Party on the White Line and a Merrell Pace Glove Review

Took the Pace Gloves for another test drive.
So I fell off the paleo wagon and was just a wee bit naughty this weekend. I made up for it though. Well.. sort of. I actually completed my workovers for the week AND got a nice trail run in. Trail running with good friends always leads to a bit of a celebration at the end. And today, after Cindy and I took a little running tour around the lake we met our husbands back at the bar... er... car. Oops. Did I just say bar? Damn. You caught me. That's right. We did a short run of about 4.4 miles and then stopped at the bar for some bloody marys. Needless to say, it was a good run. Here's some very low quality video from today.

I got to try out my Merrell Pace Gloves again today. Wow. I got an even better chance to really get a feel for these. My feet were very comfortable in them and I had LOTS of room to wiggle my toes. There was no pressure on my individual toes or heel like I get in my Vibrams. When I first tried these I wasn't so sure I was sold, but after a few runs on the trails I have discovered something that has made a huge difference. At first I tied the laces somewhat snug, but it didn't allow my foot to flex and flatten and I found myself very unstable in them. Just loosening the laces made a world of difference. I make sure to barely (if at all) tighten the laces now. I think what this does is allow my foot to conform to the surface of the ground better similar to when I run completely barefoot. I like that. And so far, I really like the shoes. 

But fun aside, don't be fooled. The Merrell Pace Gloves are not even remotely close to actual barefoot running and if you call them a barefoot shoe to my face I will laugh at you. And probably loudly. Really? A barefoot shoe? Seriously people. Barefoot shoe is an oxymoron. There is no such thing no matter how much marketing you put behind it. And if you dare to create a "Barefoot Division" at one of your races... ahem... MERRELL MUD RUN SERIES... then you better damn well accept the real thing. (BLOG UPDATE: I stand corrected in my naive assumption that Merrell has any say or influence in this as the decision is made by the race directors as Jason Robillard points out below.) And for those of you who don't have a clue about what I'm talking about, The Merrell Mud Run Series is having their first ever "Barefoot Division" this year. But it will only be open to people who wear minimal shoes. Did you hear that? Shoes. Not real barefoot runners, which is really stupid if you want my humble opinion. For fuck's sake, call it what it is! Its a shoe division! It should be called the Minimalist Shoe Division. And if you use the word "barefoot" then let the real barefoot runners have a crack at it and decide for themselves what they are capable of. And don't hide behind a shitty liability flag either. Have them sign a waiver. If I remember correctly we had to sign a waiver anyway. Really? Come on people. Barefoot runners exist. You can't ignore us.

Whew. I think I better have a drink now. Those bloody marys are sounding good again.

Our Bloody Marys
What's that? Beer?
Deep, cleansing breaths... I'm feeling much better already.

So after our little bar break we continued on to the "party on the white line" where our husbands were having their own post mountain biking beer and snacks session. We kicked back and chilled for a bit enjoying the cool but beautiful weather. Awwyeahh. Run Smiley all the way!
That would be the white line.

That would be two crazy bitches after the Bloody Marys and the beer.

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This post is part of the  Run:) collective.


  1. Merrell Gloves are my absolute favorite SHOES these days. My favorite barefoot attire are my soles.
    Those bloody Marys look very tempting. Can you send some my way?

  2. The "barefoot shoe" idea is something industry analysts started using to differentiate between what they called "minimalist shoes" and what we call "minimalist shoes." My take- this is an opportunity to spread the word to a group that is otherwise impossible to reach. Spammy thing to do, but I explain it here:

    Re: the barefoot division issue- that call was made by the race directors, not Merrell. They just sponsor the race. Merrell is currently trying to convince them to open it to actual barefoot runners. They're on our side. ;-) I'd encourage everyone to contact the race directors (not Merrell) and tell them about races you've successfully run barefoot. That will help convince them that it is perfectly safe. The race directors are Michael Epstein Sports Productions, Inc., you can reach them here: (the contact name is Brittany Bowles.)

  3. Very cool, Jason!! Thanks for the info. That's totally helpful. When I contacted Down and Dirty about this I thought that the woman who responded was from Merrell. That was my bad. Turns out they are MESP, Inc. I seriously didn't mean to smack talk Merrell. Still hoping they'll open it up. Seems a little silly to me.

  4. As it turns out... I had a chance to check out Jason's link above, but have no clue how to comment on his blog. Ha! Go figure. He makes some very good points about how the term "barefoot shoes" helps the barefoot cause rather than hinders it. Hopefully others will find his info helpful as well. I know I did. Perspective is good.

    In all honesty though, I would probably opt for shoes at a race like this, but shoes have messed me up from time to time. Why should I be required to run in them if I find it difficult to wear them.

    In the back of my mind, I always have my bare feet to fall back on. If I'm ever in a race situation where I feel like I need to ditch the shoes to finish the race its nice to know I have that option. I'm just sayin'...

  5. That's why you start with them on and take them off when you're around the corner. Kind of like pretending to go to your room when you where 15....then climbing out the window. Come on...I know you did that!!

  6. BF Newbie - hahahaha! I like the way you think! Yeah. You're right. Rules probably wouldn't stop me. Its the principal though, dammit!

  7. @ BF Newbie - And you do know me, don't you! Ha! Great to see you posting here!


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