Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 4 Fitness Shoes – Review

Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 4 Fitness Shoes – Product characteristics

  • 100% Fabric or Textile
  • Imported
  • Vibram sole
  • Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch
  • Vibram TC5+
  • Merrell Barefoot 2 construction for enhanced proprioception and stability during variable movement
Merrell Men's Vapor Glove 4 Sneaker, Monument, 09.5 M US*
  • Vibram TC5+
  • Merrell Barefoot 2 construction for enhanced proprioception and stability during variable movement

Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 4 Fitness Shoes – Reviews

Smaller toe box and more narrow than previous versions

I have had at least six pairs total of all the earlier versions of the vapor glove. Each version was an improvement until version 4.This version has a visibly more narrow toe box and was immediately restricting. What a sad change to such a great shoe.

Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2019

Like wearing cottony nothing

I’m a big fan of Lems, regularly wearing Primals and Boulder Boots. Have had a few other brands of minimal shoe – softstars, xero sandals, VFFs and gave the Vapor Glove 2 a shot a couple years ago. I don’t run in these shoes; I’m a yoga guy and appreciate how much more solid my feet feel using minimals as every day shoes.The VG2 was way too narrow in the toe box, and I have just slightly narrow feet. I had read that the VG4 addressed this problem, so I was willing to give them a try. Could always send them back.They feel like magic out of the box. The Primals are really lightweight and airy, but the VG4 feels like, well, vapor. They have that classic vibram cupped heel that lets your foot play correctly (the Primals have this feature too). The ground feel is phenomenal. I imagine they would only do so much again sharp rocks, but I think for my for foot shape there’s really no closed-toe shoe that will feel less present than the VG4.My only concern is that they’re so lightweight, I’m not sure how long they will last. I don’t beat them up too bad. If they fall apart quickly I’ll come back and dock a couple stars.

Reviewed in the United States on March 30, 2019

Unfamiliar fit for a Merrell barefoot shoe

I’ve been running in Merrell barefoot shoes for over a decade, including through several 50 milers, and have taken the good with the bad as each model in the lineup has been updated. When the Trail Glove became too much shoe in its 3rd revision, I started running exclusively in Vapor Gloves.When I’d find the Vapor Glove 2 on sale, I’d buy several pairs as the uppers had a tendency to wear through by the base of the little toe. Despite the lack of durability, they were an excellent shoe and the best fit for my feet.I skipped trying the Vapor Glove 3s as the uppers seemed less durable than the 2s, and the 2s were still available for purchase.With the Vapor Glove 4 it looked like Merrell might have hit it out of the park. The weak points on the upper were reinforced and it was still properly minimal. I ordered a pair and, after a couple weeks’ use, I can’t recommend them. They do seem more durable, but the fit is just wrong. The toebox is noticeably narrower, the heel and midfoot fit is wider, and the length is about 1/2 size larger than labeled.I have narrow feet and the old shoes fit perfectly, but in this latest version my heels move around in the shoes. It’s not a length issue either — the shoes are noticeably and unfortunately wider in the heel. As for the midfoot, I’ve played with different lacing techniques and even accounted for the new semi-stretchy laces to no avail. The shoe is just shaped differently.The changes may be exactly what a good chunk of the buying public are looking for and you may very well love this shoe, but having experienced just how perfect the old version fit, this one is a disappointing miss from Merrell.

Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2019


Unfortunately I lost one of my trail glove shoes on a recent vacation and Merrell no longer makes that super light trail glove model (with wide toe box and minimalist zero structure almost like a water shoe), so I got this one. I liked construction and design, but the same size as I had before is way way too long AND way way too tight width. So I’ll be sending back.Oh where oh where is my old trail glove model??? They were the ideal light weight shoe to take in carry on luggage for travel – running, gym, etc.

Reviewed in the United States on June 24, 2019

Half size too big

Toe box is too small. The shoe seems very narrow. Not a natural fit for the human foot. Material seems good. Also I ordered a 9.5 and they fit like a 10. I might add an insole to fill in the room. So I recommend that you go half a size smaller for a true snug fit.My feet are a bit wider however the long you wear Minimalist shoes the more your feet naturally expand. These shoes are narrow clown shoes. No one has feet shaped like these.

Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2019

Great shoe overall but not for wide feet

Great minimal shoe for the price. The sole is excellent. The upper is a bit cheaper and seems like it wouldn’t as long as the sole though. My main issue is its an overall narrow shoe, especially at the arch. If you have flat feet I’d recommend a different shoe.

Reviewed in the United States on July 4, 2019

Wide forefoot,on-the-ground perfection!

