I have been eagerly awaiting the release of these for a couple of months now. I fell in love with the original Merrell Barefoot Trail Gloves soon after trying them out and put well over 500 miles on them over the last 5 months or so. However I began graduating to longer distances and rougher terrain and began seeking out shoes with a bit more padding and protection. I originally opted for the Inov-8 Trailroc 235s because these had yet to come out. Unfortunately those really caused me a lot of foot pain and I couldn’t avoid blisters in them despite using duct tape and 2 pairs of socks.Once I learned about these I was only too happy to throw my Inov-8s behind. After breaking them in for a week (I know I was glutton for punishment) I ran my first 50k over a very rocky and muddy course. I honestly couldn’t believe how well they performed. I didn’t have a single blister at the end of the race and experienced no discomfort whatsoever. I utilized no pre-blister treatment before or during the race, just one pair of injinji trail socks and I was set for the whole race (which took a staggering 7:26 thanks to some muddy conditions).In all fairness they do have a small downside in that they lack some traction that other shoes in this class have. But given how comfortable they are and how well they fit compared to some of those other shoes in that class it’s really a no-brainer for me.In summary, if you’ve enjoyed the Merrell Trail Gloves or M-Connect series and are looking for something a bit tougher or with a bit more cushioning; these are the EXACT shoes for you.Update 3/19/14:Ended up using these for a cold marathon in late October in Canada and was still thoroughly impressed with the comfort they provided. I dislike running on pavement and yet I had no problem finishing despite being out there for 4+ hours.With regards to a couple reviews saying they fall apart; I’ve had no such problems. When I take them off they are usually caked in mud and grit but I haven’t seen any significant signs of wear.So supremely satisfied with these shoes after searching for a long time that I’ll probably end up stocking up on them should they ever be discontinued.