While the barefoot running trend is continuing to spread, Merrell is preparing the large-scale launch of a vastly expanded barefoot running footwear range, including hiking products. The American brand has already contributed to the enthusiasm for light, fast and flexible running footwear with its own Merrell Barefoot range, which sold more than one million pairs in its first year. The company is upping the stakes with investments in the much wider M-Connect range, to hit the shelves in the first half of next year.