I am a size 8 wide (actual foot size) and usually size up to a 9 for my running shoes (Road- Asics Nimbus). I got these to replace a totally worn out pair of New Balance Minimus. These Merrell Vapor 4 shoes looked really, really, really wide in the product pictures and I didn’t want them to look like “clown shoes” on me! In any case, I took the risk and ordered them in 9D.The shoes looked fine. The 2-D pictures do make them look wider than they actually are.Width was pleasantly snug but not tight. They did seem a little long when I first put them on, but after 12 hours of wear, I wouldn’t change the size and the length is fine. If you have a normal ‘svelte’ foot then you could likely order to actual foot size with no issue!One thing of note is that these shoes are even quieter than my worn-in Minimus shoes, so give folks fair warning if you are moving up behind them!!I am happy to be back in Merrell shoes!p.s. they were about $20 cheaper on Amazon compared to other online outlets, and about $50 cheaper than the Minimus at my local shoe shops.I think a belly slide is in order!!

Reviewed in the United States on August 24, 2019

Plantar Fasciitis

I was looking for a pair of decently priced barefoot shoes to help build up my plantar. I suffer from plantar faciitis and wear supportive insoles in most of my shoes. I wear these on weekends to help strengthen my natural arch as I have heard wearing insoles with support can weaken your arch over time. These shoes are well made and fit perfectly. I do have a narrow foot so if your foot is more wide then I don’t know if these would be as comfortable. For me, they are great.

Reviewed in the United States on April 15, 2022
Merrell Men's Vapor Glove 4 Sneaker, Monument, 09.5 M US*
  • Vibram TC5+
  • Merrell Barefoot 2 construction for enhanced proprioception and stability during variable movement

Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 4 Fitness Shoes – FAQ

Would you suggest this shoe for a road marathon or just trail running?

As with any barefoot style shoe, they take time to get used to. Work yourself up to hardtop running. Start small. I trained for and ran the Army Ten Miler in barefoot shoes 3 times with no issues.

Can you fit a small arch support insert in this?

Yes you can insert arch support, or just wear thick socks and you’ll be fine. Myself the reason I do choiced the VG because cannot wear a rigid or shoes with pointy toe box / and thick sole.

Do you wear socks with these?

Yes, I only ever wear socks with these (never barefoot) and they’re just fine. I don’t have particularly wide feet so the wide toe box doesn’t do much for me. I wear a medium thickness sock; the sock helps my foot conform better to the shoe interior, fwiw. If you find they’re snug with socks for you, you could get a thin/sport-type sock that may help.

How does the shape of these feel compare to vapor glove 3 or last year’s vapor glove 4? i loved the 3 but couldn’t stand last year’s version of the 4.

They feel good in comparisson to the vapor glove 3 but still different. The lugged tread on the forefoot and toe box really dig in to whatever your walking on and as a consequence imo do not feel as nice walking on pavement (feet are too grippy on textured concrete) but thats a personal preference. They’re better off pavement for a sure footed feel and I’d venture to say they might feel better on pavement to some due to the lugs adding a mild amount of padding compared to the VG3. not much has changed since the first version of the VG4 though mostly mild differences like changes in construction. The welt and bond to the sole overal is better and seem more durable, they have lasted longer than my first vaporglove (vg3) and the other two pairs of old style (VG4)

what happened if You use this shoes in water no stink ?

Hi. I run on the beach a bunch with local 5k races. Shoe never really smelled it just started to breakdown after awhile with the salt water I guess. The rubber sole and shoe eventually separated. Great shoe though

How is the fit compared to the Trail Glove 5? Thanks!

I dont have issues of all the vapor series including luna leather. But i dont like the Vapor Moves sport any of those shoes.

i wear a EEEE, how do i select or know what width these are?

These have an ability to allow your toes to spread out. I break mine in and then it’s like they aren’t there. I wear wide shoes/boots. I have a short boxy foot like a hobbit and these are almost all I wear. Leather is better though for durability and for breaking them into your exact foot shape👍

I wear 10.5 in sneakers usually. Should I get the same size or half size larger?

Same size. I too wear 10.5 and mine fit great.

what is the availability date for Merrell vapor glove 4 in size 13 color: Dragonfly?

no clue bro, best of luck. Check REI as they carry these as well.

I wear 10.5 in sneakers usually. Should I get the same size or half size larger?

I wear a 12 in running shoes, usually for running you want a half size larger than your regular daily shoe. I wasn’t sure with these kind of shoes… I order a 12 and it was too large. I got 11.5 and they are just about right. 11’s might be too small. If i were you, i would start at 10.5 and see what you get. I think they are true to size.

Merrell Men's Vapor Glove 4 Sneaker, Monument, 09.5 M US*
  • Vibram TC5+
  • Merrell Barefoot 2 construction for enhanced proprioception and stability during variable movement

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