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Minimalist “Barefoot” Shoes for Wide Feet

Posted by on Mar 8, 2012 | 10 Comments

Just a quick note about minimalist shoe options- lots of people ask me about a shoe for people with wide feet.   After receiving a slew of requests, Merrell is releasing a wide version of the Trail Glove and Pace Glove, available here:

Trail Glove

and here:

Pace Glove

Feel free to share with any wide-footed friends.  🙂

The Barefoot Runners Society

Also, in case you missed it, the Barefoot Runners Society forums are up and running at the new URL:



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  1. Chris Moffett
    March 8, 2012

    Nick, there is something of an “arch” there,(look at a footprint rather than the outline of a foot) in varying degrees, but you are right, I think, that that’s none of an off-the-rack shoe’s business. It just creates false problems. (You can’t take a variable pattern of pressure and extrapolate it to a 3D wrap held at a distance above the ground.)

    Jason, I wonder if you have any thoughts on why, no matter how “wide” things get, no shoe that I have seen seems to think that the big toe might do anything other than tuck in? (Five Fingers being a whole different dilemma…)

    • Nick
      March 8, 2012

      I wish I knew how to add a picture because I have one of my footprint(it’s on my avatar on the BRS website under NickW). Mine ever so slightly goes in on the outside edge, although it’s barely perceptible and is almost perfectly straight. Their shoes on the other hand, go in drastically. Like I said the Bare Access is more anatomically correct but they don’t have a wide version. I would be all over that shoe if they did.

    • EdH
      March 9, 2012

      Note that the “arch” is not supportive though. It is mostly for looks. If your foot has a lower arch, it will push the material down. Almost just like the Vibrams, which have a curve where the arch is, but there is no support, as it should be.

      • Nick
        March 9, 2012

        We were talking outside edge of foot, not the inside. The inside arch does push down with some force, but when the outside of the shoe pushes in towards the inside of the foot you can’t push that down, let alone push it back out. That’s just not shaped like most peoples feet.

        • Chris Moffett
          March 10, 2012

          Yeah, I’m with you. They botched it. The only point I’d make is that most people’s feet aren’t shaped like most people’s feet. Just last week I helped eight people find this arch to see where to put the strap for the sandals they were making. Every one of them was different.
          The trick, for a production shoe is to get out of the way of this variation as much as possible, not to mention the dynamic range of the “arch” itself. (In a fully healthy foot, it should be able to run through a full range here.) If they made such a fierce wrap for “support” that’s ridiculous, and if they did it for “looks” all the more… You want this area to be free to touch the ground without fighting the shoe, as your footprint seems to suggest. Particularly since most shoes also tuck at the little toe, which makes it difficult for this arch further back to express properly. (Intentionally tuck your little toe under the next one and see what happens at the “arch”…)

  2. briderdt
    March 8, 2012

    And the Altra Samson.

  3. Aaron (aka Alejandro 10 @ BRS)
    March 8, 2012


    If you still have international rights to your book, would you be interested in having translated to Spanish? I’m asking because I am interested in doing it for you. I posted another snippet about this under your books section.

    Gracia y paz,


  4. Eric Cooper
    March 8, 2012

    I am blessed with wider feet (EE). I wish Altra would get you some Adam’s to review (linerless). Without a doubt, my very very favorite. Super minimal. Dare I say: perfect.

    Also, please trash the Skoras. Like standing on baloons. They put their effort into an elegant upper. And bombed with the sole. A crappy shoe.

    I’ve got the wide NB trail on my want list.

  5. Nick
    March 8, 2012

    Hopefully your Merrell reps will see this. The problem I have with most of the Merrell “Barefoot” shoes is the way that the outside edge gets narrow just before the heel and then widens for the heel. Who’s feet do that? Mine sure don’t and no matter how wide the shoe I still won’t be able to wear their shoes because of this. Their Bare Access looks more anatomically correct but unfortunately it’s not made in a wide version. I really wanted those too.

    • Harold
      March 10, 2012

      I definitely agree. The outside edge of the sole should be straight.

      I have the Bare Access. I quit wearing them because I couldn’t tolerate them not being wide enough anymore. Merrell should make a Bare Access wide version, with a low stack height, & with Omni-lacing. Then I would think they would have a perfect road running shoe.