Barefoot Shoe Review – Merrell Trail Glove, Xero Prio, New Balance Minimus

barefoot shoe review

Barefoot shoe review! Video is below.

If you’re interested in “natural living”, and hopefully you are…then, at some point, you need to let your feet be free!

Your toes need to spread, your 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments need to MOVE and adapt to terrain and give all that wonderful input to your brain. (good functional input like this blocks pain!)

The back side of your legs need to lengthen to avoid heel pain, plantar fascitis, low back pain, and more.

And ultimately, your bare feet need to connect to the ground to get the amazing benefits of the earth’s free electrons like, reducing inflammation, relaxing tense muscles, improving sleep, and more.

But when you just can’t walk around barefoot, then it’s the new technology of barefoot shoes to the rescue.

I’ve been on the hunt lately for a new pair to replace my New Balance Minimus and found the Xero Prio, ordered them, and loved the feel but could not get the right size for my crazy 13.5 size (nobody makes that size!).

So I ended up trying the Merrell Trail Glove and took them out for a test drive on trail #1 at Charlestown Park this past weekend.

I had to hack them a little to get the right fit, but I really like them!

If you’d like, you can walk with me and spend a little time hanging out on a rock at the spring as I share my thoughts.

I also share some precautions when you’re just getting into minimal type shoes.

If you’ve got any insights or experience with minimal type, zero drop, barefoot shoes, please leave a comment under the video, OK?

Keep it natural,

Dr. H.


  1. I used to love my minimus shoes. But as I’ve aged, the disks in my spine have shrunk. Now, I make up for lost padding in my spine with padding in my shoes. Even Vibram Five Fingers makes a few models with level padded shoes. That padding lets me walk for hours without pain. Barefoot or minimus no longer works for me.

  2. Hey Doc, Thanks for the video on merrll’s brand. I guess we could say you give beautiful foot-age! LOL 😉 I bought a pair of vivobarefoot’s exclusive city socks that I have been slowly working my way into. They are zero drop and super light way. As a city-dweller the hard concrete takes some getting use to though. And that’s even the case with years of wearing the vibrate five finger shoes and socks. Here’s more information on the city socks, just in case your interested in looking at them!,q80


    per erez. C-IAYT, E-RYT 500
    First Person Healing Arts Studio
    Chicago IL

    • That’s the trouble with modern landscapes. All too flat. Looking forward to trying some vivobarefoot when I can find the right size.

      Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi, I had a pair of Merrell Pace Glove the new versions are getting more and more rigid. You must check out INNOV -8 Bare xf-210. The good thing about these over others like Merrell is that they have no arch support so that your feet learn to build it instead. Feet are much more stable on the ground and they are soooo comfortable like well fitted slippers.

    Best choice ever.

  4. Hey Dr. H.

    Kristina the Aussie motorcyclist living in London here

    Hi… long time no chat for me on here! But getting back in to it! Have had a year long struggle with plantar fasciitis and a heel spur which is now on the mend with injections. Listened to the podcast re orthotics on your site and realised that I have been wasting my muscles away for most of my life. Back to basic foot exercises set out in your website…. thanks for your continued education on this! Barefoot shoes are still a bit down the track for me I think however….

    • Yes back to basics with toe spreading, short foot, etc. In addition, focus on the hamstring reach exercise to make some space in your whole posterior chain of fascia.

      You can start with just a more cushioned zero drop like one of the Altra shoes. Their site does a good job of guiding you to the right shoe.

      Good to hear from you, Kristina.

  5. I’ve been wearing Vibram FiveFingers for all my shoe wear for 7 years now … they saved my feet. I started ballroom & swing dancing a year earlier, and no matter what shoes I’d wear, my feet would start hurting after an hour or so. I’d also observe other dancers in foot pain … they’d take off their shoes to rest their feet, and OMG, they had hammer toes bunions, would suffer planter fastitus, etc etc etc, and had horribly deformed, UGLY feet … I wanted NONE OF THAT. I was starting to get serious foot issues … numb toes, Morton’s neuroma, ingrown & problem toenails, pain, could only dance a short period of time. I was out hiking & saw a friend wearing these “crazy toe shoes,” so he filled me in, Vibrams, said they were wonderful, and I learned thru reading, wearing shoes is like wearing a cast after a broken bone … our muscles atrophy, ligaments weaken, etc etc etc, so I bought a pair of Classic Vibram FiveFingers for dance & dress, a sports Vibram for outdoors & hiking, worked up into wearing them all day, starting a couple hours a day & increasing, to build up my muscles … within 3 WEEKS my feet were healed and back to normal. I can dance all night (I attach leather to the soles for dance, as they’re siped soles, so stick to the dance floor), my toenail damage healed in the time it took to grow them out, I NEVER had another problem with hangnails or even a slight hangnail pain since my toes were NEVER scrunched together ever again, and after all these years, my toes have a natural space between them, since the “fingers” keep them apart. I buy Spyridons or a sport Vibram with a thicker sole & tread for trails or any hiking … Classics are thin soled, so you feel every rock, unlike the sport shoes. I put a LOT of miles on my dance Classics every week, and they still last for years … in 7 years, I’ve only had to buy 2 pairs of Classics, which I wear most of the time AND for all dance. I can’t say enough good about Vibram FiveFingers.

    Vibram FiveFinger’s link for women’s minimalist shoes

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