Merrell Bare Access XTR
The Merrell Bare Access XTR is one of Merrell's minimalist mountain running options. It is a minimalist intermediate trail shoe with a low profile, 17.2 mm. sole height, and 3 mm. studs that allow optimal grip and traction thanks to its Vibram TC5+ sole. It retains a 0 mm. drop, good flexibility and sufficient toe space, so that the natural movement of the foot is guaranteed in every stride. The midsole by FLEXconnect™ allows for efficient transfer of feeling from the ground to the foot, for fast reaction time and improved agility and stability.
Upper and inner
For the upper part, a malleable and breathable mesh treated with M Select FRESH is used to ensure good ventilation and odour control. The outer mesh is made of nylon reinforced with TPU elements and synthetic material. The TPU is used as nerves to give body to the central part of the shoe, both on the outside and on the inside. The synthetic material has been used to reinforce the toe, protect the toes and improve durability. The heel has no buttresses and all it uses to shape the shoe is a light cushioning and the same synthetic material used in the toe.
The interior is fully lined and has no removable insole. They are suitable for use without socks, with an inner lining that does not leave a seam exposed, so it will be very difficult for it to cause chafing. The mesh in contact with the foot is breathable and treated to avoid bad odours.
The size does not vary from previous Merrell Bare Access models, so we can use the same size. We can also measure our foot length and use the Caliper you will find in this store next to the size selector. For more information on which size to choose read the following link.
For the fit we have used a classic semi-rounded lace system with a slightly padded tongue. The Merrell Bare Access XTR fits snugly in the midfoot, closing the fit in that area and freeing the toe area, so the toe can move in the right direction without extra work.
It is made up of an EVA midsole FLEXconnect™ with grooves for greater bi-directional flexibility, which favors agility and stability, and which provides comfort and protection, but whose characteristics allow the foot to feel the ground and respond quickly, allowing for good proprioception. It does not have an anti-impact plate.
The rubber in contact with the ground is Vibram® TC5+ to give it a lot of grip and durability. This sole has polygonal lugs of different sizes, 4 mm. high, with little separation between them, and transversal flexion bands in the front area of the shoe. Since the movement of the big toe is independent from the rest of the toes, there is also a flexion band that separates both areas, to influence the foot's movements as little as possible.
Use and Recommendation
The Merrell Bare Access XTR is a minimalist shoe for running on mountains and technical roads, although we can also get by with them on asphalt and compact roads.
Given its thickness of sole we consider it an intermediate minimalist shoe, since it contributes a good protection, but it conserves the rest of minimalist characteristics.
- It can be used by cushioned runners who want a 0 drop shoe, with a wide last in the front, with a tight weight and good protection.
- For runners who wish to progressively switch to a natural, less damaging running technique
- For minimalist runners who are looking for a minimalist shoe for long runs on mountains or paths, and for those who want to compete with more protection without giving up the width of the last, drop 0, good flexibility and without any kind of foot control system