Need a good all-weather minimalist running shoe? Want waterproof protection? Want good performance? Look no further than the Merrell Embark Glove Gore-Tex Barefoot Running Shoe
Merrell Embark Glove Gore-Tex Barefoot Running Shoe Features
UPPER / LINING
- Synthetic leather and mesh upper
- GORE-TEX® Performance Comfort footwear lining protects feet and keeps them dry
- Merrell Omni-Fit™ lacing System provides a precise, glove-like fit
- Microfiber footbed treated with Aegis® antimicrobial solution resists odor
- 4 mm compression molded EVA midsole cushions
MIDSOLE / OUTSOLE
- 1 mm forefoot shock absorption plate maintains forefoot flexibility and protects the foot by distributing pressure
- 0mm ball to heel drop keeps you connected to your terrain
- Vibram® Trail glove Sole/Rubber Compound TC-1
Merrell Embark Glove Gore-Tex Barefoot Running ShoeReview
The Merrell Embark Glove Gore-Tex Barefoot Running Shoe is the cold/all weather shoe in Merrell’s Barefoot line. It comes fully lined with Gore-tex making it waterproof and warm.
The running performance is high, same as the other models. Running in them just feels good. The sole is similar to the Trail Glove and Sonic Glove. Four mm thick, zero drop, and good tread pattern. The Gore-tex keeps your feet fully dry on wet or snowy runs. Just don’t step in deep puddles. One thing of note on the Gore-tex, it really holds in heat (i.e. doesn’t breathe as well as a non-lined shoe) which for me means it is a cold-weather only shoe. The heat retention is a great benefit on frigid days.
For all the similarities to the other models that I love I did find some drawbacks that I wasn’t super stoked on. Some are big and some are minor.
First the Embark has more volume than the Trail and Sonic Gloves. It’s not a lot but it’s noticeable. As a result I had to cinch down the laces to the max to get the fit I wanted. Maybe the additional volume is to accommodate thicker socks for cold weather running? I’m not sure on this one.
The foot opening is stiffer than other models too. This wouldn’t be an issue except the back side is turned in just enough that it rubs on my Achilles. Maybe it’s just my pair but it hasn’t “self-corrected” with use. I either have to tape my Achilles or get blisters every time I wear them. This is close to a deal breaker for me. They felt better on today’s run so maybe they need more time. See my picture to the right to see how much the back is angled in. You can also tell on the “Tex” that the side curves in as well. This also rubs but hasn’t caused blisters. This could just be my pair.
Last thing, it’s minor, but the shoelaces are twice as long as they need to be. I have to tie seven knots so the laces don’t drag on the ground. I know it’s just the shoelaces but it’s a pain.
- Strong performing shoe, just like the others I’ve tested from the Merrell Barefoot line
- GORE-Tex keeps your feet dry and warm
- Extra Volume was almost too much
- Back ribbing is stiff and rubs the Achilles
- Shoes laces are too long
The Embark is a good all-weather show. Just try it on to make sure you won’t get any rubbing on the Achilles.