Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gear Review: New Balance Minimus Zero

originally posted in 2013
New Balance Minimus Zero- What a lucky shot in the dark this shoe turned out to be. I was wasting time at the outlet stores and walked into a New Balance outlet. I saw my beloved Minimus 10 Trail (see above) and right next to it was what looked like a road version. It was indeed and it did not have the "open holes" in the sole that love to invite roots into the soft underside of your foot. I was nearly sold on that alone. This shoe is a zero drop shoe, hence the name. It is extremely light at 6.4oz and very comfortable. I think it has ample space in the toe box but does not feel sloppy at all. Quite the contrary, it has a sock like fit that seems to really hug the foot. The upper is extremely breathable. The shoe was designed to be worn either barefoot or with socks. I prefer the later. The midsole is made with Acteva (not the yogurt) and the outsole (tread) is made by Vibram. All of the overlays are "welded" on like the Kinvara and as you can see the structure of the upper comes from the honeycomb style plastic which you do not feel on your foot. The tongue of the shoe is attached on one side, some call that a burrito style tongue. The laces are anatomically angled toward the big toe and that really does seem to help the shoe fit to your foot when you lace it up. I love this shoe. I have about 150 miles on mine so far and would gladly buy a second pair. Other reviews on this shoe say it lasts a REALLY long time so I wont need one for a few more months at least. The NB website says these shoes retail for $109. I bought mine at the outlet for $60. That's a bargain for a shoe that feels sooooo good on your foot. A word of caution for those who might try this shoe: It's a zero drop shoe. If you have not run in zero drop shoes be sure to GRADUALLY increase your mileage with these. Consider doing a loop course so you can switch to a higher heel drop halfway through your run. In time your Achilles will adjust to the extra stretch and your running form will thank you for it. Until then, be patient.