Top critical review
Most comfortable shoe I've ever owned...but I returned them.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 July 2020
I start a review with 5 stars in mind, presuming I get exactly what I hoped for and knocking a star off for each objective fault I found with the product.
Firstly, these shoes feel amazing on my feet! They are almost unbelievably comfortable and I can honestly say that I can't see a way back to wearing 'normal' trainers or shoes. These are my first, high-end barefoot shoes and I the difference is night and day between my 'beginner' shoes--some cheap water shoes I got from Amazon (see my other reviews). My feet are 28 and 28.5 cm long from heel to big toe and I got the UK size 10. They fit perfectly and were so snug and supportive and wrapped around my foot like a snug fajita! The feel was great and I got plenty of feedback from the floor, but stepping on sharp rocks in my front garden didn't hurt, although I could definitely feel they were sharp.
So why did I send them back? Above all, the shoe started to fall apart after only four days (see pic). It's a small hole, but you can't see that after four days and not think that that entire toe section is going to rapidly come undone. Just to be clear, I wasn't hiking around in these in those four days: I went to the shops and back a few days and walked around the open space behind my house. I went for all of one, 10-minute jog, so not heavy abuse at all.
Second to that, and the reason for the other star getting knocked off is the design. You can't wear these with casual clothes as the design is laughable. It looks like a teenager designed these with the camo uppers. Yes, I was aware of the design when I bought them, but I had heard such good things about the fit and feel, and these were the only barefoot shoes within my price range, I was willing to let the design slide UNTIL I saw that the mono-coloured ones, that you could wear with casual clothes are about £80! They are ostensibly the same shoe, except they don't look ridiculous! Being poor is expensive, as they say, and I can't afford to have one pair of shoes each for sports and casual wear; I expect to be able to more in just one pair of shoes and if you're even just a little bit concerned with having people stare at your feet and wonder if you're about to go scale Ben Nevis, these shoes aren't for you. The grey versions are the most modest type in my size, but they are just too garish. I can't imagine anyone who would buy the vile lime green versions.
I ended up returning these and spending £60 on a used pair of VivoBarefoot shoes on eBay. The Vivo's have held up well and look semi-decent (they are all black, so not the most fashionable things, but WAY better than the Merrells).
IF YOU'RE NEW TO BAREFOOT SHOES: The Merrell shoes are much comfier than Vivo barefoot shoes and are more of a true fit: My feet are 28.5cm (UK 10) and the Vivo size UK 10 (which I was advised to get by the Vivo website) pinch at the toe a little.
I hope that helps you make a decision! If it does, please leave a like!