Almost creating as much buzz as the Inov-8 Evoskin unveiling last week, Merrell and Vibram announced they are teaming up to bring you the Merrell Barefoot line, due out Spring 2011. The two companies are looking to bring barefoot to the outdoors, beyond just barefoot running, through a progression of outdoor shoes.
Merrell and Vibram will exclusively collaborate to create an outsole design that aids in multi-directional movement, stride efficiency and adaptability for all outdoor terrain. The Merrell Barefoot collection will incorporate this outsole design into a line of minimalist, lightweight, versatile and efficient footwear.
Merrell Barefoot will provide a good balance of foot freedom, surface protection and cushioning to help you enjoy the outdoors while at the same time strengthening your muscles and avoiding injury. For feet to be healthy, Merrell and Vibram believe they need to be stimulated and exercised, which will in turn improve your balance and agility.
The Merrell Barefoot designs help engage your feet for a more natural stride, by moving you off your heel and encouraging forward momentum to a mid-foot landing. This results in lower impact and a more aligned and efficient gait. Newly stimulated muscles help increase your core strength, amp up agility and build your body's ability to burn more calories.
The men's Merrell Barefoot collection will include the Trail Glove, an athletic trail runner, and the True Glove, a streamlined, all-terrain multi-sport shoe. Both feature a synthetic leather and mesh upper with the proprietary Merrell Omni-Fit lacing system. An internal support construction secures the mid-foot for optimal fit and responsiveness. Finishing off the men's line is the Tough Glove, a foot-conforming soft leather style for casual wear around town.
The women's Merrell Barefoot collection includes the Pace Glow, a low-profile trail runner with minimal cushioning mapped to where it is most needed. The women's trail runner features the same Omni-Fit lace system as the men's. The weird looking Power Glove (seen above) has a soft leather ankle high design with velcro closures ideal for casual hikes or walks around town. Finally, the Pure Glove is a Mary Jane style Lycra mesh shoe for hanging out around town.
I hope to get a sneak peak of the Merrell Barefoot collection at OR in a couple of months so I will let you know how they look. In the meantime, what do you think of this whole minimalist, barefoot style trend? Leave your comments here or join in the lively debate going on over on the Hoka Shoes post.