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April 28, 2011

Merrell Barefoot Women's Pace Glove Review and Giveaway

Obviously, the big news with today’s post is that it features a giveaway of another sweet Merrell shoe. This time around, it’s the Merrell Barefoot Pace Glove, a model that my wife has been testing for a couple of months, and one that the company introduced last year as “designed specifically for women, by women.” So there’s definitely a strong Girl Power vibe around the website today; maybe this finally makes up for all those Britney Spears, Beyonce and Shakira photos I used to post here all the time back in the old days. (OK, maybe not … but it’s a start.)

Merrell Barefoot Pace Glove

The Pace Glove is one of three models in Merrell’s barefoot collection for women, and is the one best suited for trail running, making it the female equivalent to the men’s Trail Glove that I reviewed earlier this month. In fact, it’s so similar to the Trail Glove that I initially questioned what exactly the distinctions are that make the Pace Glove a more female-oriented shoe.

That’s not meant as a knock; the Trail Glove is an outstanding shoe, and the Pace Glove is equally remarkable. It’s just that when comparing the two models, there’s not a whole lot to distinguish the male from the female of the species. At 4.7 ounces, the Pace Glove is a bit lighter than the 6.2-oz Trail Glove – not unlike women and men in general, right? - but its overall structure and performance features are otherwise nearly equivalent.

Like the Trail Glove, the Pace Glove has an upper constructed of microfiber and breathable air mesh, which provides nice ventilation while still keeping the foot well-insulated in cold conditions (especially with socks) when necessary. Rubber toe bumpers in front improve the upper’s durability and offer protection in case of toe-stubbing.

Merrell’s Omni-fit lacing system, along with vertical TPU overlays hooked into the laces, wraps the entire midfoot to make the shoe fit like a glove (thus the name, I suppose). It has the same synthetic leather rearfoot sling to stabilize the ankle, and a grippy microfiber footbed that prevents your foot from sliding around on top of the midsole.

Since all of these features are also present on the Trail Glove, and since one of my observations about that model was how the snug fit caused slight difficulty getting my foot into the shoe, I specifically asked my wife about this (more than once, actually). She reported no difficulty getting the shoes on, and she wears socks with them every day. This might reflect the relative narrowness of women’s feet compared to men’s – or maybe it just indicates that I have fat feet; we’re only an experiment of two. At any rate, she reported that the Pace Gloves are extremely comfortable, even when wearing them for several hours.

Turned upside down, you can’t tell a difference between the male and female shoes; they both utilize the identical Vibram TC-1 rubber outsole that provides great traction in nearly all trail conditions, and has proven to be extremely durable after hundreds of trail miles (my model) and approximately 100 mixed road and trail miles (my wife’s). I had a couple of small quibbles with this outsole in my Trail Glove review, but I have to say that I’m very impressed by how the lugs have retained their thickness even after extensive use.

Pace Glove on L, Trail Glove on R

Predictably, the best way to distinguish the male from the female is to look at the tail end. Instead of the thin ankle collar with pull-up thumb loop on the Trail Glove, the Pace Glove has a more lady-like foot sling that is stretchable but sits securely around the ankle once the shoe is in place. I suspect that the wrinkled fabric of this collar might be a source of mild discomfort with sockless runners, but since my wife isn’t in that category, it posed no problems whatsoever for her.

Close-up of heel sling; yellow TPU overlays attach to lace system

The same structure and technology that Merrell uses through the midsole and outsole of its men’s barefoot models are present in the Pace Glove as well. It’s built with a completely flexible, true zero-drop platform to promote the biomechanics of natural running. Total “off the ground” height of the Pace Glove is approximately 12mm in the heel and forefoot, combining the outsole thickness with a 4mm compression molded EVA midsole, 1mm shock absorption plate in the forefoot, and the thin insole footbed.

