Ultralite Trail Running Shoes for Hiking and Backpacking


Hey this is Whistle Norvell and today I wanted to do a quick video about these new hiking shoes I got. These are the Merrill Trail Glove 4s { music: “Morning Mandolin” by Chris Haugen } ♪ ♪ ♪ For some time I’ve been looking for a really ultra light pair of hiking shoes I’ve had several different shoes in the past and they’ve all been really good performance shoe their shoes they’ve generally been low-cut hiking boots or hiking shoes and they work really well some most of the time they’ve been GTX or waterproof but they’ve they’re heavier than what I really want you know to carry around on the trail and so I’ve been looking for an ultralight pair of trail running shoes that I could use for backpacking and so I think I found a pretty good pair these Merrell Trail Gloves are really really nice So one of my goals was to get a pair of hiking shoes what I really wanted to do was find a pair that were less than a pound or you know less than about 500 grams and so that cut out a whole bunch of shoes right there I mean I I really felt like that was kind of my number I wanted to shoot for and so for me that was you know the biggest difference is I wanted something that was ultra light and so that eliminated quite a few shoes and I did find the Merrill’s one of my son’s recommended them to me and I looked them up and they looked like they were pretty good they basically come in at 7.5 oz (213 grams) per shoe I wear a 9M in the US size and they really were pretty lightweight and there but the other thing I really wanted as I wanted something that had a really good sole I’ve seen a lot of the trail running shoes that are you know they call them barefoot style or whatever were you can feel every Rock and twig underneath you know on the ground and you know I kind of get that I mean I understand wanting to be able to connect with the trail and really understanding you know what’s down there but at the same time I didn’t want discomfort you know I wanted I wanted something more than a you know that a moccasin but something you know much but had a better feeling than you know like a high traditional hiking boot you know something that had a really stiff sole so these Merrells are actually of really good balance of in-between they’re they’re very lightweight and they still have a good Vibram sole on them which insulates your feet from sharp rocks and you know things that you don’t want to necessarily feel when you’re hiking on the trail for backpacking anyway so I really like these you’ll notice one of the things you’ll notice when you first look at them is that the tongue is attached on one side on the inside of the shoe and there it’s unattached on the outside of the shoe so normally on a traditional tennis shoe or hiking shoe you know the tongue is detached on both sides and it’s only attached at the front laces start. With this shoe the tongue is actually attached on the inside of the shoe the the side facing the inside of your foot and it’s and that makes it more like a glove I mean it really is kind of like that and so the tongue doesn’t really move around on you when you’re running or hiking and that’s one of the things I really liked about it too the laces are very low-profile they’re very thin and they’re just a tiny bit stretchy but they’re very lightweight as well so that it helps you know to cut a few grams out on the weight. One of the things that I like to do when I train is I like to wear much heavier shoes in fact I have several pair steel toed work boots I have one pair that even has a steel toed shank I mean it’s a full steel shank and so those boots are very very heavy and when I’m training I might just wear those you know while I’m walking or hiking just around just to build up my leg muscles my ankle muscles and then when I put these Merrill’s on it feels like I’m you know flying you know it’s so so much lighter just you know pounds lighter and so that’s something that I do when I train. A lot of people have asked about whether waterproofing is you know worth it on hiking shoes and you know my last two pairs were GTX style they had waterproofing what I wanted to do with this pair was to not do that so I’ve read a lot of articles on the Internet and I’ve done some of my own testing and what I found is that even with waterproof shoes your feet are still going to get wet and so what I chose to do with these is instead of investing 15 or 20 dollars into extra waterproofing I decided to get quick dry socks and so I actually bought three new pairs of socks they were all ankle height socks I bought one pair of merino wool and I intend to use those when I sleep at night I’m not going to wear those with the shoes but then I also bought two pairs of fully synthetic ankle socks that are very quick drying and so the idea is that when my feet get wet I’ll have two pairs of socks so one I’ll wear until I get to camp and then I’ll take the wet pair off and let those dry and put on my dry pair and then i’ll wear those that pair until my wet pair are dry and again these are quick dry socks so you know they’re not going and they’re fully synthetic so they’re not it’s not like wearing cotton socks or wool where it may take longer for these to dry these are fully synthetic I can hang them on the side of my backpack while I’m hiking if I want to or just hang them over a branch you know a camp and that way you know they have time to dry and I’ve got I’ve really got three pairs so I’ve got a pair to sleep in that are completely dry and then I’ve got a pair to wear a camp while my first pair is drying. So in summary I really do recommend these Merrell’s the Trail Glove 4s. They look really good and they’re very lightweight so for me that’s like a trifecta you know they look good they feel good and they’re lightweight and that’s exactly what I was looking for in a trail shoe and a hiking shoe and I know that not all shoes are for everyone and maybe these are not for you but if you’re on the fence I’d say go ahead and try them out you know you could send them back if you if you didn’t like them but anyway I’d recommend them so Merrell Trail Glove 4s: thumbs up from Whistle. Have a good time it will stay on the trail. Bye!

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