.


  1. I don’t think these will be the best minimalist shoes for users with notably wide feet (<EE-width).
  2. If you want trail shoes that you can road run in and wear for long walks on pavement, then you may want to explore other options.
  3. If you have flat feet and detest any form of arch in your shoe you’ll want to pass on this model as I think you’ll feel this shoe’s outsole on the medial side of the foot.

Performance Assessment

To assess the performance of the Merrell Trail Glove 7, I’ll discuss how this has performed in three different contexts. I’ll cover this shoe’s performance for workouts, hiking and trail running, and daily wear.

Testing the Merrell Trail Glove 7 for Working Out

If you’re wanting a minimalist shoe that can double as a trail and training shoe, then I think the Trail Glove 7 can be a decent option to explore. It’s not as good as models like the Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Knit FG, but it does hold its own.

The minimalist sole construction gives this shoe a lot of articulation and they feel great for things like lunges, active foot exercises, and split squats. I also like how well the Vibram outsole grips different surfaces.

Merrell Trail Glove 7 Performance for Working Out

Whether you’re training on turf, rubber gym floors, or wooden platforms, I don’t think you’ll have traction issues in this model. To be honest, I feel like this shoe would be a better bet for the hybrid-focused user versus the Vapor Glove 6.

My only gripe about this shoe for working out is that if you want maximum ground feel, then you’ll want to explore barefoot shoes for lifting that offer the least amount of stack heights possible.

Testing the Merrell Trail Glove 7 for Hiking and Trail Running

For hiking and trail running, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Merrell Trail Glove 7. I think this may be a model I keep heavily in my rotation due to its versatility and comfort.

Testing Merrell Trail Glove 7 For trail running

The higher stack height with small EVA foam midsole is awesome for longer hikes and I found it to help keep this shoe comfortable. I like that it’s not so thick that the feet feel limited or like they can’t articulate fully.

I also appreciate the Vibram outsole on this shoe, and I wish more trail shoes utilized this material. The blend of this rubber and the 2.5mm lugs give this model a lot of bite on different surfaces.

Testing Merrell Trail Glove 7 For hiking

Now, will these lugs be the best for crazy terrain? Not necessarily, but if you’re regularly tackling trails with your normal amount of rocks, logs, and loose terrain then you’ll be plenty fine with this shoe’s outsole tread.

Another subtle perk of this shoe how good it is at getting waterlogged and not breaking down afterward. Not every trail shoe can withstand full water submersion and then come out looking great, but these are a nice exception.

Testing the Merrell Trail Glove 7 for Walking and Daily Wear

I discussed this above but I’m pretty hit or miss on the Merrell Trail Glove 7’s performance for walking and daily wear. For example, I like its comfort, appearance, and fit for daily use and those are the things I enjoy with this shoe.

Testing Merrell Trail Glove 7 For Walking

What I don’t enjoy is that I think the outsole will bald quickly with a lot of concrete use. Since the lugs are only 2.5mm thick and thinner, then I’d be careful if you’re planning to walk a lot with this shoe on concrete.

For casual use or slipping them on and doing a mile here and there or running errands every so often they’ll be fine. At the end of the day, I’d suggest just being conscious of the amount of concrete use you’re putting into these but they can work for daily wear.

Merrell Trail Glove 7 Sizing and Fit

The Merrell Trail Glove 7 should fit true to size for most users, especially users with medium and slightly wider feet. I have a slightly wider foot and I found this model to fit well with and without socks.

I also enjoy that the toe box in this shoe isn’t so wide that I slide when trail running and hiking down steep ascents and descents. The fit of the Trail Glove 7 should work well for narrow, medium, and slightly wider feet.

Testing Merrell Trail Glove 7 Sizing

Additionally and to add to this shoe’s “slight arch”, this shoe has an “athletic” fitting sole construction which I could see also resonating with some, in my opinion.

For notably wide feet and flat feet, I mentioned this above, I’d tread lightly before investing in this model. I’m not convinced you’ll have enough width in this shoe’s toe box and the sole could dig into your midfoot.

NOTE: Merrell suggests sizing down a half-size in this shoe and if have narrow feet then that could be a good call. I’ve personally found these to fit true, but it may still be worth going with Merrell’s note!

  • Merrell Trail Glove 7 Sizing Thoughts: True to size for most.

Merrell Trail Glove 7 Sizing and Fit Assessment

If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the Merrell Trail Glove 7, drop a comment below and I can help you out.

Price Breakdown

For the Merrell Trail Glove 7, you can expect to pay $110 USD. This puts this model in the middle of the road regarding pricing for minimalist trail shoes.

One nice thing about Merrell is that they’re constantly having sales and you can typically find active coupons to help knock the price down of these shoes.

Merrell Trail Glove 7 Performance

For my pair, I paid around $100 USD after tax which is pretty awesome for what this shoe offers and I’ve never once felt like I wasted money on this shoe regarding its durability and performance.

If you’re planning to invest in the Merrell Trail Glove 7, then I think it’s worth it. I’d highly suggest doing your research about finding a coupon before buying this model.

Construction Details

Below are some of the key construction details and specs about the Merrell Trail Glove 7. This model has a few cool, unique construction details.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Stack Height: 14mm
  • Lug Depth: 2.5mm
  • Weight: 9.6 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: No
  • 100% Recycled Mesh Upper
  • Vibram Outsole (Extended Toe Wrap)
  • Cleansport NXT Treated
  • External Rear Sling
  • Synthetic Toe Box Overlay
  • 100% Recycled Laces and Webbing

If you have additional construction-related asks about the Merrell Trail Glove 7 I can help provide clarification for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the stack height of the Merrell Trail Glove 7?

The stack height of the Merrell Trail Glove 7 is 14mm and this model has 2.5mm lugs.

Does Merrell Trail Glove have arch support?

There is a little arch in the Merrell Trail Glove 7 and if you have medium to high arches, then you should resonate with this fit feature. For flat feet, you may find the arch support in this shoe off-putting.

Are the Merrell Trail Glove 7 true to size?

Merrell recommends going down a half-size in the Trail Glove 7 compared to their other shoes. I have slightly wider feet and found the Trail Glove 7 to fit true to size.

Are the Merrell Trail Glove 7s wide?

The Merrell Trail Glove 7 have a medium-width which will make them more suitable for narrow, medium, and slightly wider feet.

Takeaway Thoughts

Across the board, I’ve been pleased with the Merrell Trail Glove 7 and its performance. This shoe has been exceptional on the trail and I like the level of comfort they deliver.

I do think this shoe will work best for warm-weather hikes and trail runs and it also does a great job in water. On top of this, beginners wanting minimalist trail shoes should resonate with this model as well.

For wide feet, you may want to keep searching for your next pair because this model may run too slim for you.

If you have more questions about the Merrell Trail Glove 7, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

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