b*loves :: trail running and merrell barefoot


As I mentioned in this post, my mom and I did some hiking while on the North Shore. On Saturday morning, we were making our way along the Superior Hiking Trail, between Lutsen Resort and Moose Mountain, when we happened upon some runners…




Not just one or two, but several–with mud streaked up their legs, scratches on their arms and sweat dripping off their bodies. This tough group of athletes was tearing up the trail, looking fit and strong. Hiking the Superior Trail is a challenge. Running it? Well, I had never considered that it was even an option. But here were these people, racing through the woods–strong, fit, dirty, sweaty, healthy, and making me so very jealous.

I’ve done some running in the past; one marathon, two halfs, and a few other races. But let’s be honest, I hate road running. I would rather stab myself in the eye with a pencil than lace up and go run some boring paved trail, road, highway or byway. Put me on a trail though, and it’s a whole different story. There is something about trail running that appeals to me on a much deeper level than road running. I love the woods. I love flying past trees on a tight little trail, and being forced to pay close attention to the placement of each step (one missed step and you trip and fall on rocks and roots). It’s a technical, challenging, engaging, adrenaline-pounding adventure. And it’s something I want to do more of.


Obviously footwear choice is important in trail running. I’ve been doing a bit of reading, and am attracted to the Merrel Barefoot shoes. First of all, I grew up barefoot. Who needs shoes when you have awesome calluses? That was pretty much my philosophy ’till I was about 13. Secondly, in the past, I’ve had trouble finding good running shoes that don’t mess with my stride. I over-pronate, so I’ve always gotten shoes to correct that. But really? Why? I love the Merrell philosophy behind these shoes. It’s all about strengthening and realigning your body to its natural gait. Yes please, sign me up, thank you ma’am! I’m eying the Merrell Barefoot Pace Glove for my trail running adventures, and I am pretty crazy about the Merrell Barefoot Pure Glove for everyday wear.

Now, all I need to do is scrap together enough pennies to afford these shoes, annd then find a trail near where I live. Wish me luck!

  1. Jessie says:


    I just moved to Minneapolis and do a fair amount of barefoot running. I’ve just been running around the lakes but do you know of any great trails? I’m willing to drive a little to get to get to a good trail especially on the weekends. I love that you actually did a post on running! Love it. Thanks


  2. Bethany says:

    Hey Jessie! I have heard great things about the trails at Hyland Park in Bloomington. Actually, several of the Three Rivers Parks have unpaved trails I think. I have yet to actually explore them, but they’re first on my list to check out!

    p.s. Welcome to the ‘hood! :)

  3. Jessie says:

    Awesome! Thank you!

  4. Nathalie says:

    I have the pace gloves and LOVE them. I have always struggled with finding a pair of shoes that I can run in and that dont make my feet scream. The pace gloves are amazing. The Adidas Marathon 10 shoes are also awesome (for paved trails).

  5. Hope says:

    To be honest…I’m feeling like I live under a rock after reading this post! With that said, I’m totally inspired to give this a try! EVERYTHING about it seems appealing to me.
    I am so excited! Thanks for the post.

  6. Maren says:

    Happy to see you posting on running and barefoot! I have a pair of Vibram FiveFingers that are great for trail running and also the Merrell Pace Glove. But, be careful and spend some time easing into them! I now have a stress fracture in my left foot :( Merrell has some good tips for transitioning on their website.

  7. i’ve recently started running and have pretty much stuck to the roads, but you make trail running sound glorious! so maybe i’ll try that soon. living in New Hampshire makes it really easy to find trails. =) thanks for this post!

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