Merrell Bare Access, £75
Weight: around 255g for the pair
Pros: These are really lightweight at just 255g for the pair, but you still feel supported which is important. They look fun and are super comfortable. With a ‘zero drop’ between the height of the heel compared with the forefoot, your feet are more level and lower to the ground making these a good entry point for those interested in barefoot running, hence the name ‘Bare Access’. They’ll also work well if you cross train (mix up your running with different disciplines like gym work and classes).
Cons: The sole is pretty thick, so while it is level thanks to that ‘zero drop’ it’s not exactly like running barefoot. Merrell also has the Pace Glove, £85, which we tested. With a Vibram sole (the same as the five fingers), but without that Marmite toe separation it is ideal if you want a barefoot shoe that looks more like a trainer.
Verdict: Heavy trainers can impact on your ability to run faster and longer; this impossibly light pair are a great choice if you want to pick up the pace.