It's fair to say that most trail running shoes are beefier than the road variety, as they're designed to take on roots, rocks and other trail debris. Many runners use them as a winter running shoe as well, and they offer a bit more protection against the elements.
Minimalist runners, however, want to keep their shoes as lightweight and unobtrusive as possible. So what does that mean for minimalist trail runners?
Well, they can start by giving the Merrell Trail Glove 5 a try. It's considered a barefoot shoe, meaning that it tries to allow the foot to move as if it wasn't wearing anything, but it still provides some protection for the foot.
The Vibram TC5 rubber outsole and an internal TrailProtect rock plate do an excellent job of that. But the low-to-the-ground construction gives you that barefoot feel.
For the CrossFit crowd, these are good shoes for weightlifting and indoor workouts, while the heel counter and integrated insole give you just enough stability for work on the treadmill.
For those who want to stick to their natural foot mechanics on the trail, or indoors, this shoe is a good option.