Merrell goes Barefoot

Merrell and Vibram, maker of FiveFingers foot-gloves, today announced a new barefoot shoe line. The Merrell Barefoot collection will be a spread of “minimalist, lightweight, versatile and efficient footwear,” according to a press release.

Merrell barefoot shoe

Not available until February 2011, the line will include shoes like the Trail Glove, a trail-running model; the Tough Glove, a foot-conforming soft leather shoe; and the women’s Pace Glove (low-profile trail runner) and Power Glove (ankle-high design with three Velcro closures).

Like other barefoot-style shoes, this line is touted to help “engage the feet for a more natural stride by moving the wearer off the heel and encouraging forward momentum to a mid-foot landing with lower impact and a more aligned and efficient gait.”

The premise: Minimal interference between the ground and your foot

Said Tony Post, President & CEO of Vibram USA, “For feet to be healthy, we believe they need to be stimulated and exercised, which will in turn improve the body’s balance and agility. On that premise, we collaborated with Merrell to develop an exclusive outsole that aids in stride efficiency and adaptability for all outdoor terrain.”

—Stephen Regenold

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.