Bare Access 1 or Flux Glove Sport?

edited February 2013 in Merrell

Time for a new pair of kicks, and looking for any advice/opinions:

I started running consistently about 3.5 years ago. Over that time I moved from light stability shoes to Nike Free to NB Minimus - first the MR10 (meh) and now the 730 (like 'em). Past two years in NBs have seen me get stronger, faster, and avoid injuries. Been working on mid-forefoot striking, but it's hard to know if I'm really doing it 'right.' I need to videotape myself! My stride is maybe too short and choppy, but I'm pretty sure I avoid heel striking so long as I'm in rhythm and not too tired out.

I like the 730s quite a bit save for sometimes having to fuss with the lacing to get my heel locked down - I often lace too tight on the top of my foot and then have to stop to retie. The rubber is worn through to the midsole on both big toes after about 325 miles, which is a little disappointing, but oh well. They're simple and smooth/firm and the price is nice, too. But ... time for new shoes is always fun.

I average about 20 miles/week running 3-6 miles at a time, so it's not like I'm racking up the marathon training miles. I'd like to get back up to doing long runs of 8-10 miles, but also just had a second kid (!), so I may not have the luxury of time for long runs anytime soon :)  Also, I do 95% of my running on pavement. The trail running I've done has been awesome, and I want to do more. But I don't *need* trail shoes just yet.

I could just get another pair of 730s, but I kind of want to try zero drop - both for fun and to work on my footstrike. I think I have it narrowed down to Merrell Bare Access (1) or Flux Glove Sport. They're both on steep discount via Sierra Trading Post coupons right now, and get favorable reviews here and elsewhere, so likely I can't go wrong. 

Bare Access are lighter and "made for road running," but the Flux Gloves have less cushioning, which might theoretically help my road feel and my stride … even though they're heavier? So confusing.

Any thoughts on these or other zero/low drop options? I'd prefer to spend under $70, and have no problem with "last year's models."


  • Personally, if you're going to look at the Flux Glove, why not pick up the older Road Glove?  It's available from Running Warehouse for less than $70 (even less if you use Peter's coupon code).
  • You should also look at the Skechers shoes...the Go Bionic is a great option and you can also pick up the Go Run and the Go Run Ride for a really good price on Amazon.
  • Congratulations on the new kid. I agree with trying the Road Glove. Super fit allround, especially in the heel. Lacing much better than on 730's.
    The Go Bionic are great, but have a much more spacious fit, the heel is definitely less snug than 730's or RGlove. I've tried on a Go Run Ride, and these are not what you're looking for (in terms of stack hight and ground feel).
    Maybe the Saucony Hattori (or Hattori LC) is worth a look, too?
  • Thanks for the replies, everyone. And Pieter, thanks for the congrats :)

    Just ordered a pair of Road Gloves. Not sure how I got only Flux Glove and not RG stuck in my head, so thanks for the reminder. Excited to try 'em out.

    @Ugoland & Pieter: Depending on how I like the RGs, how much running I'm able to do over the next few months, and how much life the 730s have left in 'em, I may well check out Hattori LC and/or the Skechers along with a few others (Kinvara/Vittara come to mind) with an eye towards a two shoe rotation for Spring/Summer. Probably overkill given my actual mileage, but running shoes are a healthier vice than a few others I could see spending my cash on ...

    Thanks again, guys!
  • If you like the Flux Glove, you should like the Road Glove--they share an outsole, if I recall.

  • Posted this to another thread as well:

    So I've put in four runs in the Road Gloves since I got them. One was a mini 1/2 mile jog at the end of a regular run in my other shoes. The other three were normal-for-me three to five milers.

    So far so good and I'm liking the shoes. I noticed the arch support when I laced them up the first two times, but not at all during runs or since then. My calves were noticably working hard and a little sore during the first two runs, but felt more normal during the third and fourth. That said, I tweaked one of my calves this morning while playing with my son (jumping up and down), and I was able to run fine on it but it's been sore all day. I'm definitely acclimating to something, be it the zero drop and/or the new shoes in general.

    The gloves fit my feet a little better than the 730s did - a little snugger in a good way. At first I thought they were stiffer than the 730s, but they're not. Pretty sure what I'm feeling is the stiffness of the pavement underfoot! The gloves are less cushioned than the 730s and I can feel it - it's not harsh or bad, just not as soft. Road feel, right?

    They also breathe really well. We had a week of colder weather and I noticed it with the new shoes on. Should serve me well as I'm in Northern CA, where it never gets truly cold.

    Anyway. So far I'm liking them. And I like the black/green look, not to mention that the Vibram soles promise longer life than the NB's blow rubber. Curious to do my next run in the old shoes and feel whatever differences I feel. Mostly I'm just excited that the weather's turned so nice and I'm finding time to run!
  • I'm curious how you'll like the RG's going forward, especially as someone who is going to have to start with low miles on them.
  • So it's been 6 weeks or so now and I'm starting to build my miles back up, newborn-induced sleep deprivation be damned!

    Really liking the RGs in general. Wore them for three five milers in the past several days and while I'm tired in general, there's none of the big calf soreness like when I first got them. No hotspots or blisters, either (I haven't tried barefoot given what I've read about the heel collar).

    Of course now I'm thinking about a second, more cushioned, pair of shoes to go with these. Particularly when I get tired during that last mile, I can feel those errant heel strikes - and the ground in general - and wonder if mixing it up with something like a Virrata or Kinvara might not be nice. Tho it's not like I'm running all that much!

    Anyway ... Happy with the purchase. 
  • Virratas are great shoes, liking them a lot. A bit on the snug side so I went a half size up and they've broken in nicely. Just ran in the Kinvara 4 for the first time yesterday, same great shoe as always for me.
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