Super-flexible midsole

The height of this shoe was probably the most interesting consideration for me in comparing my wife’s performance feedback with my own. When I first wore my Merrells, the 12mm spec seemed relatively high – probably due to the fact that I’ve been running barefoot or using true minimalist footwear for the better part of two years – and the Trail Gloves at first seemed a little too cushiony to be truly minimalist. However, my wife typically uses thicker zero-drop shoes like GoLite’s Micro Lite, and she could tell a big difference in reduced cushioning and increased ground feel once starting with the Pace Gloves. She even developed some soreness underneath her metatarsal heads after increasing her distance too quickly with the Merrells; while this wasn’t a positive development for her, it was proof to me that this line of footwear really does approximate barefoot running quite effectively.

At this point, my wife doesn’t want to go any thinner than her Pace Gloves, and I wouldn’t want to go any thicker than my Trail Gloves; however, we both love wearing our respective Merrells. This was the genesis of the premise in my Trail Glove review that Merrell’s Barefoot line is well-positioned to become the first mainstream barefoot shoe, equally attractive to dedicated minimalist users as well as recreational runners who want to go as light and low as possible without giving up modest comfort and protective features. Just as it did with the men’s version, Merrell’s women’s Pace Glove should appeal to a broad spectrum of runners, and I anticipate it will become a lot of people’s favorite shoe this year.

The Merrell Barefoot Pace Glove retails for $100 from TravelCountry.com – but for one lucky female reader, I’ll spare you the trouble of buying a pair. So here’s your chance, ladies: the giveaway contest for one pair of Pace Gloves is on.

We’ll use the same contest rules as the other Merrell giveaway: one entry for a lone comment, plus one additional entry for a Facebook or Twitter link to this contest page, and a third for a blog link to this page. Men are welcome to enter and perhaps become a Sugar Daddy for their lucky gal. When you leave a comment below, tell me how many entries you’ve earned. The winner will be announced next Sunday, May 8th.

Good luck to everyone, and very big thanks to Merrell for sponsoring this giveaway!

*Product provided by Merrell
**See other product reviews on sidebar at right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at info@runningandrambling.com.

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nrmrvrk 4/28/11, 8:25 PM  

The wife would love a pair of these.

nrmrvrk 4/28/11, 8:30 PM  

Facebooked a link to the giveaway as well... Not sure how to prove it though.

Ana 4/28/11, 8:38 PM  

My feet aren't thinner than my husband's. Much the opposite, in fact.

Addy 4/28/11, 8:47 PM  

These look great! I was just eyeing a pair of shoes by this company at REI last month, but was dissuaded by the price tag. I also posted this on my blog www.adanded.blogspot.com.

DaysRun 4/28/11, 8:50 PM  

These would be a nice change.

TK 4/28/11, 8:57 PM  

Awesome looking shoe. Count me in x3...I'll also blog and twitter.

NJ 4/28/11, 9:06 PM  

Sounds like a great shoe! Might be a bit too little for me on long distances, but for the shorter ones, probably ideal!

I get one entry for commenting. Thanks for this giveaway!

TheHeapsToe 4/28/11, 9:41 PM  

I love my trail gloves and would love to see my girlfriend sporting the female version as we ride the trails together. Count me in for all three entries, your reviews have helped me a ton in my transition to barefoot style, and especially with shoe shopping as of late.

Runnergirl 4/29/11, 12:19 AM  

I'd love to try these!

Runnergirl 4/29/11, 12:20 AM  

I have a link to your giveaway on my blog "Running the Race": http://www.run-the-race-girl.blogspot.com .

I've earned two entries.

JenniferLeah 4/29/11, 2:00 AM  

Thank you for another great review! I always enjoy your detailed and honest opinions-
I was wondering how you would review a ladies shoe :P

As I have mentioned in comments here before I am getting more into trail running and since I changed to more minimal styles this winter (post knee injury) this shoe seems PERRFECT!!

Will link on my blog and on facebook as well!

Three entries please :D

JenniferLeah 4/29/11, 2:40 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tanya Patrice 4/29/11, 4:09 AM  

These look fantastic.

Lisa 4/29/11, 4:27 AM  

This looks like a great shoe -- count me in for 1 entry! Thanks...

Woodrow 4/29/11, 4:47 AM  

I imagine the Pace Glove will be quite popular. Count me in for one entry for the girlfriend.

