Barefoot 2.0

If you have been following this blog for a while then you are aware of my affinity for Merrell and their wonderful Barefoot shoes.  Both Josh and I have owned a number of their “glove” offerings, the minimalist sole is supportive without being heavy, I feel more balanced and move faster in them while working.

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However I have started running again and could feel my feet start to fatigue after about two miles while wearing the pace glove.  I don’t want to go back to a structured running shoe but also don’t want sore feet.  Minimalist shoes really work for me, they are not ideal for everyone.  I did break down and purchase a new pair of shoes but was never really happy with them, especially after a 5K in them.  While shopping for new hiking boots I saw something exciting, the newest evolution from Merrell, Bare Access.

They are AMAZING!!!!  Just a slight upgraded sole, some additional arch support but still very light.  My feet feel no fatigue and still feel very connected to the ground.  Plus they are cute, I am actually amazed at how well they match just about everything.  I wear they not just to run but also at work when we are setting up events.  I found that after switching to a minimalist shoe I moved much safer at work.  You feel you steps and I don’t trip over things and can move better around the gear as we are working.  This is just my option.  If you have tried a bare or low profile show before but found them lacking I would recommend giving the Access series a try.

***This blog is not sponsored by or connected to Merrell/Wolverine Shoe company. I simply believe in the product and wish to share my experiences.***

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Barefoot and Fashionable

How could Merrell possibly make their Barefoot line any better? Well I didn’t think there was a way. It’s already flush with a variety of style to match what anyone prefers in an athletic shoe, just with a minimalist twist. Josh and I are very dedicated to the line.

This fall they have added an entirely new option for those prefer barefoot style footwear. Check out these cute and stylist shoes; they are called Life Bliss Glove a part of the new casual line. The lady’s line has this oxford style and a couple with a cute ballet flat look.

They are a bit wider than the previous styles I’ve purchased, I assume to accommodate warmer socks. They are water resistant with a wipe-clean fabric for easy care. I’m already loving them, so comfy and perfect with jean.

***This blog is not sponsored by or connected to Merrell/Wolverine Shoe company. I simply believe in the product and wish to share my experiences.***

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Shiny New Merrells

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The time has finally come for me to replace my original Merrell Barefoot shoes. While they are still comfortable, the shoe is starting to fall apart. I don’t want a shabby looking shoe for spring; however they did last about a year. I’ve decided to go with a darker color this time, well not so much decided as it was the color on sale.

While they have released a number of new styles and colors, I still went with the Pace Glove. I like the simple and less flashy look. I’m sad to say that they don’t fit was well. The heel is tighter, the shoe is a bit shorter and they just don’t feel the same. This is a bit disappointing; in my option one of the best features the shoes had was comfort from day one. The new ones rubbed a bit the first few times I ran, not the end of the world for me but it would be for someone new to Barefoot running.

They feel a little tighter all around, which has lead to me wearing a thin liner sock most of the time. I have discussed in the past how wearing a liner does help keep the shoes from forming a gross buildup inside.

I do hate to write this about a brand I love so much but hey I also want anyone trying Barefoot for the first time to have a good experience.

***This blog is not sponsored by or connected to Merrell/Wolverine Shoe company. I simply believe in the product and wish to share my experiences.***

 

Barefoot This Winter

I’m not going to claim that I have been terribly active as the temps have started lowering, even though the weather here in Michigan have been wonderful. When the air gets cool and before the snow falls I’m in heaven. Keep it at about 45 for me. I do try to go for a run on mornings when I can roust myself up early enough. While I enjoy the weather, getting up while it’s still dark is the real trick. What has been working for me to convert my Merrell Barefoot shoes to a warmer option is adding a thin tech-wool hiking sock. I chose a pair from Fox River Socks for my experiment. They are not bulky, have support seaming and do a nice job keeping my toes warm. While the shoes are designed to be work without socks it still fits well and doesn’t feel like the socks are affecting my comfort in the shoe. Josh has been wearing a very thin liner sock with his Barefoot shoes lately to help cut down on the smell.

Adding the sock does not make the shoes water resistant, so if you hit a puddle or any snow then your feet are going to get wet and cold depending on how long your run is. I’ve not had this issue yet but winter here in Michigan is just starting.

