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Merrell Bare Access 2 Review

edited November 2012 in Merrell
My Bare Access 2's finally got here!  Without boring you with the details, I'll tell you that I waited over a month to get these and I'm really happy to finally try them out.

I'll be updating this thread with my impressions as I go on.


  • edited November 2012
    First post in here will be some shots from last night when I unboxed and weighed them against my previous shoes.

    New hotness:


    With the old shoes:


    Here're the weigh-in shots...all shoes are Mens size 11.5D

    My old(er) GT-2160's:


    My old Mirage II's:


    Bare Access 2:


    I'm pretty sure these are the lightest shoes I've ever run in aside from my lightest set of XC/Track spikes!
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • edited November 2012
    After my first run (a little less than 3mi), I had the following impressions:

    1.) Love the lightness of the shoes
    2.) The stability overlays in the upper seen here really do a great job of holding the foot and aid in a glove-like feel
    3.) I'm getting a little bit of wear on the outsole at the tip of the shoes, probably due to my form (still trying to figure out how to lift my feet and extend my hips more)
    4.) The balls of my feet don't quite sit correctly on the midsole, as I think the shoe is about a half size too big.  The fact that I'm getting some funny wrinkles in the fabric above my toes kind of confirms that

    I'm going to try on a size 11 at the local Merrell shop, but I'm not sending these back until I'm absolutely sure that those are going to fit better.
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • Tried on the size 11 and found that it really didn't fit any better (and honestly was a little too narrow), so I ended up keeping the 11.5's.  I think I just have to live with the fact that the volume of the toebox is pretty high.
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • thanks .. keep us posted. i have a local merrell shop in the mall.. maybe they have them for me to try.. the sketchers store didnt have the GO-bionics..
  • As with ll of the Merrell Barefoot shoes the toebox will be very roomy. If you aren't used to it it can feel weird, but I'm hooked and find it very hard to go back to pointier shoes these days.

  • The problem I was having was that the high volume of the toebox was allowing the fabric to bend and touch (not scratch) my toes whenever the shoe flexed.  With about 15mi on the shoes (including my first 5K in 7 years!), I can say that it honestly doesn't cause any problems on the run, but just feels weird when I put them on at first.

    Speaking of which, it was nice to show up, warm up, race, and cool down in the same shoes for once.  Back in my XC/Track days, that of course wasn't the norm--even during road racing season (aka XC off-season).  I managed to pull in a 23:01, which I'm pretty happy with considering I had only been running for only 5 weeks or so before the race (with barely 50mi of total running) following 3 weeks of recovery from my knee/quad injury.

    I'm wondering if the wear I referenced earlier (similar to the wear seen here on the Vagabond Running review) is just normal initial wear.  Every review I've seen of the BA1 suggests that the toe area wear scuffs initially but doesn't wear much past that point over time.  This may be similar.

    Stay tuned for more as it develops!
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • I'd love to get some clarification on this one.  It seems that the forefoot (toe area) "pod" of outsole might be blown rubber.  It (the blue area) seems to be a different composition than the grey outsole. you know the answer to this question?
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • 20mi worth of running in and I'm still liking them very much.  I've had a little bit of soreness in my lower legs, but surprisingly little considering that this is my first zero-drop shoe.  The worst area of soreness is a bit of tenderness on my right shin.  I find using my GRID foam roller on my quads, hamstrings, calves, and piriformis helps a lot to maintain a generally pain/soreness-free existence.

    Here's some pictures of the toe area wear that I've had:




    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • That is kind of odd, particularly the left - maybe the blue is a different kind of rubber, not sure. Wonder if you are still compensating a bit for the quad strain?
  • The toe wear is actually less on the left foot.  Same with my old Mirages before the injury.  Trying to work on lifting my feet instead of dragging my toes.  I'm definitely toeing-off in the dead center of the shoe.
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • Hi Bryan

    Would you be able to look at my "Need help selecting shoes for running/hiking in while traveling..." comment in the general discussions as I've got a question about the Bare Access 2s and would appreciate as much feedback as possible from people who have tried them.

  • Hope my reply was helpful :-)
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • With 40mi on these shoes, here's another update:

    Finally got to run on a rainy day (or at least it rained before and after I ran).  I was pleased to find that wet-asphalt traction was excellent.

    I have had a run in the shoes on a packed gravel trail as well, and found protection to be adequate.

    In general, these shoes make running fun!  No real complaints so far, aside from perhaps Merrell's odd choice to use a weaker rubber towards the lateral toe area.
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • I have these shoes as well and have run two runs for 8 miles and these are by far and away my favorite shoe.  The wide toe box is awesome and the wet asphalt grip is excellent.  I live in the Seattle area and gripping wet asphalt is a must.   Running in them just feels effortless. 
  • Got in a run today over a leaf-covered trail (had to actually kind of guess because the path wasn't always clear), and the shoes performed as well as one might guess.  I've honestly never run trails in dedicated trail shoes--and I've run some relatively gnarly trails.  I guess there's a good reason, but I've never really seen the point.

    Long story short, these are pretty decent!
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
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