Emmarie,  4/29/11, 5:14 AM  

Would love a pair! Just starting out trying different minimalist shoes and love the fact there's one especially for women!

Two Wordy 4/29/11, 5:35 AM  

Love the yellow and gray colors!

Jeff 4/29/11, 5:40 AM  

I think I need to try for a pair for my wife. She would never do vibrams so this will be a good 2nd best.

Rhonda,  4/29/11, 6:05 AM  

I posted a comment, but can't seem to find it. These shoes look perfect for me. I currently wear N WT100. I also posted a link on Facebook.

Don't want to log in with my google account, b/c I never check that email address. How do I know if I won?

Gretchen 4/29/11, 6:06 AM  

I'd love a pair of these! And for a ladies shoe, the color selection is actually quite good. I love the red version.

Jenny Davidson 4/29/11, 6:10 AM  

Please put me in the raffle! Shoes sound great - I will almost certainly buy a pair to try 'em...

Kate 4/29/11, 6:17 AM  

2 Entries- Kate from Fayetteville, WV
Facebook link
I'd love to try out a pair of these!

Melissa,  4/29/11, 6:30 AM  

Count me in! A running guru just recommended these shoes to me two days ago, and lent me Born To Run.

liz 4/29/11, 6:30 AM  

These look fantastic - I'll definitely check them out next time I can shop!

Trailrat 4/29/11, 6:43 AM  

Two for me! My wife would love them.

Meg T 4/29/11, 6:45 AM  

One for me! I would love these!

Maren 4/29/11, 7:05 AM  

Two for me! I would love these!! Thanks for the giveaway!

sara 4/29/11, 7:32 AM  

i'd love to try a pair!

shel 4/29/11, 7:58 AM  

giddyup! posting on FB too

I Pull 400 Watts 4/29/11, 8:07 AM  

Blog, FB, Twitter, and a post. Thanks!

tdomina 4/29/11, 8:49 AM  

Looks like a nice mother's day present. Count me for one entry!

Matt Dubs,  4/29/11, 8:55 AM  

One entry for my sweetheart, who has recently shown some interest in trail running!

Lesser is More 4/29/11, 9:12 AM  

1 entry for the wife. She never saw a pair of shoes she didn't like...and these are no exception!

Ripley 4/29/11, 9:47 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ripley 4/29/11, 9:55 AM  

Check it out 3 entries!



Love the yellow in a 7.5....!

Anonymous,  4/29/11, 10:10 AM  

I'd like to try them.
steeplechaser29 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Michael Shane Helton 4/29/11, 10:45 AM  

"...is to look at the tail end."

Pure genius.

JJ 4/29/11, 10:50 AM  

One Entry for my Wife, thanks.

sean 4/29/11, 11:07 AM  

Trying to be a good sugar daddy :)
My wife would love these.

Mark Kennedy 4/29/11, 12:13 PM  

This would be a great intro to minimalist running for my wife! Great review.

marathonmaiden 4/29/11, 2:32 PM  

enter me please. great review.

Angie C.,  4/29/11, 3:34 PM  

I was seriously just looking at these online before I saw this review. Completely answers all my questions!

Tozilla 4/29/11, 3:48 PM  

always love giveaway shoes !!

Lisa 4/29/11, 4:20 PM  

I would love a pair, please.

mo 4/29/11, 6:13 PM  

Awesome giveaway, count me in for one!

Marie from why she runs 4/29/11, 9:39 PM  

I would LOVE to transition into these from my Nike Free Run+! Thanks for the chance to win! (Entry #1)

Marie from why she runs 4/29/11, 9:40 PM  

I posted a link and a little info about your giveaway on my blog! Thank you!


(Entry #2)

Marie from why she runs 4/29/11, 9:45 PM  

I posted a link to your giveaway on FB over at Barefoot Running Shoes FB page.

(Entry #3 for me)


DavidS 4/30/11, 5:00 AM  

Nice review. One entry for my daughter,thanks.

runaroundaroo 4/30/11, 5:52 AM  

I just saw an ad for these in RW and now I'm interested...I'd love to try them out!

