New Balance Minimus 1010 Shoe Review

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Scott & Don

After training off and on with the New Balance Minimus line of shoes for the last several months, I was very excited to hear about an update that was promoted as having more cushioning, more protection, an improved outsole, and still the desired 4mm drop and light weight of previous Minimus models. Recently, New Balance rolled out the highly anticipated MT-1010 (update to the MT-110) and at first glance it appears to have met or exceeded all of those claims.


Below are some of the noticeable features of the New Balance Minimus 1010…

  • REVlite Midsole: I really felt and appreciated the added cushioning versus the MT-110 and other Minimus Trail models. You are definitely a bit higher (5mm higher than the 110) with a 23mm-19mm heel to forefoot, but I never felt at all unstable.
  • Vibram Outsole: The bi-directional lugs provided great traction on technical trails, both climbing and descending, and the ride was still relatively quiet and smooth on the roads.
  • Rock Stop: This was a very noticeable difference from most Minimus models, as I never felt any of the sharp rocks that I intentionally sought out. Unlike what I have experienced with some other trail shoes with rock plates, the forefoot is not overly stiff and still felt very flexible throughout the foot-strike.
  • Synthetic/Mesh Upper: The welded seam upper with quick-dry fabric felt just as breathable as the MT-110, but didn’t allow in anywhere near as much debris and dried out quickly after hitting some water spots.  I did run with socks, but the shoes could comfortably put in plenty of sockless miles.

NL-1: Natural Last Heel Width - Standard Instep Height - Lower Toe Box Depth - Shallower Forefoot Width - Wider






In conclusion, I was very impressed with the New Balance Minimus 1010.  I enjoyed the MT10, which was my first Minimus shoe, but had issues with sharp rocks and the fit of the upper. I’ve also put plenty of miles in the MT-110, but felt it almost forced over-pronation and I never loved the fit of the upper or the traction of the outsole.  The MT-1010 addresses all of those issues and then some!  It provides a stable, low to the ground, ride, with very adequate cushioning and protection, while maintaining the Minimus objective of a natural and minimal feel on the trails or roads.

I think the 1010 is a perfect shoe for someone looking to transition to a “minimalist” style trail shoe or for the experienced minimalist trail runner looking to add a bit more cushion and comfort, without sacrificing performance.  I feel the MT-1010 is definitely the BEST release to-date in the New Balance Minimus lineup.


For those who think they would prefer a minimalist feel with just a tad more protection (think Minimalist Cascadia!), check out this sneak preview video from the folks at Running Warehouse!

As with all minimalist running shoes, I would advise a slow and deliberate transition due to having your heel lower than in traditional running shoes.

If you are in the Roseville/Sacramento area, check out the New Balance Roseville Store, mention this review and receive a 10% discount on the MT-1010 or on any of the shoes in the New Balance Minimus line-up.

Enjoy the Miles!

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