Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner – Review

Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner – Product characteristics

  • 100% Textile and Synthetic
  • Imported
  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch
  • TrailProtect pad offers additional support off road
  • Vibram TC5+ outsole
  • Mesh and TPU upper
Merrell Men's Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner, Molten Lava, 14 M US*
  • Mesh & TPU upper
  • Trailprotect pad for underfoot protection
  • Breathable mesh lining

Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner – Reviews

Cheap pieces of crap, such a shame

Let me start by saying that I had a previous pair of shoes from this series, which are now discontinued, and they were by far the best shoes I have ever owned. They were so great that I wore them daily for near 3 years until they practically disintegrated. When I finally had to give them up, I was convinced Merrell would deliver another quality product so I went straight for these. These shoes have so much potential but are marred by terrible build quality.I’ll start with the positive(s). The color and design are nice, really eye-catching. Lots of compliments from people never having seen them before and asking about where I got them. Lightweight and comfortable for people who like shoes that don’t offer much support.Now for the bad…When I first opened them up, I was surprised to see visible glue seams that bond the upper and sole together on the exterior of the material. They are prominent on both shoes and are really unsightly if anyone takes more than a passing glance at your feet. Getting past that, I have to say that I was not a fan of the fit at first, but this is comparing them to the earlier version I owned. As a stand alone shoe the comfort is acceptable. Regardless they do feel extremely light and I was curious how long they would last considering the questionable build quality.To my (not so much) surprise, after about 3 months of semi-daily use they did start to fall apart – but not at the seams! The material ripped wide open in the middle of the fabric! (On both shoes) What kind of cheap material is this that it can’t withstand daily walking? (I don’t run in these, only occasionally wear them to work and gym) I know some people will think it is because I have wide feet but I definitely do not. I’m a standard size and have had a few pairs of custom dress shoes made so I know my measurements well.I was really upset by this not so much because of the cheap shoes, but because I thought I had finally found a shoe that worked for me. The earlier gloves I owned were so comfortable and well made that I really thought I’d be wearing this brand the rest of my life. Oh well, on to the next one.

Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2018

Nice feel, disappointing quality

I really enjoy the feel of moving in the Vapor Glove 3’s. The lack of hardly any material between you and the ground makes me feel more planted, not to mention has greatly increased the strength of my ankles and knees. Apart from the size 13 being a bit too roomy in the toe area (I tried size 12’s but they were too small), there is nothing about the fit of the shoes that I dislike.Unfortunately, however, about one week into using the Vapor Gloves on a semi-daily basis, I began to notice the sole of the right shoe coming apart. The same thing began to happen on the left shoe as well in approximately the same place (towards the front where the shoe creases to allow your toes to bend up). I have only been using the Vapor Gloves moderately in a gym setting, not even having taken them out on the trails yet. I’m afraid with continued use the soles will only continue to come apart and the shoes will eventually become useless.I very much want to like these shoes, as I’m happy with my performance in them, but this type of shoddy quality was not what I expected in a higher-end trail runner. If Merrell fixes this problem I will gladly give the Vapor Gloves another chance, likely in a size 12.5 for a better fit.

Reviewed in the United States on August 17, 2017

Initially fine, but failing after a few months just like the VG 2.

Update 3/25/18.These too are tearing just like the 2 pairs of VG 2’s I have. The reinforcements @ ball of the foot inner side did not extend up enough, if they did it might prevent this. Merrell is replacing them under warranty, but I am unclear if those will be warrantied also. I expect them to be.Where the ball of the foot flexes inside the mesh forms a crease to a point and that is where both left and right are failing.I like the idea of these shoes but as for their execution as they are constructed …. well …. I’m all for it. ! ;-)——————————————–So far so good. Yes, they are a few mm’s thicker than the Vapor Glove 2, but in my case wearing them in a cold climate I find that my feet don’t feel the cold quite as much, so okay for now. But please Merrell, don’t make them any thicker than these as then they’d no longer be as flexible and supple, which is the purpose of the Vapor Glove shoes in the first place. If anyone complains about this shoe being “too thin” or “hard” etc., they simply had no idea what they were buying. These are not unlike but a few available shoes currently, and that’s a wonderful thing ! I do like these very much !Too early to comment on durability and the effectiveness of the reinforcements.(see above)

Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2017

My favorite shoes!!!