David 4/30/11, 9:28 AM  

entering for my mom. 2 entries for facebook shoutout

Jay 4/30/11, 9:53 AM  

One entry for my wife.

Avenging Angle 4/30/11, 10:32 AM  

Oooh, ooh. I have both left a comment here and linked to it in my FB (screenshot on request). So two entries for me, please!

Shanna 4/30/11, 11:27 AM  

Great review!! These shoes sound like Heaven to me :)

twilley 4/30/11, 11:28 AM  

one entry for me please!

Jerome 4/30/11, 11:41 AM  

Two entries, FaceBook and here...

My GF would love a pair of these for free!

Jacquelyn 4/30/11, 3:36 PM  

I use vibrams and would love to try these.

Jacquelyn 4/30/11, 3:40 PM  

I also tweeted under @hikingfeminist

John L.,  4/30/11, 5:06 PM  

One entry please for my lovely wife!

Caroline 4/30/11, 5:45 PM  

Love the depth of info re this shoe. Thank you Donald!! I've also included a link on my Facebook Wall, to share the love with others... after all, I'm so glad there's finally SOMETHING barefoot-ish that I can wear in polite company!! (churned through two pairs of VFF KSO's already :P).
(Count that as two entries for me pls!)

Natalie 4/30/11, 6:01 PM  

These shoes sound great! I posted on my facebook, which you can check! Two entries por favor! Thanks for review these shoes!

Sarah 4/30/11, 9:46 PM  

I also tweeted, so 2 entries for me. Thanks!

Aaron 4/30/11, 11:16 PM  

+2 - I really like my trail gloves and would love to put a pair of these on my lady for the offroad stuff
Linked you on facebook also

moonsword 5/1/11, 1:13 AM  

These are screamingly cool! Thanks for the thorough, thoughtful and helpful review and awesome giveaway. Cheers!

Catie H.,  5/1/11, 8:20 AM  

These look awesome! 1 entry

Staci 5/1/11, 9:50 AM  

These were recommended to me at Adventure 16 and the greatest purchase I've ever made. Truly my favorite workout shoe.

maxamilian 5/1/11, 12:55 PM  

facebook link as well as this wonderful comment. My wife already has a pair of these and loves them so why not get the next pair already.

Tegyn 5/1/11, 1:40 PM  

I love the men's version - the trail glove - and have a few fem friends who'd really dig a pair of these too!

Emily N. 5/1/11, 2:21 PM  

I'd love to try a pair of these! Thanks for the thorough review.

emilynwins at gmail dot com

Eric 5/1/11, 3:17 PM  

Minimum is maximum. (Facebook Also)

Heather 5/1/11, 4:34 PM  

I would love to try these out.

Ellen Holley 5/1/11, 5:28 PM  

I'm new at running but have heard a lot about minimalistic running. would like to try a pair but not willing to fork out $100. Winning a pair would be the ticket. Pick me... Pick me... Pick me. :-)

Doug 5/1/11, 5:46 PM  

One entry for my shoe loving wife.

Barbara 5/1/11, 6:06 PM  

I would love to try these!!!

willpov 5/1/11, 6:07 PM  

2 entries for me! :)

Comment and Twitter (@aboutapopoff)

Tiphanie 5/1/11, 7:00 PM  

Loved the honest review of these trail shoes!
Please enter me twice as I facebooked the link! =D

Mary Margaret 5/1/11, 7:06 PM  

Great review! Would love to try a pair of them.

Rory dela Paz 5/1/11, 7:13 PM  

Would love to convince my wife that zero drop shoes are the way to go! Two entries for me please. Tweeted this via rorydlp.


Cherylrunner 5/1/11, 10:48 PM  

Thanks for the great review Donald. Please enter two for me, one here and one for FB link. I was waiting for REI’s 20% off sale starting May 20, but would love a free pair! Interesting that REI calls this shoe the Merrell Pace Glove Cross Training Shoe.
Thanks, too, to your wife for testing them!

andy 5/2/11, 5:35 AM  

One entry for my wife

Eric 5/2/11, 10:07 AM  

+2 for me, it's on FB too. I would love my wife try these out after her pregnancy.