***This blog is not sponsored by or connected to Merrell/Wolverine Shoe company. I simply believe in the product and wish to share my experiences.***

Put Them in the Dishwasher

We just recently replaced Josh’s original Merrell Barefoot, he had worn down the soles from so much use. So we figured this would be a great time to experiment a little with cleaning by using the old pair. I’ve been wanting to try for some time cleaning them using the dishwasher, but didn’t want to wreck the lining. As you know by now the only negative thing about the Barefoot shoes is how smelly they get. They are designed to be worn without socks and a funky buildup can form in the shoes, before now the only solution we’ve found is to soak, then scrub them out. This works fine but takes time and drying is a pain. My thoughts on using the dishwasher was to achieve a through scrubbing and rinse without the work. Drying them out is still an issue, especially if you wear them daily like we do.

The settings I used were a light rinse without heat dry. Initially we had thought it better to put the shoes on a top rack but the dishwasher we were using was a small capacity and the shoes would have lied flat. So in the end we put them on the bottom rack with toes facing up. We also chose to remove the laces. After putting them “through the ringer” in a clean wash cycle, they came out super clean and not nearly as damp as I had figured.

So what did we find out from this experiment?  You get a very thorough  cleaning but it is hard on the lining.  My advise this is a good option for cleaning a very funky pair of Merrell Barefoot shoes but will not work for regular maintenance.

Conclusion, we are still living the amazing Barefoot lifestyle and loving it.

***This blog is not sponsored by or connected to Merrell/Wolverine Shoe company. I simply believe in the product and wish to share my experiences.***

Merrell Family Tree

You all know by now how much we love Merrell Barefoot shoes and we are big on sharing this love. So you can imagine how thrilled I am to hear when friends of ours decide to Go Barefoot! We recently had a chance to visit with our dear friends from North Carolina, The Campbells. Both of them gave the shoes a try and found out why we sing their praises. We were sitting around having a few beers when Katherine share that hers were starting to get smelly, I covered this topic a few weeks back. At the time she was trying the freezer trick. For anyone who’s not aware of this technique for freshening shoes it works well for running shoes or Sketchers type tennies. Put your shoes in the freezer, or deep freeze if you have one, over night. The cold kills off many of the odor causing bacteria. I did this for year with other shoes. However I’ve found that with Barefoots the results are very temporary. A good scrubbing to remove the dead skin and oils is still the best way.

We have ordered a new pair for Josh and plan to put his old ones in a dishwasher to see what the results are, coming soon.

While we were chatting about the benefits of Going Barefoot, Katherine’s sister-in-law had a few questions. She loved how the Mary Jane style would be adjustable for thin feet. Yup, I think we’ve converted another one!

***This blog is not sponsored by or connected to Merrell/Wolverine Shoe company. I simply believe in the product and wish to share my experiences.***

Barefoot Everywhere

I was really hoping to include a shot of me sprinting through the Detroit Airport with my Merrell Barefoot shoes on but when you are racing for a gate that is that farthest thing from your mind so instead we will chat about taking them camping.

So I know some of these shots are cheesy but I just figured out a cool setting on my camera. You can program it to take a huge number of shots on time intervals. I had a photographer use this once when I was modeling years ago. The opportunity for self-portraits is unlimited. I had a blast making these. Got a little over the top in some.

While camping the only activity that that I did not have my Barefoots on for was horseback riding, the rest of the week my feet were tucked inside. They are so comfortable and freeing. I feel lighter with them on, much more stable than throwing on flip flops to walk anywhere. They did get dirty and will be in need of a wash now. My only complaint is that they started to accumulate a bit of sand and dirt inside that was hard to clear out. They sort of got gritty, I think a good brushing out will fix that.

Josh had a similar issue last week when we went canoeing; he chose to wear his Barefoots in the water. After a bit they filled with sediment that he had some trouble cleaning out. It doesn’t make them uncomfortable just feels dirty.

So the solution we have found is too wash them out, first a soak, then a scrub of the inside, follow with a towel out and let them air-dry. It takes about a day for them to completely dry, Josh will often just wear them wet, but that does nothing to help keep them clean. I hope this can help a bit if you too are starting to find that your Merrells are getting smelly.

I’m still loving Barefoot and loving it

***This blog is not sponsored by or connected to Merrell/Wolverine Shoe company. I simply believe in the product and wish to share my experiences.***