I usually don’t write reviews unless something extremely good (or bad) happens with a product, and in this case, my experience has been nothing but amazing!!! From the point I unboxed these shoes up until now, I can not stop looking at them! I have literally worn these shoes everyday. And no matter how I wear them they look great. I’ve worn them casually with jeans, as well as, with athletic gear for my weekly runs/workouts. However, I will say that they run a bit large, but in my case, I’m actually glad. I usually wear a size 9 and these fit like a 9.5. But it actually feels good. The shoes have extra holes toward the top for the shoe laces that allow the shoes to be tied tight so that they fit snug around your ankles. So even with the extra little space at the end, my feet feel very comfortable and secure. I’ve had a pair of Merrell Men’s All Out Terra Trail Running Shoe, which were good shoes, but didn’t feel as light weight and comfy as these. I’m at the point where I’ve decided to buy another pair just to have incase these become unavailable like some of the other models have. All in all, I couldn’t be any happier with these shoes!**Side Not**Don’t allow the negative reviews to deter you from purchasing these shoes. There will always be products that have a few mistakes coming from the manufacturer. Neither people nor machines are perfect. Better to take a chance with the option of returning them for another pair (or a refund) rather than missing out on these shoes due to someone else’s experience.

Reviewed in the United States on March 9, 2019
Merrell Men's Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner, Molten Lava, 14 M US*
  • Mesh & TPU upper
  • Trailprotect pad for underfoot protection
  • Breathable mesh lining

Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner – FAQ

How does the sizing compare to the Vapor Glove 2?

I wore a 9 in the original vapor glove and also in the vapor glove 2. 9 was way too small in the vapor glove 3.

Should my toe be touching the toe box. First time ever buyn shoes like this, so I don’t know how much room should be between tooe and the of the shoe

Regarding sizing, they do fit larger (though according to the Merrell foot length/shoe size chart, these are true-to-size). While the bare access 4’s and bare access flex fit the same as my other shoes (Altras, Brooks, Newton, New Balance), and the trail glove 4’s fit about a half size larger than my regular shoes, the vapor glove 3’s fit about a half-to-whole size larger. My impression is Merrell deliberately sized them larger than their other shoes (particularly in the toe area), so as to allow natural expansion of the foot which may happen over time when running in shoes the more “barefoot” they are. I certainly experienced this in my first 7 mile run in them, as when i tried my trail glove 4’s after running in my Vapor Glove 3’s, my toes were touching the toe guard. I usually hesitate from sizing down, because even when i wear my size or half size smaller in many shoes, I often experience toe-bleeding, but not the case with these. My guess is that the reviews complaining of premature tearing in the forefoot area of the upper may have to do with customers purchasing them without sizing down, which causes the shoe to bend where it is not reinforced or designed to bend as much. A whole size down would give a more snug fit and lighter shoe, though going a half size down still allows a supportive fit. I’m not sure how the sizing differential scales up with larger sizes, but I’d recommend 1/2 size smaller. And as a usual disclaimer with barefoot and minimalist running shoes, if you are new to barefoot running, take the necessary precautions (i.e. start off with lower mileage, to give your body time to adjust, and focus on proper running form such as proper cadence and foot placement).

How would these shoes do for lifting?

I use them and they work well, completely flat so it is like you are standing in your socks. There is zero support for your ankles though. Also, if you happen to drop a weight or have a mishap around your feet with one, there isn’t any protection for you feet as they are super thin shoes.

I had the uppers on my vapor glove 2s tear near the sole after a couple months. is the vapor glove 3 any more durable in this department?

I had the same problem on my Vapor Glove 2’s- I’ve only had the 3’s a few weeks but they are much more sturdily built. We’ll see if we have any tearing issues like the 2’s did.

Is this women or mens shoes ?

That is one of the men’s color options. The women’s Vapor Glove has a bit lighter colors. Honestly, though, it doesn’t really matter. It depends for what you are looking. If you are a male and want a certain color and have a thinner foot, you can go with the women’s shoes (if they have your size). Vice versa, if you are a female looking to get a color the men’s shoes provide and have a bit wider foot (or enjoy the feel of a little wider shoe), there is nothing wrong with getting a men’s color/size shoe.

stack height is 6.6mm v 5.5mm in Vapor 2, is there any removable insole in this shoe?

No removable insole

I always wear a 10.5 in Nike free. What size should I biy?

I buy a half size smaller than what I’ve typically worn in both Nike and Adidas.

I am not to familiar with reading shoe specs. are these zero heel / toe drop? thanks : )

I am not an expert either however they are the lightest most comfortable shoe I have ever owned. It feels like a barefoot with light protection for your sole with adaquate space for your toes. There is arch support with natural feel for you heel and toe. They do run about a half size larger from my shoe buying experience. Will definitely buy a second pair. Hope this is helpful.

Any women buy these shoes? I know theyre mens but

I have 2 pair and love them and bought the men’s because I wear 11.5 and men’s seem to wear better always

will these work on my product?

Depends on what your product is? They initially were good shoes but the mesh material deteriorated within 6 months of use. There are now holes in my shoes in the inner side and holes beginning to develop on the out side.

Merrell Men's Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner, Molten Lava, 14 M US*
  • Mesh & TPU upper
  • Trailprotect pad for underfoot protection
  • Breathable mesh lining

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