OUTDOOR RETAILER, SLC Utah
Words/Images Judith Ecochard
With barefoot running---“letting your feet follow their natural instincts”---is gaining momentum amongst runners…with the MO of running that advocates a mid-foot/push off strike---that strengthens muscles from the feet on up)---
Merrell has teamed off with the original Vibram Five Fingers® minimalist design company---for trail, multi sport/casual athletic shoes---men and women.
For the men, the three models (with true-fit, Merrell’s Omni-Fit™ lacing system), the Trail Glove, Tough Glove, and True Glove (for all terrains) brings the idea of “Barefoot”---beyond just running to outdoors enthusiasts--- with streamlined construction via synthetic leather and mesh uppers and just enough underfoot for simple lightweight performance off the road.
Women get their own bunch---specifically comfort designed for their gait what Merrell dubs its QForm ® Comfort, specially crafted for a smoother stride ---for bodies with wider hips and a lower center of gravity.
Female Merrell Barefoot offerings ---the Pace Glove (a low profile trail running shoe), Power Glove (all terrains with a soft leather ankle-high design secured with three Easy Z-Rap Velcro closures),
...and Pure Glove (durable and flexible, Mary-Jane style strap closure)---
All six models have minimal cushioning, compression molded EVA midsoles for some cushioning, and Vibram® Trail Glove outer soles for protection/traction.
We were told, the price for he shoes range $90-$100---and start to ship in January 2011.
We saw some other styles for women that embody “performance made beautiful” in a functional and versatile apparel separates…
The popular Merrell Sleep Stuff Technology that packs travel jackets into interior pockets, morphing into neck pillows…gets a women’s version, Rowena- that’s wind resistant (Merrell Aeroblock™) and water resistant (DWR finish).
Plus made that much more snuggly--- lined with super breathable Ultralight fleece fabric.
True on the go style.
Waterproof and breathable (the 2.5 layer Merrell Opti-Shell™), this bright shell of rip-stop fabric at the shoulders (where backpack straps might rub) has a drop tail for a biker’s comfort, and integrated pit zips for heat control. The princess style silhouette---is very feminine.
We really like the black Opal; fully seamed waterproof jacket with bold red angled zips…a cool design detail.
Also---an urban coat Brunswick, with the 2.5 layer Merrell Opti-Shell™ waterproof fabric and contoured seams and inner drawcord for a flattering fit. ($199)
And a mid-length “Frances” jacket with a remove-able waist tie belt, perfect for outdoor jaunts or urban locales with style and weather proof via 2.5 layer Merrell’s Opti-Shell™ waterproof fabric and a storm flap over the snap closure.
We never tire of new tops…and this super soft, sleeveless Louella stretch tank is made of the Merrell Opti-Wick™ peach faced, fabric that transfer moisture out, keeping the wearer drier. And is 50+ UPF!!!
Flattering---with a v-neck and a racer back.
Lots of shirt options