Ms. Bryant 5/2/11, 11:12 AM  

I've been wanting to try these out!

JimDog 5/2/11, 11:48 AM  

2 entries please (this comment and twitter @jimdog).

I never win anything, but maybe I can win these for the wifey :-)

Michelle F 5/2/11, 12:13 PM  

Thanks for the chance to win a pair of these!!

RunningLaur 5/2/11, 12:54 PM  

Love that you're recruiting the whole family to test things out!

Candi 5/2/11, 2:35 PM  

I can't wait to try these out, whether I win them or not. But of course I'd rather win them, 100 bucks is a race entry!

Michelle 5/2/11, 5:27 PM  

I've always loved Merrell's and these look like they'd be great to wear. Count me in!

therunningjewess 5/2/11, 5:28 PM  

And I let the twitterverse know about your awesome review, count me in again (please).

Sandra 5/3/11, 6:41 AM  

Great, informative review!

Two entries (linked on my FB, too)

islander 5/3/11, 11:47 AM  

I know my wife would love to try these out.

Anonymous,  5/3/11, 12:40 PM  

I would LOVE to try these!

RunningOnCoffee 5/3/11, 7:17 PM  

Would love a pair of these! I have been looking at reviews for the past 3 weeks probably, and think I'd like to try them for trail running this spring/summer.

RunningOnCoffee 5/3/11, 7:22 PM  

Tweeted about & linked to the giveaway: http://twitter.com/#!/Running0nCoffee

Anonymous,  5/3/11, 7:56 PM  

Trail running in my fivefingers was painful today (sharp rocks!) so I'd love to try out the Pace Glove!

(one entry)

jenthang 5/3/11, 8:10 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
KCKrane,  5/4/11, 3:37 AM  

I would love to win these, not for me but for my wife. Good review

Elli 5/4/11, 9:30 AM  

Thanks for the giveaway! I would love to try these out on my trail runs this summer. -elli

Kori 5/4/11, 12:31 PM  

My wife's been looking for a shoe exactly like this.
Please enter me x 3
facebook and

Jean 5/5/11, 8:22 AM  

these look great! put me down for two!


Sadie 5/5/11, 12:13 PM  

I would love a pair of these. They are awesome!

Sadie 5/5/11, 12:14 PM  

http: //twitter.com/OhioCatfish/status/66219173243654144

Sadiebeery at hotmail dot com

Stephanie 5/5/11, 12:20 PM  

I would love a pair.

Mike and Lucy 5/5/11, 12:29 PM  

Looking to be a sugar daddy. I also posted on my twitter: drdougle and Facebook.

Craig 5/5/11, 12:29 PM  

I have a pair of the men's and LOVE them. My wife would go nutso if she won a pair. 1 entry for this comment and I tweeted a link. So...2 entries for me, please. ;-)



Anonymous,  5/5/11, 12:31 PM  

I've been waiting to buy a pair of these. Now maybe I wont have to buy thm!!

DestructoGirl 5/5/11, 12:32 PM  

Thanks for the opportunity! Posted to Twitter also!

Nita 5/5/11, 12:37 PM  

I WANT THESE! Posting here. Posting on FB. Posting on Twitter (Isn't it called tweeting anymore?). Guess that gets me three entries. DID I SAY THAT I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY WANT THESE. Sorry. Couldn't help shouting.

Emily 5/5/11, 1:21 PM  

I would LOVE to have a pair of these! The lightweight and durable construction would be IDEAL for my upcoming trek through Ireland. My boyfriend has a pair of the mens and LOVES them. I've posted a link on Twitter and Facebook as well!!

Tim 5/5/11, 1:53 PM  

My feet/legs/back/spine thank me daily for wearing mine...lemme spread the love with a free pair to give to my wife!

kranapple 5/5/11, 9:51 PM  

I'm a walker and an amateur hiker and most of the time I'm in flipflops. I just started running and I really want a pair of these!
Posted to facebook as well!!

krystyna47 5/5/11, 11:16 PM  

One entry for me, thank you! These definitely look like a shoe I could get comfortable in!

