While we mostly review running shoes here at Run Oregon, we understand that we can’t wear them 24/7 – as much as we would like. Therefore, we are always looking for stylish, comfortable, and supportive casual footwear to help keep our feet safe and ready for the next run.
You may know Merrell as an outdoor performance and lifestyle brand who makes some pretty solid hiking and trail running footwear (stay tuned for an upcoming trail shoe review). They recently made a really cool shift to a new line of shoes – entitled the Undyed Collection, a series of simplistic, white (for now), options made from recycled and natural materials.
Compared to traditionally dyed shoes, the Undyed Collection employs recycled materials, reduces water use by 80%, and saves 50% overall energy through the production process.
These are true minimalist shoes that are surprisingly comfortable and sturdy. I have worn similar types of shoes in the past and sometimes they just feel flimsy and not worth the struggle. Not so with the Vapor Glove. While this is boasted as a “trail runner”, I personally would not venture too far out in these. However, like previously mentioned, it is sturdy and could likely hold up to most terrain considering that it’s rubber sole is made from Vibram, as well as boasting their Hyperlock TPU (this is their heel counter) which also exists in their much more technical trail shoes.
These shoes feature a stack height of 6.5mm with a 2mm lug on the bottom. It is relatively slim, so those with wider feet may not feel as supported in these. Personally, I found these quite comfortable and able to handle most shoe tasks. I have yet to take it out much on the trails (still working through some non-related foot pain), but I have gone on some easy walking hikes and they did quite well. They aren’t nearly as white anymore as these pictures show, but I think that’s the whole point. Honestly, I feel really good with these shoes – both in their fit and function, as well as feeling good environmentally about what I am putting on my feet.
There are two other options in their Undyed Line – both of which are also eco-friendly iterations of performance trail runners.
- Merrell’s Agility Synthesis
- “Renowned for its comfortable, lightweight fit and stabilizing grip, proving runners don’t need to sacrifice cushion for ground connection. Flex-grooves in the midsole are dual-directional and a rock plate protects alongside mountain-grade Quantum grip™, maintaining Merrell’s high-standard of performance footwear.”
- MTL Skyfire
- “Built for everchanging mountain trails, is durable, lightweight, and protective with everything runners require to move fast through rugged environments. A molded TPU heel counter adds extra stability and the Merrell mountain-grade Quantum Grip™ rubber outsole ensures sticky traction.”
- Vapor Glove Undyed Trainer | $90
- 100% recycled mesh upper
- 100% recycled laces
- Recycled mesh lining
- Merrell Barefoot 2 construction is designed to keep the foot in a natural position
- Vibram® TC5+ rubber sole
- Stack Height (heel/toe): 6.5/6.5mm; insole: 0mm; insole: 3mm; midsole: 0/0mm; sole: 1.5mm web, 2mm lug
- Weight: 15oz / 420g (full pair)
Thank you to Merrell for providing us with test shoes. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.