New Balance Minimus Shoe Review

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Hosted by
Scott Warr

New Balance hit the minimalist trail shoe scene last year with the MT10 ($105).  They went even “super” minimal with the MT00 ($110). Let’s take a look at several of the Minimus line from New Balance.

 

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Minimus MT00

Wow! The MT00 comes in under 5 oz. It felt like a track spike without the spikes. The MT00 can be worn with socks, but it is definitely built to run sockless. I had no issues with the MT00 out of the box. The upper is similar to a very thin layer of Tyvex and extremely breathable. You can see in the photos below that the upper has “transparent” properties. The midsole/outsole have been updated compared to the MT10 with larger cushioned lugs and reinforced lugs in high wear areas by adding a more durable Vibram material (see colored areas of outsole).

NB Minimus MT00 Views

Minimus MT10

The MT10 comes in under 8 oz. They fit like a glove out of the box. The MT10 is meant to be used sockless. If you are running in the snow and want to wear socks, you may want to go up half a size. The upper is “swiss cheese-like”. There is great support along the top of the foot. The MT10 has a 4mm drop.

NB Minimus MT10 Views

 

TRAIL TESTING

Minimus MT00

When testing the MT00, I chose to go sockless.  Most of the testing was on non-technical section of trail. My feet did get a workout, but was sufficiently protected. The MT00 worked well in muddy and wet conditions. Since I was sockless, the sand grains from the mud did bother my feet, but was able to finish my run. The upper is very breathable. In the “lab”, the evaporation test results were “Good”.

The MT00 is an excellent addition for any runner who is looking for an extremely light, flexible, barefoot-style shoe that includes protection (no rock plate), and a breathable upper. My only concern is the long term durability in such a minimal offering.

Minimus MT10

As with the MT00, I tested the MT10 sockless – both shoes are very well designed for sockless running. I quickly noticed the supportive feel in the MT10 versus the MT00. I felt the supportive band across the top of the shoe. It was snug but did not bother my feet. Runners with wider feet may have issues with this band being too tight. Most of the testing was on non-technical section of trail.  The MT10 worked well in muddy and wet conditions. Traction over wet rocks was sufficient.  In the “lab”, the evaporation test results were “Good”.

I was surprised to see wear on the outsole only after several months of running, that is, more wear than normal. Overall, a great fit, breathable, and supportive minimalist shoe offering.

 

TECH SPECS

Minimus MT00

  • Stack Height – 13 mm
  • Drop – 0 mm
  • Gusseted tongue
  • Neutral Shoe
  • No Rock Plate
  • Midsole – None (Mainly an outsole)
  • Upper – Synthetic
  • Made In – USA

Minimus MT10

  • Toe – 11 mm
  • Heel – 15 m
  • Drop – 4 mm
  • Gusseted tongue
  • Neutral Shoe
  • No Rock Plate
  • Midsole – None (Mainly an outsole)
  • Upper – Synthetic
  • Made In – China
Weight Breakdown

 

CONCLUSION

Minimus MT00

The features I liked about the MT00 are:

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Sockless/Blister-free feel
  • Breathable

The features that could be improved are:

  • Overall durability – uncertain of the longevity of such a minimal offering – only time will tell

Minimus MT10

The features I liked about the MT10 are:

  • Lightweight
  • Supportive
  • Sockless/Blister-free feel
  • Breathable
  • Various other color combinations + a leather option for casual wear (notice no supportive strap around the top of the foot)

The features that could be improved are:

  • Outsole durability
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