Chris 5/6/11, 5:27 AM  

One entry for my wife.


*~* *~* Tracy 5/6/11, 6:35 AM  

I would very much love to win these!

Graham 5/6/11, 7:21 AM  

2 Entries please.

I'd love to be a Sugar Shoe Daddy for my lady.

Katie Kift 5/6/11, 7:27 AM  

One entry for posting. I have a pair of these already; they are my favourite trail shoe by far. Could do with another pair, as my pair is currently brown and well-used.

*~* *~* Tracy 5/6/11, 8:51 AM  

I linked this on my blog

*~* *~* Tracy 5/6/11, 8:52 AM  

I tweeted (tracyrunning)

Melanie 5/6/11, 7:39 PM  

Id love to try a pair Two entrys. Thanks
Melanie Dayton
Austin, Mt

Corey Singletary 5/7/11, 6:59 AM  

two entries
Comment and Twitter.

Tara Marie 5/7/11, 11:00 PM  

I have wanted/needed new sneakers for a few months! Knee problems ick! and I think my uber padded very traditional shoes have soemthing to do with it.

Jen 5/8/11, 6:12 AM  

I would love a pair of those. I think that will be my next shoe anyway for trails this summer! Great giveaway!

TylerG 5/8/11, 6:15 AM  

I earned 3 entries: 1 facebook, one twitter, and this comment. My fiancee needs some barefoot action.

Monica,  5/14/11, 8:47 PM  

I have a movement disorder called Parkinsons ( Michael J Fox, Mohamed ALi, Janet Reno have it too ).I am always looking for stable footwear to help with balance and gait. I have had great success with Keen and Merrell brands. But this Barefoot Pace Glove is the bomb for me. It is a Godsned for comfort and helping me to be able to go barefoot indoors or out with increased stability and confidence. I feel safer with them. Being in closer contact with the ground I walk better always. Now no more flimsy slippers or slippery socks. I got the attractive lavendar ones. My Blogspot is rotorqueen-918.blogspot.com

moruns,  5/29/11, 7:50 AM  

Look forward to trying these! Relearned my running form last year (painful learning curve for my calves and achilles!) but my VFFs seem to overstretch my skinny toes and as I run in the woods, I've nearly broken a toe or two. Thanks for the review!

Lorie 6/3/11, 7:09 PM  

Thank you for this review. My husband talked me into getting a pair of the Pace Glove's and while I love them I wasn't sure if they would be good to wear while doing some light hiking. Now, I'm going to try. I usually wear mine without socks but I think I'll take a pair of socks with me just in case. Have a great weekend! (yes, I know the giveaway is over)

MusicGeek6 6/17/11, 12:38 PM  

I know your giveaway is over, but I have a question about these shoes.
I am going hiking in August in Colorado/utah. Are these shoes good for that kind of hiking? Can they get wet? some of our hiking will be in very shallow water.

Donald 6/20/11, 8:49 PM  

MusicGeek: they're fine for getting wet, and I think they'd be great for that kind of hiking. Have fun!

Daniel 6/22/11, 1:26 AM  

Thanks for this review. Now I a little bit better, which shoe I should buy for my wife.
I'm a huge barefootrunning fan and I have to convince her, I guess that will work with these shoes :)


Unknown 9/26/11, 2:15 PM  

How are these shoes for road running? Would you run a marathon with them?

Donald 9/26/11, 8:54 PM  

Unknown: Yes, they're definitely OK for marathon running!

Judy Huestis 11/10/11, 6:29 PM  

I will comment here so this may kill my chances but here goes; my boyfriend of 21 years left me last year just before I turned 40.I run on trail in the Coloma-Lotus area of CA with New Balance barefoot style shoes.I think they are 790.I love them but they are very worn and I would love new shoes.Can't buy them as I am trying to buy out the ex.Let me know if i get the shoes.I will use them and abuse them in the best way. Thanks!

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