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“As we looked to design the next generation of Merrell Barefoot, we did a lot of listening and learning,” says Craig Throne, vice president of global marketing at Merrell. “We realized that the benefits of barefoot running should be leveraged to other activities where enthusiasts want a barefoot fit and ground feel but need a bit of protection. Our Merrell approach is simple, we work from the ground up knowing that the closer a runner is to his or her terrain, the better a runner’s form.”

Merrell’s new barefoot designs include styles for water sports, circuit training, and lifestyle needs.

Yogis and circuit-trainers alike will appreciate the natural motion that Merrell’s Train line of shoes encourages. The “Embark Glove” and “Sonic Glove” barefoot shoes for men offer next-to-skin protection and greater stability and sensory feedback. For women, the new “Lithe MJ Glove” provides a Mary Jane silhouette that’s tough enough for cross-training.

For water enthusiasts, Merrell has developed no less than eight models: the “Current Glove,” a water-repellent lace-up with drainage ports in the heel and toe; the “Rapid Glove,” a slip-on with an adjustable in-step webbing strap for a precise fit; the “Aqua Wrap,” a sandal with a double hook-and-loop closure; the “Battari Wrap,” an easy on-and-off sandal; the “Paciki Wrap,” a barefoot flip-flop; the “Pipidae Wrap,” which includes a three-strap closure system and secure heel; the “Hylidae Wrap,” a criss-cross strapped design with a toe loop; and the “River Glove,” a Mary Jane-style slide.

You don’t have to break a sweat to take advantage of the barefoot gait, however. Merrell’s “Edge Glove” sneaker and “Slant Glove” moccasin for men are designed so your soles land flat no matter what your speed. Choices abound for women, who can choose from the “Serene Glove,” a barefoot ballet slipper with an ankle ribbon; the “Delight Glove” casual moc; the Mary Jane-style “Wonder Glove,” the “Spirit Wrap” barefoot sandal; and the “Burst Wrap,” a barely there flip-flop.

Adventure is calling; time to rise up and meet it.

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