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Merrell Bare Access 2 Review



  • I had to transition slowly from 4mm to 0 drops.  By slowly it was only a mile per run in the zero drops for a week and then switch back to my old shoes for the rest of the run.  The second week I'd up that a bit and so forth.

  • I think my transition is pretty much finished, but I pretty much went cold from a 4mm shoe to these.  I was only running like 2mi per run, though.
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • Thanks for the advice and everything guys. To bring this discussion back to the BA2s, I have to say that, injuries aside, the shoes felt real good on my first run. Like an extension of my own feet, which is what you always look for.
  • Actually, Pete, one question: do you think GoRuns are OK to use while I work back into minimal shoes, or should I look for something more traditional?
  • Bryan, I have a question about the fabric on the toebox that feels weird to you. Is it right above your big toe, just in front about an half inch or so in front of the first lace? I got a pain in my left toe on my third run in BA2s, which I though was from overcompensating for another injury (might still be), but I've been walking around in them today and notice that there is a seam in that area from where the tongue is sewn on. I'm thinking that might be part of the problem, but I'm not sure.

  • I don't think so (I haven't worn mine since last Saturday, so I can't remember off the top of my head).  I normally have problems with high-volume toeboxes because the fabric tends to flex down right on top of the area where my toes and feet meet.
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • Thanks, Bryan. I've never experienced that before, but the material on the BA2 where my toes and feet meet is pretty stiff, so I wonder if that's the issue. Only time will tell, I guess.
  • 2nd pair has just under 20mi on it.  Still an awesome shoe.  No real complaints, but then again I didn't have any in the first place aside from the blown rubber pad in the forefoot.

    I went to my local Merrell retailer and was surprised to find two things:

    1.) Apparently Wolverine International (who own Merrell) bought Saucony.  I found that out when I asked why they were suddenly carrying Saucony's 0mm and 4mm offerings.
    2.) When I mentioned the defect on my BA2's, the associate told me that Merrell had apparently had a recall.  I guess I wasn't the only one who'd had that problem!
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • I just bought a pair of Bare Access Arc 2's today and will update how they feel. I'm replacing my inov-8 trailrocs which now have a hole by my right pinky toe and another one developing by my left pinky toe after 245km. The inov-8's are definitely too narrow and seem a bit tighter since my feet have gotten bigger(?!).
  • That'll be helpful.  We could use more reviewers, and a female reviewer would be bonus fries :-)
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • Funny you mention your feet getting bigger.  Since I went minimalist shoes almost two years ago last ski season my ski boots were killing me.  I went to a really good boot shop when I was at Whistler and the guy helping me had on Five Fingers.  I explained my problem and he said oh heck yeah your feet have gotten bigger since you went with minimalist running shoes!
  • That would explain why my Mirage 2's stopped fitting me in the toe-box towards the end of my time with them.
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • The sad part is that my Birkenstock Basel clogs are getting narrow!! (Narrow footbed; I have Birkenstock Bosto˜clogs with the regular footbed that still fit)
  • The Bare Access Arc 2's were firm like my Saucony Type A5 and Mizuno Wave Musha 4's on my 6km run, but they had more room in the forefoot and didn't cause any bunion pain on the right foot. The midfoot and heel were snug and glove like which I liked even though I felt some arch support because my feet felt stable and this was the type of shoe that Gord (from Gord's Running Store) said would be good for my  plantar fasciitis. 

    My calves don't feel any worse for wear so I think I could transition into the BAA2's for my half marathon at the end of April, but I am solely a forefoot runner who doesn't heel strike no matter what type of shoe now (the snowy footprints don't lie).  I have also been running in minimal shoes with a 3-4mm drop since August 2011.
  • Sounds like you're off to a good start.  Keep us up to date!
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
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